ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Oct. 6)-The New Mexico State men's tennis team advanced both doubles teams and singles participants to the finals of the Balloon Fiesta Invitational in Albuquerque after day two of the tournament.
The Aggies have two of their doubles teams playing each other in the finals of the Cherry flight. Senior Luis Ramirez and junior Marc Westgate defeated the Aggie duo of sophomore Germain Degardin and freshman Yannick Blank, 8-5, and advance to the finals to play the freshman pair of Daniel Fernandez and Naveen Manivannan, who beat Denver's sophomore Luke Manley and junior Alex Clinkenbeard, 8-6.
"Overall, this has been a great tournament for all of our guys, and we have gained some great momentum and experience leading into the regional tournament in Las Vegas at the end of this month," head coach Carlos Vargas said.
In the Silver doubles flight, sophomore Eduardo Cabrita and freshman Stahinja Trecakov lost to Northern Arizona's senior Patrick Schimmelbauer and junior Dominic Bermudez, 9-7. Freshman Jeremy Harlas and freshman Guilherme Carvalho beat Air Force's freshman Jack McCullers and freshman Andrew Parks, 8-6, to advance to the consolation finals of the flight.
In singles action, the Aggies are in three of the four singles finals. In the Cherry flight, Ramirez defeated Mads Hegelund of New Mexico, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. Ramirez moves on the final to play sophomore Samir Iftikhar of UNM, who beat Fernandez in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
In the Silver flight, Westgate fell to sophomore James Hignett of UNM, 7-6, 7-5. Westgate plays for third place of the flight. Degardin won a three-set match over Air Force's junior Ali Rizvi, 6-4, 5-7, 6-0, to advance to the consolation final of the flight.
Cabrita advanced to the final of the Turquoise draw after defeating Schimmelbauer, in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4. He plays sophomore Mitch McDaniels of UNM, who defeated Manivannan, 6-4, 6-2, in the semifinals. In addition, Trecakov fell to junior Andy Jackson of Air Force, 6-3, 6-4.
"Cabrita is having an excellent fall season and continues to improve his game," Vargas said. "Freshman Yannick Blank continued his solid play by advancing to the finals of the white draw."
In the White flight, Blank defeated senior Stephen Katrein of Air Force, 6-2, 6-2. Carvalho lost to Northern Arizona's senior Robert Martin, 6-1, 6-3, and Harlas lost to UNM's redshirt sophomore Simon Hegelund 2-6 6-3 6-1
The Aggies conclude the tournament Sunday, Oct. 6, in Albuquerque.