UTEP Tennis, Monday, January 8, 2018, in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre/UTEP Communications
Riding a season-long three-match winning streak, the UTEP tennis team will play host to I-10 rival NM State at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The Miners (7-12) will recognize Maria Paula Medina, Milou Pietersz and Yvette van Oijen prior to the match against the Aggies (12-8).
“We are really excited to be closing out the regular season at home Saturday,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “It is great to be able to honor our seniors for their time and commitment to UTEP. We have been competing very well lately. We look to continue that on Saturday before heading off to the C-USA championships next week.”
A win against NM State would be the first in the series in three years. It would also result in the longest winning streak (four) to close out the regular season at the school since at least 1990-91 (prior records incomplete). Furthermore, the Orange and Blue are 5-1 at home and have a shot to finish with just one setback in the Sun City for the first time since 2014-15 (8-1).
The Aggies carry a 2-7 road record into the weekend. They will play at New Mexico at 10 a.m. MT Friday before making the trip to El Paso on Saturday.
Freshman Kirsten Prelle enters the weekend having won three consecutive matches at No. 1 singles. She has produced team-best records in both overall (20-8) and dual (11-5) competition.
Sophomore Erandi Martinez, freshman Rine Nozaki, junior Vanessa Valdez and the senior van Oijen are all riding two-match streaks. The recent uptick has pushed Martinez to 7-8 in dual action, including 7-4 when playing at No. 3 singles. Van Oijen follows with six dual triumphs while Nozaki and fellow classmate Kathleen Percegona each have five.
Following the match with NM State, the Miners will turn their attention to the 2019 C-USA Championships (April 18-21) at Rice in Houston, Texas.