NMSU Tennis Honored
New Mexico State men's tennis sophomore earned Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Player of the Month for his play in September the conference office announced Tuesday.
The award marks the first career honor from the conference for Westgate and the first of the year for the Aggies. Last season, NM State players won three honors from the WAC. Departed senior Jim Brouleau was named WAC Player of the Week on April 26. Last September departed senior Arthur Surreaux earned Player of the Month honors while current senior Matej Stakne followed by winning the award last October.
After playing only singles last season for the Aggies, Westgate has shown more confidence on the court early in his second year in Las Cruces. Westgate currently boasts a 6-2 overall record in singles that includes a consolation draw win at the Aggie Invitational. He and doubles partner freshman Germain Degardin went 3-1 in the Aggie Invite and also won a consolation final.
"I'm excited to see Marc recognized by the conference," said head coach Carlos Vargas. "He has worked really hard this past year and he continues to get better."
Opening the season at the Aggie Invitational in September, Westgate dropped his first singles match of the year to Alfredo Desati of Abilene Christian 7-5, 7-5. But he bounced back in the consolation draw with a pair of straight-set victories over Nick Plum of ACU 6-1, 7-6 and Shaun Waters of Northern Arizona 6-2, 7-6.
Westgate continued to shine in the consolation semifinals where he dispatched Mitch McDaniels of New Mexico in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. In the consolation final, Westgate topped Jean Beniot-Belin of Western New Mexico by the same score 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in a three-set affair.
In doubles at the Aggie Invite, Westgate and Degardin advanced to the quarterfinals with a win over NAU's Dominic Bermudez and Steven Say 8-6. The Aggie pairing then fell in extra games 9-7 to eventual runner-up Mads Hegelund and Mitch McDaniels of New Mexico.
Westgate and Degardin bounced back in the consolation draw defeating Carlos Bermudez and Robin Chou of Arizona 8-6. In the consolation final, the Aggies knocked off Hans Hach and Nick Plum of Abilene Christian for Westgate's second consolation win of the weekend.
Later in the month at the Baylor Invitational, Westgate was the only Aggie to advance to the round of 16. In round one, Westgate came back from a set down to defeat Felipe Jensen of Laredo College in the first round 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. In round two, Westgate had an easier time knocking off Mario Urban of Midwestern State 6-2, 6-4.
After advancing to the sweet 16 of the singles main draw, Westgate ran up against top seed Costin Paval of Oklahoma, ranked No. 17 in the ITA preseason rankings. Paval advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-1 victory.
Westgate and his Aggie teammates travel to the Balloon Fiesta Invite this weekend in Albuquerque hosted by the University of New Mexico beginning Friday Oct. 7.