LAS CRUCES – Junior Lyric Bonilla and freshman Laura Schmitz both went undefeated to set the tone for the UTEP tennis team on the opening day of the NM State Aggie Invite Friday.
The duo combined to finish 6-0 in an impressive display for the Miners, who were competing in their first fall tournament in two years.
“Overall we had a very solid day,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “It was great to watch the team compete again in the fall. Everyone had a lot of positives, even in the defeats, but they fought very hard across the board. Lyric and Laura both went 3-0, winning their doubles and both singles. We have another tough day tomorrow, but we are up for the challenge.”
Bonilla wiped out Sylvie Schoenen (Arizona Christian), 6-1, 6-0 in her first match of the gray main draw. She kept things going by rallying past top seed Bella Nguyen (NM State), 3-6, 6-2, 10-1, to punch her ticket into the semifinals.
Schmitz tasted victory in her collegiate singles debut, knocking off Melissa Cartis (NM State), 6-0, 6-3, in the gray main draw. She then followed that up by taking out third-seeded Danielle Viljoen in dominating fashion, 6-1, 6-1, to march into the semifinals.
In doubles action Schmitz and Bonilla drilled Western New Mexico’s Karla Grobbelaar and Johanna Lutz, 6-1. Daniels and Percegona made quick work of Arizona Christian’s Massiel Paredes and Julia Terrazas, topping the duo 6-2. The other two Miner units advanced via the bye.
Percegona started strong in singles with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph against Julia Tozzi (WNMU). She then squared off with fourth-seeded Polly Chen (New Mexico) in the quarterfinals of the crimson main draw, coming up short, 6-4, 6-4, in a tightly-contested match.
Elena Dibattista was nearly flawless in her 6-1, 6-0 vanquishing of Kajsa Gedlitschka (WNMU) in the white main draw. The sophomore then aspired to advance to the semifinals, but she was bounced by third-seed Myu Kageyama (New Mexico), 7-6, 6-4.
Eve Daniels advanced with a walkover victory vs. Karla Grobbelaar (Arizona Christian) in the main draw of the white. She was upended by second seed and NM State’s Gavi Kalaga, 6-2, 6-1.
Thassane Abraham won her first set against Andrea Guerrero, 6-4, but came up short in both the second set (6-1) and the super breaker (10-6). In the consolation draw of the white bracket, she rolled to a straight set win (6-4, 6-3) against Sarah O’Connor (New Mexico).
Lina Sachica was bounced, 6-3, 6-3 by Chloe Gavino (NM State). She regrouped and crushed Livia Leite (WNMU), 6-0, 6-1, in the consolation draw of the crimson bracket.
Veronika Lebisova was dispatched, 6-2, 6-3, at the hands of Sanne Schalekamp (New Mexico). The sophomore recovered nicely to blast Vittoria Quadri (Arizona Christian), 6-0, 6-1.
UTEP continues play at the event through the weekend, with action beginning at 9 a.m. both on Saturday (Sept. 18) and Sunday (Sept. 19).