Las Cruces, N.M. – The Mesa men's tennis team opened its Fall 2017 season with a good showing at the New Mexico State Aggie Invitational Friday through Sunday in the debut of new head coach Ali Borhani.
The T-Birds competed against NCAA Division I schools such as New Mexico St., New Mexico and Arizona along with several Division II and NAIA opponents.
Gergo Rendek, of Hungary, had two wins over division II Schools. defeating Hunter Holeman of Abilene Christian 6-3, 6-4 and Vladimir Gnilozubov of Western New Mexico St. 6-3,6-2, Rendek lost a tough match in the first round 7-1, 6-4 against the eventual champ Stijan Dehaan of New Mexico St.
Artur Eztberger, of Brazil, had a nice win over Arizona Christian's Santiago Galeffi 6-3,6-2 before taking a close loss 4-6,4-6 against Pablo Santibanez, of Western New Mexico
Ali Moin, of Australia, dropped two tough matches early on before turning it around and beating Santiago Galeffi, of Arizona Christian; 1-6, 6-3, 10-7.
Griffin Sauer the lone American from Mesa CC had himself a great first tournament as he lost a rugged match 5-7,5-7 to Daniel Suprlano' of Arizona Christian. He took the loss well, as he bested Brad Gleason of, Abilene Christian 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 and took out fellow Mesa CC player Lucas Severo 6-2, 0-6, 10-8.
Yohann Prinsen, of Belgium, started his tournament with a win over Jose Mario Neto, of Western New Mexico 6-3,6-1, He later took a tough three-set loss against Marcelo Balderama, of Arizona Christian, 6-3, 3-6, 1-6 but bounced right back with an impressive win over Theo Preiswerk, of Arizona Christian, 6-4, 6-4
Jorge Sala had himself a tournament to remember even though he started with a tough three set loss to Marcelo Balderama 3-6,6-3, 3-6 before winning three matches in a row. He defetaed Luis Garza, of New Mexico St., 6-2,6-1 followed by another win against Niko Barr, of Western New Mexico, 6-2,6-2 before finishing the back draw finals with a 7-6,6-3 win against Christian Borrero. of Arizona Christian
Coach Borhani said he was very proud of how his team competed against the four-year programs with so many great wins.
"We showed them that we belong and that we are here to compete for every single ball," he said He was also very happy with the team buying into the new culture of this program and representing the Thunderbird family well on and off the court.
This was the first-ever competitive match for new Borhani and to start with so many wins against these top schools shows that the program is in good hands.
The T-Birds will next take the court at the University of Arizona Tournament Sept. 21-15.