LAS CRUCES, N.M. (April 25) - The New Mexico State men's and women's tennis teams are set to host their respective Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournaments as the No. 4 seeds this week beginning Thursday at the NM State Tennis Center.
The WAC women's tournament begins Thursday with a pair of quarterfinal matches scheduled for 9 a.m. MT on the NM State Tennis Center courts. The Aggies (11-7, 1-2 WAC) will face fifth-seeded San Jose State (13-6, 3-2 WAC) in one of two quarterfinal matches later in the day at noon.
Eight teams will compete over three days for the women's championship. Defending champion Fresno State enters the tournament as the top seed. Bulldog No. 1 singles player Marianne Jodoin is the lone ranked player on the women's side at No. 41 nationally. No. 2 seed Hawai'i stands No. 61 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) team rankings.
The WAC men's tournament begins Friday at 9 a.m. at the Tennis Center. The Aggie men's team (8-14, 2-3 WAC) is scheduled to battle fifth-seeded Nevada (10-10, 1-3 WAC) in one of two men's quarterfinals to open the day of competition.
Six teams will contend for the men's championship over three days. Defending champion Fresno State enters the tournament as the top seed and the No. 33 team in the country. Two Bulldogs are ranked nationally in the latest ITA singles rankings including Remi Boutillier at No. 26 and Francis Alcantara at No. 35. The FS duo also pairs together to form the nation's No. 51 doubles team this season. Hawai'i also boasts a ranked singles player in No. 123 Jonathan Brooklyn.
All-session tickets are now available from the New Mexico State Ticket Office. All-session ticket prices are: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for youth and students. Single-session (one day) tickets are also now available. Single-session ticket prices are: $5 for adults and $3 for seniors, youth and students.
To purchase tickets, call the NMSU Ticket Office at (575) 646-1420. Ticket office hours are: Monday to Friday - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday - 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the New Mexico State Tennis Center beginning Thursday.
The Aggie women faced San Jose State on the road earlier this month on April 4, dropping a tight 4-3 contest. SJSU extended its match win streak to 11 with the victory.
The Spartans opened the match by winning the doubles point after taking two out of three matches. The WAC foes split the six singles matches evenly, all decided in straight sets. NM State took home victories at the Nos. 1, 4 and 6 spots but SJSU notched victories in the other three matches to pull out the win.
The senior co-captains led the Aggies in the match. Manon Sylvain won at No. 1 singles 6-3, 6-4 to claim a point. Classmate Natalia Salum cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 victory at the No. 4 spot. Sophomore Ros-Polly Nguyen posted the other point for NM State on the day at the No. 6 spot with a 6-2, 6-3 victory.
The Aggies have won three straight matches at home this season after a 5-2 victory over New Mexico on Saturday on Senior Day. NM State is 6-2 at home this season. Salum boasts a 13-4 dual match singles record this season to lead the team. Nguyen carries an 11-6 singles record and Sylvain stands 8-8 in 2012 all at the No. 1 position.
Since the matchup with the Aggies, SJSU posted a 1-3 record. The Spartans knocked off Utah State 5-2 before dropping matches to Hawai'i, UC Davis and Idaho to end the regular season.
The winner of the NM State-San Jose State match will face the winner of top-seeded Fresno State and No. 8 seed Louisiana Tech at 9 a.m. on Friday.
The NM State men do not kick off their tourney until Friday but like the women have also recently faced their first-round foe. The Aggies edged Nevada 4-3 on the road in Reno on April 6 in a match that last close to six hours and finished under the lights.
The Wolf Pack opened with the doubles point by sweeping all three matches. The Aggies rebounded by winning four of six singles matches. Four of the singles contests went to a full three sets to add tension to a tight match. NM State's Luis Ramirez and Eduardo Cabrita won in straight sets at the Nos. 4 and 5 spots. Aggies Marc Westgate and Patrick Pfister pulled out three-set wins at the Nos. 2 and 6 positions to help NM State claim the road victory.
The win at Nevada kicked off a three-match win streak to end the season for the Aggies. NM State ended the year with a pair of 7-0 victories over Portland State and Western New Mexico. The Aggies are 3-6 at home this season.
Ramirez and freshman Germain Degardin lead the Aggies with 12 singles wins apiece this season. Ramirez, a junior, is 12-10 this season and Degardin is 12-9. Senior Matej Stakne has played all but one match at the No. 1 slot for the Aggies, recording a 9-13 dual match record.
The loss to NM State was the only blemish on Nevada's record in April. The Pack also enters the tournament on a three-match win streak after defeating Portland State, Utah State and UC Davis at home to end the regular season.
The winner of the NM State-Nevada match will face top-seeded Fresno State at 1 p.m. Saturday.
2012 WAC Tennis Tournament Schedule
Thursday, April 26
Match 1 - No. 1 Fresno State vs. No. 8 Louisiana Tech, 9 a.m.
Match 2 - No. 4 New Mexico State vs. No. 5 San Jose State, noon
Match 3 - No. 3 Idaho vs. No. 6 Utah State, 9 a.m.
Match 4 - No. 2 Hawai‘i vs. No. 7 Nevada, noon
Friday, April 27
Match 1 - No. 4 New Mexico State vs. No. 5 Nevada, 9 a.m.
Match 2 - No. 3 Hawai‘i vs. No. 6 Utah State, noon
Match 5 - Winner Match 1 vs. Winner Match 2, 9 a.m.
Match 6 - Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4, noon
Saturday, April 28
Match 7 - Winner Match 5 vs. Winner Match 6, 10 a.m.
Match 3 - No. 1 Fresno State vs. Winner Match 1, 1 p.m.
Match 4 - No. 2 Idaho vs. Winner Match 2, 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 29
Match 5 - Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4, 10 a.m.
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