LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico State men’s tennis team opened its 2009 spring season by blanking Northern Arizona, 7-0, Saturday afternoon at the NMSU Tennis Center.
The Aggies (1-0) started out a little rusty in the doubles matches against the Lumberjacks, who were playing their fifth match of the spring. NM State was able to sneak by with the doubles point and then hammered NAU (0-5) in singles play, taking all six matches in straight sets.
“We were a little shaky in our doubles matches today, but then we came back and just smashed them in singles,” head coach Don Ball said. “It was a good first day I think for us. Now we’ll come back tomorrow against a good Abilene Christian team that will challenge us, but I think we’ll meet that just fine.”
NM State earned the doubles point with wins at the top two positions. Senior Stefan McKinney and sophomore Arthur Surreaux flattened Brelin Powell and Ben Lantz 8-1 at No. 2 in the first match off the courts. Then senior Roman Stoisavljevic and junior Eduardo Salas grinded out a 9-8 win at the top spot over Robin Pezzutto and Andrew Reiff to lock up the doubles point.
In singles play the Aggies did not surrender a set to the Lumberjacks.
Sophomore Jim Brouleau downed David Flodberg 6-3, 6-2 at the top singles position and Stoisavljevic won at No. 2 over Andrew Reiff, 6-1, 6-2. Junior Gustave Diep only gave up four games in his No. 3 singles victory and Salas poured it on in his second set to win 7-5, 6-2 at No. 5.
In their first matches as an Aggie, Surreaux and freshman Matej Stakne hardly broke a sweat as they both breezed by their opponents. Surreaux won at No. 4, 6-2, 6-1 over Powell and Stakne did not lose a game at No. 6 in his 6-0, 6-0 win over Lantz.
New Mexico State is back on the courts Sunday with two matches. The Aggies start out in the morning against Abilene Christian, a team that is ranked No. 19 in Division II, at 9:00 a.m., and they follow that up with a 1:30 match against Western New Mexico. Both matches at the NMSU Tennis Center are free and open to the public.