Men’s Tennis Head Coach
The 2011 tennis season marks the beginning of a new era for New Mexico State tennis. With the retirement of my friend and mentor Don Ball, I was called to step in as head coach for the NM State men’s tennis team. This has always been my goal and dream and I’m ecstatic to accomplish it. I feel fortunate to be able to continue coaching at NM State and hope to continue the tradition that coach Ball created. Although coaching is something that I’m very familiar with, this position comes with an endless amount of off-court duties that add to the excitement and challenges of this job.
Under the leadership of three seniors and an overall very talented lineup, I expect to have a very good first season as head coach. I hope to build on the success we had in the fall season. In the fall, we had some of the best results in Aggie tennis history, starting with senior Arthur Surreaux winning the singles and doubles titles in the Aggie Invitational and following with a singles title victory at the prestigious Baylor Invitational. Also having success during the fall season was Jim Brouleau, a senior from France, who not only had played the No. 1 spot for the Aggies during his three years here, but also has consistently carried a 4.0 GPA. Brouleau, along with his Surreaux, won the Aggie Invitational doubles tournament and reached the semifinals of the Baylor Invite by defeating several nationally-ranked players and earning a national ranking of No. 34 in the preseason polls.
Continuing his success from last year is sophomore Orlando Superlano, who managed to reach the singles quarterfinals at the regional tournament. Stepping up his role as a leader for the Aggies is junior Matej Stakne, who continues to be an exemplary student-athlete with a 3.8 GPA. He advanced further than all his teammates at the regional tournament, where he lost the semifinals in the three sets to the eventual winner.
Returning for the Aggies is sophomore Luis Ramirez from Caracas, Venezuela. Ramirez, and doubles partner Superlano are currently undefeated in doubles. After being sidelined with a wrist injury for all of the fall season, Ramirez should be one of our top competitors for the spring. Completing the Aggie lineup is senior Armando Morales from El Paso, Texas. Morales came to NM State as a transfer last year and he is expected to add depth and experience to the Aggie lineup.
Felipe Frattini, a freshman from Brazil, has shown in practice that he can become one of the top players for the Aggies once he gains a little more experience and makes the adjustments necessary to compete in this team format. Tennis players often grow up playing on their own throughout their junior careers, and they can find the transition to a team format to be a little more difficult because of the added pressure of their teammates relying on them to perform.
Marc Westgate, a freshman from England, is continually making progress and he should be seeing some action in the Aggie lineup before the end of the season. Alexander Rojas, a freshman from Venezuela, comes as a late addition to the Aggie tennis family but is nonetheless expected to add more strength to the rest of the lineup.