Local sports events

Western New Mexico University Head Tennis Coach Yair Banuelos announced his resignation from the position that will take place at the end of September. At the end of his career, he will have spent eight years in Silver City, two years as both a player and assistant coach, before the last four years as head coach. Banuelos has accepted the head tennis coach position at Auburn Montgomery.

“It is with mixed emotions that I announce Yair Banuelos’s departure from WNMU,” Director of Athletics Mark Coleman said. “It’s a great opportunity for him but I hate to see him go. He has been a valued member of the Mustang family as a student-athlete, assistant coach and especially as a head coach. He will be missed.”

Banuelos has helped continue a strong tradition of success for the Mustang tennis programs. After finishing up the 2015-16 season in the RMAC, WNMU secured their seventh straight conference titles on the men’s side. They finished a run of 37-0 in regular season matches and 14-0 in tournament matches during the seven-year span that the team dominated the RMAC. The women have also enjoyed success as they posted nine wins that year as they won the tournament title for the fourth in the past five years.

“I want to thank Director of Athletics Mark Coleman who gave me the opportunity to lead the tennis programs for the last four years,” Banuelos said. “I have mixed emotions about leaving WNMU. I am excited to continue my professional career and face new challenges, but I am definitely very sad to leave WNMU and our tennis program. I leave with great memories of this place and I am very grateful that I was part of two programs that made history over the years. Wining the first conference championships with the women’s team, and of course achieving unprecedented results with the men’s tennis program in all three phases, as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach.”

The Mustangs reached the South Central Regional this year for the third time in the past four years and reached the best ranking in program history of 22. Banuelos took home Wilson/ITA Men’s South Central Region Coach of the Year in his first year guiding the team in the Lone Star Conference. The Mustangs took down Midwestern State in Silver City and came close to a win over St. Mary’s in the Regional Playoff. Before the 2016-17 season even began, it was setup to be a great one as the doubles combination of Vladimir Gnilozubov and Tristan Da Lio won the ITA South Central Regional and went on to the Oracle Cup in Arizona where they placed third during the fall.

The Lady Mustangs outside of winning the RMAC Tournament again in 2015-16, posted 12 wins in 2014-15 that included a perfect RMAC record and advanced to the South Central Regional in which they faced No. 13 St. Mary’s. WNMU nearly grabbed the RMAC title in 2013-14, falling 5-4 to Colorado Mesa in the final.

Both teams took home ITA Academic Team honors for having over a 3.5 cumulative GPA this past year. The teams have now secured the award each of the past three years. During his eight-year career as a player, assistant coach and head coach of the men’s team he went an incredible 120-74.

Homecoming has arrived and the Western New Mexico University football team will face UT Permian Basin this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. inside Altamirano Field.
Both teams enter with a 0-3 overall record and 0-1 mark in the Lone Star Conference. Each team came close in their first conference game as the Mustangs lost by just three two weeks ago to Eastern New Mexico, while the Falcons lost by 11 this past week at West Texas A&M.

Last year, WNMU rolled to a 68-17 victory in Odessa last year, as redshirt senior Javia Hall threw for 284 yards and four scores. Xavier Ayers caught seven passes for 139 yards and three scores. Redshirt senior Dominic Barry led the way on defense with 12 tackles, eight solo, along with three tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble.

It’s early in the season for Lone Star Conference football teams and as always happens, there are a bunch of teams tied for first and a bunch tied for last with one team sitting at .500. Eastern New Mexico went into the weekend sitting atop the standings at 1-0 with WNMU at 0-1. All the other teams in the conference had their first conference game last Saturday.

Texas A&M Commerce, West Texas A&M, Midwestern State, and Tarleton State are all 1-0 in conference play while ENMU drops to 1-1 with the rest of the teams, Angelo State, WNMU, UT Permian Basin, and Texas A&M Kingsville, all 0-1. Commerce and Midwestern remain the only unbeaten teams in the LSC at 3-0 & 2-0 respectively.

The Western New Mexico University men's tennis team competed in the New Mexico State Aggie Invitational this weekend. The doubles team of Vladimir Gnilozubov and Pablo Santibanez advanced to the championship, while a few others had strong singles results.

Gnilozubov/Santibanez won back-to-back matches by scores of 8-4 defeating duos from NMSU and Arizona Christian. In the semifinals they grabbed an 8-6 win over another pair from NMSU before falling just short 8-5 in the final versus the third duo from NMSU.

Sophomore Brenda Dominguez continued to try and climb into the top-10 Tuesday at the Skyhawk West Regional Preview before eventually tying for 13thafter the second and final round at the par 71, 6,039 yard Hillcrest Golf Course wrapped up. The Lady Mustangs remained in 19th as a team.

WNMU posted rounds of 323 and 313 to end up with a 636 to finish four-strokes behind Western Washington. Dallas Baptist had no troubles keeping their lead as they ran away with the title recording a 586 to win by 16-shots. They had their top three golfers finish in the top-five with Addison Mitchell winning the individual title by a stroke with a 143.

Texas A&M-Kingsville showed no signs of being tired after having played in Portales the previous night. They came out ready from the first serve and defeated the Western New Mexico University volleyball team 3-0 (18-25, 17-25, 18-25) Saturday night in Lone Star Conference action behind a .302 hitting percentage.

The Javelinas (8-5, 1-1 LSC) lost in four sets last night to the Greyhounds, but came out fired up to start the match tonight posting the first five points. WNMU (1-9, 1-1 LSC) responded with their own run of 5-0 with senior Kalie Lyle, senior Heather Verrill, sophomore Cristal Carrizoza and senior Kelli McGhiey all tallying points to even the set at five.

A service ace from senior Ashley Mataele had the Lady Mustangs back to within one at 9-8, when the Javelinas were ready with another spurt as they went on a 4-0 run to push out to a 13-8 lead. McGhiey tallied a kill to help WNMU get back to even late in the set at 17 when Texas A&M-Kingsville sealed the deal finishing the opening set on a 8-1 run for the 1-0 match lead. The Javelinas hit .310 through the first set, while WNMU hit just .088.

Western Oregon University utilized a 33-point attack in the second quarter on their way to taking the 58-21 victory over the Western New Mexico University football team Saturday afternoon at Altamirano Field.

Turnovers again stung the Mustangs (0-3) as they committed six, with five interceptions and a fumble. Two of the interceptions were returned for scores as WOU (1-2) took advantage of the 6-1 turnover battle to hold a 36-7 points off turnover edge.

Redshirt senior quarterback Javia Hall completed 22-45 for 275 yards and two scores. He was under pressure throughout the game, as he was also sacked five times. Redshirt senior D'Angelo Bowie caught six passes for 108 yards and two scores. Fellow senior Evan Beebe added six for 69 yards. The rushing attack was finally able to break through with senior Justin Harris carrying 10 times for 81 yards and a touchdown, with a long of 36 yards, which is the longest carry of the season by any Mustang.

It will be a battle of Westerns this Saturday when the Western New Mexico University football team hosts Western Oregon University out of Monmouth, Ore. The Mustangs and Wolves will kick off Saturday at noon at Altamirano Field.

The two teams have met twice before, with Western Oregon taking both meetings in 2002 and 2003, with the last meeting taking place in Silver City. With the Super Region 4 realignment this year, both teams are now in the same region with the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) joining the Lone Star Conference (LSC), Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).

Live from Silver City

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