“I think we preformed great,” head coach Carlos Vargas said. “We haven’t done this format all year and all of a sudden we have to start with singles instead of doubles and play on three courts instead of six so there were a lot changes thrown at us kind of spur of the moment. But our team handled it great and I feel confident in the way they played.”
Due to projected high winds in the afternoon all semifinal matches began at 7:30 a.m. with singles being played first, followed by the doubles matches if needed. No doubles matches were necessary for the Aggies to advance to Sunday’s finals. The last time NM State made the finals of the WAC Championships was back in 2011.
“It went really well,” Vargas said. “The time change was concerning and we had to make a lot of adjustments. It started very close but about an hour into the matches we began to develop our way. I am very happy about the intensity and good start considering all the changes.”
The Aggies made short work of UMKC in the semifinals as the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 singles played first, followed by the No. 2, No. 4 and No. 6 singles.
Sophomore Strahinja Trecakov beat UMKC’s No. 1 player Tomas Patino in a hard fought three-set match, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. No. 3 singles player sophomore Liam Goldberg and No. 5 singles junior Patrick Pfister each won their respective matches in straight sets. Goldberg defeated Mike Psarros, 6-3, 6-2, while Pfister beat Uldis Gaismins, 6-4, 6-1.
NM State’s No. 6 singles Naveen Manivannan clinched the Aggies’ spot in the championship match with a straight set win over Conner Edwards, 6-0, 6-2.
“Tomorrow it will be a lot closer with a lot stronger competition as well,” Vargas said. “Whoever we play, it will be a tough match but we are looking forward to it.”
The Aggies will face the No. 2 seed Idaho in the championship match Sunday morning, beginning at 8 a.m. at the NM State Tennis Center. Admission is FREE to the event.
No. 1 New Mexico State vs No. 4 Kansas City – 4-0 (NM State)
NM State Kansas City
#1 Strahinja Trecakov vs Tomas Patino – 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 (NM State)
#2 Paul Denele vs Andrey Smirnov - DNF
#3 Liam Goldberg vs Mike Psarros – 6-3, 6-2 (NM State)
#4 Germain Degardin vs Vihn Pham - DNF
#5 Patrick Pfister vs Uldis Gaismins – 6-4, 6-1 (NM State)
#6 Naveen Manivannan vs Conner Edwards – 6-0, 6-2 (NM State)