Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
PALO ALTO, CA - The New Mexico State men’s tennis team saw its banner season come to a conclusion Saturday afternoon at the Taube Family Tennis Center after its 4-0 loss to No. 4 Stanford in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Tournament.
The loss ends an era of Aggie men’s tennis for Christofer Goncalves and Sergi Espias as the two seniors played their final match in the Crimson & White.
Doubles action was tight for most of the time with the Aggie No. 2 and No. 2 tandems taking a lead at one point or another. However, Stanford took court No. 3 first with a 6-0 victory before claiming the doubles point with a 6-4 win on court No. 2.
Playing against the ninth-ranked singles player in the country, Goncalves held his own and was leading Stanford’s Tom Fawcett 4-0 at the start of the match. The senior wound up losing the first set and was down 3-1 to Fawcett before the Cardinal clinched the match.
Stanford (22-3) took the 2-0 lead in singles action after Enrique Asmar was bested by Eric Fomba in straight sets 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 4 position. Mauri Benitez did his best to fend off David Wilczynski, but was just short 6-0, 6-2 – which gave the Cardinal a 3-0 lead in the match.
The match was halted not too long after when Sameer Kumar, who is ranked No. 102 in the country by the ITA, defeated Espias 6-1, 6-1 on court No. 3.
Stijn de Haan held his own at No. 2 doubles against Stanford’s Axel Geller, who was ranked No. 83 in the country in singles while freshman Louis Menard kept it close in the first set on court No. 6 as well.
New Mexico State wraps up the season 16-9 overall on the year while capturing its third Western Athletic Conference Tournament Championship in four years and making its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history – three of which under the watch of head coach Carlos Vargas.
New Mexico State vs #4 Stanford
May 12, 2018 at Palo Alto, Calif.
(Taube Family Tennis Center)
#4 Stanford 4, New Mexico State 0
1. #9 Fawcett, Tom (STAN) vs. Goncalves, Chris (NMSU) 6-4, 3-1, unfinished
2. #83 Geller, Axel (STAN) vs. de Haan, Stijn (NMSU) 7-5, 3-2, unfinished
3. #102 Kumar, Sameer (STAN) def. Espias, Sergi (NMSU) 6-1, 6-1
4. Fomba, Eric (STAN) def. Asmar, Enrique (NMSU) 6-0, 6-0
5. Wilczynski, David (STAN) def. Benitez, Mauri (NMSU) 6-0, 6-3
6. Genesen, William (STAN) vs. Menard, Louis (NMSU) 6-4, 2-1, unfinished
1. #32 Fawcett, Tom/Geller, Axel (STAN) vs. Goncalves, Chris/Flores, Luis Pliego (NMSU) 5-4, unfinished
2. Fomba, Eric/Kumar, Sameer (STAN) def. de Haan, Stijn/Benitez, Mauri (NMSU) 6-4
3. Geller, Axel/Sah, Timothy (STAN) def. Asmar, Enrique/Menard, Louis (NMSU) 6-0
New Mexico State 16-9
#4 Stanford 22-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (4,5,3)
NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Tournament