LAS CRUCES – Freshman Kirsten Prelle defeated Natasha Munday (New Mexico), 6-4, 6-2, to win the singles championship on the UTEP tennis team’s final day of competition at the NM State Aggie Invite Sunday.
It is the first fall flight title by a Miner since 2016 when Raven Bennett also topped the field at the event.
In doubles play the tandem of Prelle/Vanessa Valdez garnered runner-up accolades following a 3-6, 6-4, 10-5, setback in the final vs. Lindsay Harlas/Harsha Challa (NM State).
“Kirsten (Prelle) composed herself after doubles and played with focus and determination,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Kirsten is continually getting better. I’m very proud of her and the rest of the team for an incredibly positive weekend. I know Vanessa (Valdez) and Kirsten (Prelle) learned a lot from this loss (in the finals). The next time they are in this position, I know they will handle it differently.”
Rine Nozaki/Erandi Martinez cruised to a 6-4, 6-3 doubles win vs. Chloe Gavino/Nadia Justiniano (NM State). Martinez continued her winning ways in singles action, waxing Carolina Torrico (WNMU), 6-0, 6-0.
Nozaki was bested by Clara Rizea, 6-2, 6-0, in the battle for third place. Valdez lost in a close three-set affair, 7-5, 4-6, 10-6, in the consolation final against Bhargavi Kalaga (NM State).
The Miners will be back on the courts when they take part in the San Diego State University Invite from Sept. 28-30.