Goncalves Named WAC Men's Tennis Player Of The Year

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

PHOENIX, AZ - New Mexico State men’s tennis senior Christofer Goncalves once again headlines the Western Athletic Conference awards with this second-straight WAC Player of the Year honor while five other Aggies also took home All-WAC honors as well.

In addition to winning player of the year for the second-consecutive season, Goncalves also earned his fourth-straight First-Team All-WAC honor after going a perfect 5-0 in league play back-to-back-to-back seasons now.

The Barquisimeto, Venezuela, product finished the regular-season 25-7 overall, his third-consecutive season with 20-plus wins in singles action, and 12-4 in dual play – all at the top singles position. Goncalves is riding a six-match winning-streak and could match his high of eight from this season with a pair of wins at the WAC Tournament.

Joining Goncalves on the first-team in singles are junior Mauri Benitez and freshman Louis Menard. A Spanish native, Benitez went 22-10 this season and has reached the 20-win plateau in singles for the second-straight season while winning 15-plus matches since his collegiate career started. The junior recorded 10 wins in dual action this season and was 3-1 in WAC play. This is his first first-team selection in singles after tallying second-team honors last season.

Menard is having a stellar freshman campaign, boasting a 19-4 overall singles record to go with a 13-1 mark in dual action and 4-0 record in WAC play. The Annecy, France, native played predominantly at the No. 6 singles slot and went 12-1 while also going 1-0 in his lone match at the No. 5 position. In addition, Menard is riding an 11-match win-streak heading into the conference tournament.

In addition, Stijn de Haan and Sergi Espias also garnered Second-Team All-WAC honors in singles for the Aggies. This is de Haan’s second all-conference award after taking home first-team accolades last season. The Veldhoven, Netherlands, product has now won 16 wins or more in three-straight seasons for the Aggies.

Espias, who transferred to NM State as a junior, has had plenty of success in singles play – grabbing 23-plus wins in his two seasons in the Crimson & White. The Barcelona, Spain, product went 4-1 in league play and 12-6 in dual action, playing mostly at the No. 3 slot.

NM State also had its No. 2 and No. 3 doubles team earn Second-Team All-WAC distinction on top of all the singles awards. The Aggie duo of de Haan and Benitez has now won back-to-back honors together at the No. 2 doubles position after posting a team-high 20 wins this season to go along with a 13-3 record in dual play. Benitez and de Haan also went 4-1 in WAC play. The NM State No. 3 doubles tandem of Enrique Asmar and Louis Menard notched their first all-conference honor together after posting an 11-4 record despite just playing together just once during the fall.

The quest for NM State’s third WAC Tournament title in four years begins on Saturday, April 28, at 2 p.m. (MDT) when the team takes on the winner between the No. 3-seed Grand Canyon and the No. 6-seed Chicago State.

First Team All-WAC Singles
No.1 Christofer Goncalves, NM State
No. 2 Lorenzo Fucile, Grand Canyon
No. 3 Tom Kruse, Kansas City
No. 4 Lucas Grego, Grand Canyon
No. 5 Mauri Benitez, NM State
No. 6 Louis Menard, NM State

First Team All-WAC Doubles
No. 1 Alex Pozo and Airam Castellano, Kansas City
No. 2 Tom Kruse and Diego Giraldo, Kansas City
No. 3 Lucas Grego and Freddie Grant, Grand Canyon

Second Team All-WAC Singles
Gregoire Balenci, Grand Canyon
Airam Castellano, Kansas City
Stijn de Haan, NM State
Sergi Espias, NM State
Mathieu Rajaonah, Grand Canyon
Felix Savard, Chicago State

Second Team All-WAC Doubles
Mauri Benitez and Stijn de Haan, NM State
Christian Gonzalez and Felix Savard, Chicago State
Louis Menard and Enrique Asmar, NM State

Christofer Goncalves, NM State
Freshman of the Year: Diego Giraldo, Kansas City
Coach of the Year: Kendell Hale, Kansas City