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Home | Tag Archives: UTEP Tennis (page 2)

Tag Archives: UTEP Tennis

Video+Story presented by GECU: Diverse UTEP Tennis Team looking to thrive in 2020 Season

The UTEP tennis team is comprised of 11 players from seven different countries, making it a melting pot of cultures both on and off the court.

The Miners have players from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, England, Italy, Mexico and the United State, giving them an extremely diverse roster. Yet instead of letting their differences divide them, head coach Ivan Fernandez’s squad has embraced its diversity while forming bonds as strong as any family unit.

“Vanessa (Valdez) and Erandi (Martinez) are the leaders,” Kathleen Percegona, a sophomore from Brazil said. “We can learn a lot from them, and it’s nice to be a part of this team with them.”

Valdez is humble with her leadership approach, crediting the whole team.

“Everyone has different personalities,” Valdez noted. “Everyone is a different asset for the team that makes us like a family.”

Percegona, who traveled more than 5,450 miles to venture to El Paso, is happy to be a part of team with a distinct international flavor.

“It’s really good to be here and to play with girls from all over the world,” Percegona said. “It’s really nice to be able to play and study (at UTEP). It’s been amazing for me. I feel really comfortable at UTEP because everyone is from somewhere (else), and we can learn about some other cultures and languages.”

Freshman Eve Daniels, who hails from England, feels the same way.

“Being part of a team with lots of different cultures is really fun,” Daniels stated. “It’s good for me because I’m learning some new Spanish words. Everyone gets along really well. We all help each other with different aspects of our day. It’s really nice, it’s like a family.”

Freshman Elena Dibattista, who came the farthest of anyone on the roster by venturing more than 6,200 miles from Italy, has already made strong connections with her teammates. She also has befriended members of the UTEP women’s basketball team, as by chance she was on the same flight as them during one of her five flights to arrive in El Paso.

Valdez is appreciative of the diversity the team presents.

“It’s pretty nice because you get to meet people from a lot of different cultures and traditions,” Valdez said. “Everyone gets to know each other more and about different traditions.”

Fernandez and assistant coach Joanna Furdyna do a good job working to develop strong relationships on the squad, on and off the court.

“The coaches really help with helping the team to support each other through the matches,” Daniels said. “They make sure we are doing team-bonding exercises, and that we support each other.”

There are a variety of ways the staff accomplishes this, as Valdez describes.

“We try to do a lot of activities outside of playing tennis and practices,” Valdez said. “Sometimes we have dinners or go to entertainment places. Every week we have a meeting, and everyone gets to talk about how they feel. If we had a match the week before, we get to talk about it. We talk about how we felt, things we need to improve.”

As unique of a dynamic there is to the Miners’ make-up as a squad, there’s also something special about being a team while playing an individual sport. But much like the meshing of personalities to become a family, UTEP done the same when figuring out how to build comradery on the court.

“Everyone is trying to hold each other accountable when we play,” Valdez said. “You are on the court by yourself, but you are also playing for your teammates. You turn around and see your teammates playing, and you know that you need to get more strength if you are in a difficult situation. You have to try to put (forward) your best in every match.”

That is a sentiment that is echoed by Percegona.

“Team chemistry is really important,” Percegona said. “We need to be able to take and give energy to each other. It’s really important to have trust in each other in order to play our best.”

Another area that everyone is agreement in is about what type of season UTEP is hoping to have this spring. The Miners got off to a good start to the year by blitzing Western New Mexico, 7-0, on Jan. 25, and aspire to build on that this weekend and beyond.

“We want to have a winning record,” Valdez says of team goals. “We also want to do very well in conference and advance as many rounds as we can (at the conference tournament).”

Percegona is optimistic as well.

“I think we can do amazing things together,” Percegona said. “I hope we can finish the year with good results with everyone really happy and satisfied.”

UTEP tripped Up By I-25 rival New Mexico 4-1

Lina Sáchica cruised to a win in straight sets, but the UTEP tennis team was dispatched by I-25 rival New Mexico, 4-1, at the El Paso Tennis & Swim Club Sunday afternoon.

“It was another tough day,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We are fighting on every court and were up on many courts and just couldn’t close it out. We are young and learning with every match. I’m extremely proud of Lina (Sáchica), who was able to close out her matches both days. She is showing great energy, and I hope the rest of the team can match that in the matches to come.”

The Lobos (1-1) took the early lead in the match after staking victories at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Bronte Murgett and Natasha Munday dispatched Vanessa Valdez and Erandi Martinez, 6-2, at the top slot. Kathleen Percegona and Maria Aveiga were clipped by Sara Kuuttila-Webbert and Myu Kageyama, 6-1, at No. 2 doubles.

With the doubles point decided the match at No. 3 went unfinished. UTEP’s Eve Daniels and Sáchica were leading the UNM tandem of Alisia Manolescu and Yue Lin Chen, 5-3, at the time it was halted.

The Miners (1-2) looked to rally in singles action behind Sáchica. The junior drilled Manolescu, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 3 singles for her second victory in as many days. UTEP battled on the other courts, but was unable to finish off matches.

Kuuttila-Webbert held off Valdez, 6-1, 7-5, at No. 1 singles. Martinez was bounced by Murgett, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 2 singles. Eve Daniels was knocked off by Danielle Quevedo, 7-5, 6-0, at No. 5 singles. Due to the team outcome being decided, two matches went unfinished.

In No. 4 singles Percegona dropped the first set to Munday, 7-5, but was leading the second set, 4-2, when action stopped. Aveiga lost the opening set to Kageyama, 6-4, at No. 6 singles. The second set was tied, 6-6, when play was halted.

UTEP will be back in action with a pair of matches next weekend. The Miners will face Idaho State in a neutral-site contest on Feb. 8 and then play at Utah State on Feb. 9.

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

New Mexico vs UTEP  |  Feb 02, 2020 at El Paso, Texas

(El Paso Tennis Club)

New Mexico 4, UTEP 1

Singles competition

  1. Sara Kuuttila-Webbert (NM) def. Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 6-1, 7-5
  2. Bronte Murgett (NM) def. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 6-1, 6-3
  3. Lina Sáchica (UTEP) def. Alisia Manolescu (NM) 6-3, 6-2
  4. Natasha Munday (NM) vs. Kathleen Percegona (UTEP)5-7, 4-2, unfinished
  5. Danielle Quevedo (NM) def. Eve Daniels (UTEP) 7-5, 6-0
  6. Maria Aveiga (UTEP) vs. Myu Kageyama (NM) 4-6, 6-6, unfinished

Doubles competition

  1. Bronte Murgett/Natasha Munday (NM) def. Vanessa Valdez/Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 6-2
  2. Sara Kuuttila-Webbert/Myu Kageyama (NM) def. Kathleen Percegona/Maria Aveiga (UTEP) 6-1
  3. Eve Daniels/Lina Sáchica (UTEP) vs. Alisia Manolescu/Yue Lin Chen (NM) 5-3, unfinished

Match Notes:

New Mexico 1-1

UTEP 1-2

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,3,5,1)

Abilene Christian hands UTEP Tennis 6-1 loss

The UTEP tennis team fought hard in a 6-1 setback to Abilene Christian on Saturday afternoon at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club.  Four of the six singles matches were decided in three sets, as the final score didn’t reflect the overall competitiveness of the match.

The Miners (1-1) lost the all-important doubles point to the Wildcats (2-3) to fall behind 1-0.  After Lina Sáchica knotted the score with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Allison Stewart at no. 3 singles, Abilene Christian rode victories from Ileana Mocciola (no. 5), Claire Fisher (no. 6), Andrea Guerrero (no. 4), Sarah Adams (no. 1) and Nini Memishishi (no. 2) to the team win.

UTEP’s Vanessa Valdez (no. 1 singles) and Maria Aveiga (no. 6) both won the first set 6-2 before their opponents rallied to victory.  Valdez dropped the third set, 7-5, to ACU’s Adams.  The Miners’ Kathleen Percegona was also involved in a highly competitive match at no. 4 singles, as she bowed out to ACU’s Guerrero 7-5, 7-5.

The Miners’ Erandi Martinez took ACU’s Memishishi to a third set before stumbling 6-4.  UTEP’s Eve Daniels lost her first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6, to the Wildcats’ Mocciola.

“We knew that it was going to be a tough battle coming into this match,” UTEP coach Ivan Fernandez said.  “Abilene Christian has already played a few [matches] this semester, so they’re coming in a little bit more seasoned than we are.  But I really enjoyed watching our girls compete.  This is probably the closest 6-1 score that you’ve ever going to see.  So many matches went to three sets.  I’m really proud of how the girls fought, and if this is a sign of how we’re going to compete this season, then I think there are a lot of good things ahead for us in the future.”

UTEP will wrap up its season-opening three-match homestand against long-time rival New Mexico on Sunday at noon at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club.  Admission is free.

“With the quick turnaround tomorrow against UNM, we need to make sure that we take care of our bodies today and get ready for another fight tomorrow,” Fernandez said.



1. Sarah Adams/Nini Memishishi (ACU) def. Maria Aveiga/Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 7-6

2. Andrea Guerrero/Ileana Mocciola (ACU) def. Erandi Martinez/Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) 6-3

3. Claire Fisher/Allison Stewart (ACU) def. Eve Daniels/Lina Sáchica (UTEP) 6-1


Doubles Order of Finish: 3,2,1


1. S. Adams (ACU) def. V. Valdez (UTEP) 2-6, 6-3, 7-5

2. N. Memishishi (ACU) def. E. Martinez (UTEP) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4

3. L. Sáchica (UTEP) d. A. Stewart (ACU) 6-1, 6-3

4. A. Guerrero (ACU) def. K. Percegona (UTEP) 7-5, 7-5

5. I. Mocciola (ACU) def. E. Daniels (UTEP) 7-6, 6-2

6. C. Fisher (ACU) def. M. Aveiga (UTEP) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3

Singles Order of Finish: 3,5,6,4,1,2

Records: UTEP 1-1, Abilene Christian 2-3

UTEP Tennis wraps up homestand with two matches this weekend

On the heels of a season-opening 7-0 thrashing of Western New Mexico, the UTEP tennis team (1-0) will cap its homestand by locking up with Abilene Christian (1-3) at 12 p.m. MT Saturday and long-time rival New Mexico (0-0) at 12 p.m. MT Sunday.

The matches will be held at the El Paso Tennis & Swim Club, and admission is free.

“We are pumped to be hosting Abilene Christian and New Mexico this weekend,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “They are both very strong teams, and we are going to have to compete extremely well in order to give ourselves the best chance to win. This will be a great test for us to see what we need to continue to work on to become the team we want to be this spring.”

Returnees Vanessa Valdez and Erandi Martinez set the tone in the victory against WNMU with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. Fellow returnee Kathleen Percegona picked up a win at No. 5 singles. UTEP was locked in across the board, posting straight set wins at every position for singles action.

There were three triumphs in singles action from newcomers, including a pair from true freshmen Eve Daniels and Elena Dibattista. Fellow newcomer Lina Sáchica, who tops the squad in overall wins, also took care of business in her singles match.

The Miners are aiming for a 2-0 start for the second time in three seasons under Fernandez. A pair of wins would afford UTEP its first 3-0 beginning to a campaign in four years

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletic.

UTEP Tennis blitzes Western New Mexico in Spring Opener

The new-look UTEP tennis team started the 2020 spring season in fine fashion, dominating Western New Mexico 7-0 on Saturday afternoon at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club.

The Miners, with a roster of 11 student-athletes including eight newcomers, secured the doubles point then swept six singles matches, all in straight sets.

“We started out a little slow at number one doubles, but two and three really stepped it up and won fairly easily,” UTEP coach Ivan Fernandez said.  “The first match is always a tough one, just because we’re trying to get the nerves out of the way and get the cobwebs out.  But we really came together as a team and were able to win all six singles.  I’m really proud of this group and I really do feel that as the season goes on, we’re just going to get better and better.”

The Miner doubles tandem of Maria Aveiga and Kathleen Percogona was the first to finish on court three, taking down the Mustangs’ Emma Oropeza and Julia Terrazas 6-1.

After WNMU notched a 6-1 triumph at no. 1 doubles, UTEP’s Eve Daniels and Lina Sáchica breezed past WNMU’s Kajsa Gedlitschka and Nicold Gonzalez 6-1 at no. 2 doubles to give the Miners the 1-0 lead entering the singles competition.

There was little drama in singles, as Vanessa Valdez (No. 1), Erandi Martinez (no. 2), Sáchica (no. 3), Daniels (no. 4), Percegona (no. 5) and Elena Dibattista (no. 6) all overwhelmed their opponents.

Sáchica and Daniels were the most dominant, dropping a combined three points to WNMU’s Nicold Gonzalez and Julia Terrazas, respectively.  Their efforts helped UTEP forge a 3-0 lead, and Dibattista clinched the team win with a 6-3, 6-3 conquest of Emma Oropeza.

“Abilene Christian and New Mexico are going to be very tough matches,” Fernandez said.  “They’re both very good teams.  We lost to both of them last year and we’re looking to turn that around.  I think as long as we compete hard and play together, we have an opportunity against both teams.  Our depth is what is going to get us through this season.  I have a lot of confidence in the team that we’ve built.”

The Miners (1-0) will continue their season-opening three-match homestand by taking on Abilene Christian next Saturday (Feb. 1) and long-time rival New Mexico next Sunday (Feb. 2) at the El Paso Tennis & Swim Club.

Both matches will start at noon.  Admission is free for all UTEP home tennis matches.

UTEP 7 – Western New Mexico 0


1. Camila Gomez/Julia Tozzi (WNMU) def. Elena Dibattista/Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 6-1

2. Eve Daniels/Lina Sáchica (UTEP) def. Kajsa Gedlitschka/Nicold Gonzalez (WNMU) 6-1

3. Maria Aveiga/Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) def. Emma Oropeza/Julia Terrazas (WNMU) 6-1


Doubles Order of Finish: 3,1,2


1. V. Valdez (UTEP) d. J. Tozzi (WNMU) 6-3, 6-3

2. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) d. C. Gomez (WNMU) 6-1, 6-2

3. L. Sáchica (UTEP) d. N. Gonzalez (WNMU) 6-2, 6-0

4. E. Daniels (UTEP) d. J. Terrazas (WNMU) 6-0, 6-1

5. K. Percegona (UTEP) d. K. Gedlitschka (WNMU) 6-2, 6-3

6. E. Dibattista (UTEP) d. E. Oropeza (WNMU) 6-3, 6-3


Singles Order of Finish: 3,4,6,5,2,1

Records: UTEP 1-0, Western New Mexico 0-1

UTEP Tennis adds Dibattista, Bonilla to roster

Freshmen Elena Dibattista and Lyric Bonilla have joined the Miner tennis team, UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez announced Thursday.

Dibattista will compete with the team in the 2020 spring season, while Bonilla will have to sit out after transferring from the University of Tennessee.

Lyric Bonilla – 5’2  |   San Antonio, Texas   |   Tennessee

Bonilla is a transfer who competed in the fall of 2019 at the University of Tennessee. While lthere, she collected four total wins (two singles, two doubles) in a pair of competitions with the Lady Vol.

A native of Texas , Bonilla was ranked in the top 10 of Texas Women’s Open Division, held national rankings for U12’s, U14’s and U16’s and has been playing tennis for seven years.

In high school, she was a four-year honor roll member, in addition to being a National Honor Society member, Spanish National Honor Society Member and graduated in the top-10 percent of her class.  Tennis runs in her family as her brother, Rudy, played tennis at UIW …

“Lyric…will bring a lot of experience and energy to this team,” UTEP tennis head coach, Ivan Fernandez shared.  “She is an extremely hard worker and extremely motivated to show everyone what she can do. She comes from a very close knit San Antonio family and I am very excited that she chose to come back home to Texas.”

Elena Dibattista 6’1   |   Agrigento, Italy  |   Istituto Comprensivo Rita Levi Montalcini

Dibattista won different tournaments in Italy, was a Sicilian champion when she was 16 and competed in a semifinal in a junior ITF event She also posted a straight set (6-3, 6-4 win) against Claudia Enache of Romania in an ITF event in Turkey in Sept. 2018 and bested Emma Mazzoni (France), 7-6, 6-4, in an ITF tournament in Norway in July 2018.

She took down fellow countrymate Emma Ferrini in the same month, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6, at a different ITF event; defeated Giuliana Di Peri, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in an IFT Tennis Europe event in Nov. 2016 and has been playing tennis for eight years.

“Elena is a very athletic and powerful player. Her game will fit in perfectly on our fast hard courts. She brings a lot of international experience and is a great addition to this program,” head coach Fernandez added.

Abrahim victorious as UTEP Tennis concludes action at ITA Mountain Regional

LAS VEGAS – Thássane Abrahim picked up a win in singles play as the UTEP tennis team wrapped up competition at the prestigious ITA Mountain Regionals on Friday.

“This event really showed us how much we need to work to be competitive in our region,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “The team is motivated to work hard to keep improving before our spring championship season.”

Abrahim set the tone for the Orange and Blue by dominating Leslie Fujitani (UNLV), 6-1, 6-0. Lina Sáchica locked up with Zara Ryan (Utah State). The junior secured the first set, 6-3, but couldn’t keep it going and fell, 6-3, 1-0 (10-3). Erandi Martinez was upended by Sydney Fitch (Air Force), 6-0, 6-4.

Eve Daniels was knocked off by Marta Magalhaes (Idaho), 7-6, 6-3. Kathleen Percegona was tripped up by Madison Wolfe (Northern Colorado), 6-2, 6-3.

The Miners have now concluded the fall portion of their schedule.

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

UTEP’s Valdez, Doubles Team emerge victorious on day one of ITA Mountain Regional

LAS VEGAS, Nv. –  Vanessa Valdez picked up a win in singles while UTEP also had a victory in doubles action on the opening day of the ITA Mountain Regional Tournament Wednesday.

“We had our ups and downs today,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We had some opportunities but could not capitalize on them. Thássane (Abrahim) and Erandi (Martinez) got a solid win in doubles but the No. 1 star today was Vanessa (Valdez) getting a solid win over UNLV in the top flight. We need to regroup and come out fighting tomorrow.”

The tournament commenced with doubles action. Erandi Martinez and Thássane Abrahim drilled Sandra Keta/Synclair Larson (Northern Colorado), 8-1, to advance in the main draw of doubles play. Valdez and Maria Aveiga fell, 6-3 retired, against Ana Fernandez/ Ana Royo (Wyoming).

Lina Sáchica and Eve Daniels were tripped up, 8-0, by Antonia Balzert/Maria Campos (Colorado).

Valdez showed off her resiliency by rallying past Connie Li (UNLV) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Sáchica was upended by No. 2 seed TJ Famagalli (Air Force), 6-2, 6-1. Martinez fell, 6-3, 6-1, to Balzert (Colorado).

The Miners will continue action at the tournament on Thursday.

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

Sáchica Wins Flight Title at SDSU Fall Invite

SAN DIEGO, Ca. – Lina Sáchica posted a win in straight sets to take home the title in her flight on the final day of action for the UTEP tennis team at the SDSU Fall Invite Sunday.

Sáchica cruised past Lauren Anderson (CSUN), 6-2, 6-0, to cap off her perfect 3-0 run through her bracket. She also teamed up with Eve Daniels to secure runner-up honors after a narrow 6-4 setback to Autumn Prudhomme/Celia Morel (GCU).

“We had another solid day today,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Lina (Sáchica) and Eve (Daniels) finished in second place in their doubles. Lina won her singles flight and Eve won her singles match. I’m very proud of Lina for winning her flight. She has been improving with every match and every tournament. Overall, we played and competed well for the most part. We still have some work to do in order to continue on this upward path.”

Erandi Martinez and Thássane Abrahim knocked off Martina Lo Pumo/ Ludovica Infantino (GCU), 6-4. Kathleen Percegona and Maria Aveiga were tripped up by Jolene Coetzee/ Ana Fraile Tobosco (CSUN), 6-2.

Daniels joined Sáchica in the win column as well in singles action after she defeated Stella Carra (McNeese State), 6-1, 6-3.

Martinez battled but came up short to Katya Hersh (Utah), 6-1, 3-6 (12-10). Thássane Abrahim fell to Julia Jordan (SDSU), 6-0, 6-0

UTEP will be idle until it returns to action at the ITA Mountain Regionals Oct. 23-26.

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

Miners secure wins in both singles and doubles play on Day One Of SDSU Invite

SAN DIEGO – Thássane Abrahim, Erandi Martinez and Lina Sáchica all picked up wins in straight sets to lead the way for the UTEP tennis team on the opening day of action at the SDSU Fall Classic on Friday.

Additionally Eve Daniels and Sáchica worked well together in a victory during doubles play.

“We some good wins today starting with Lina (Sáchica) and Eve (Daniels) in doubles,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Erandi (Martinez) and Thássane (Abrahim) had chances but couldn’t close it out. In singles. Vanessa (Valdez) and Eve competed very well but lost close matches. Erandi, Thássane and Lina came out on top today in singles. There was very good energy today. It was great to see us compete so well. I hope we can follow that with another strong day tomorrow.”

Martinez rolled over Celina Buhr (GCU), 6-2, 6-4. Abrahim followed suit by toppling Martina Lo Pumo (GCU), 6-4, 6-3. Sáchica also got in on the action by defeating Autumn Prudhomme (GCU), 7-6 (3), 6-1.

Vanessa Valdez was upended by Tamara Arnold (SDSU), 6-3, 7-5. Daniels fought hard only to fall to Ludovica Infantino (GCU), 6-4, 6-3.

In doubles play Daniels and Sáchica teamed up to cruise past Madison McKay (Utah)/Lauren Anderson (CSUN), 6-2.

Martinez and Abrahim battled only to be edged by Emma Roenholt/Lisa Marie Wurst (CSUN), 6-4. Kathleen Percegona and Maria Aveiga were bested by Nnena Nadozie/ Alicia Melosch (SDSU), 6-0, in the red doubles draw.

UTEP will continue play at the event on Saturday.

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

UTEP Tennis to compete at SDSU Fall Classic

The UTEP tennis team will send seven individuals to take part in the SDSU Fall Classic from Friday through Sunday.

The Miners will compete alongside players from Cal State Northridge, Grand Canyon, McNeese State, San Diego State, San Jose State and Utah.

“We have been looking forward to this San Diego tournament for a while since we will see all seven starters compete at the same event,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “The SDSU invitational has always been a great event with extremely tough competition. We hope to really come together as a team and compete well against some solid teams. This will really show us where we are as a team and what we need to continue to work on before our ITA Regional Tournament in Las Vegas in October.”

Thássane Abrahim, Maria Aveiga, Eve Daniels, Erandi Martinez, Kathleen Percegona, Lina Sáchica and Vanessa Valdez will all be in action in the same tournament for the first time of the year. In the first two fall tournaments of the season, UTEP sent four individuals.

The Miners will have three different doubles tandems while five individuals will compete in singles action. Sáchica sports a team-best mark of 3-1 in singles play. She was also 3-1 in doubles while teaming up with Valdez at the NM State Aggie Invite to win the title in the back draw at the event.

Each day of the tournament is slated to commence at 10 a.m. MT with three brackets of doubles action, followed by play in six singles brackets.

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

Valdez And Sáchica Win Doubles Back Draw Title At NM State Aggie Fall Invite

LAS CRUCES – Vanessa Valdez and Lina Sáchica took home the crown in the doubles back draw to cap the action for the UTEP tennis team at the NM State Aggie Fall Invite on Sunday. Additionally, Sáchica picked up another win in singles play.

“It was a good finish to the tournament,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Vane (Vanessa Valdez) and Lina (Sáchica) won the back draw of the top doubles flight while Lina closed out the weekend with another win. Overall it was a positive weekend. Now we get back to work before heading off to San Diego this Thursday.”

Valdez and Sáchica dominated Nicold Gonzalez and Kajsa Gedlitchska (WNMU), 6-0, in the back draw finals. It marked the duo’s third straight victory at the event.

Sáchica then took care of business in singles play, dispatching Melissa Ariza (UTPB), 6-0, 6-0, to take home third place in the Crimson Draw.

UTEP will be back in action when it plays at the SDSU Invite September 27-29.

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

Doubles Tandem Advances To Finals Of Back Draw At NM State Aggie Fall Invite

LAS CRUCES – Vanessa Valdez and Lina Sáchica advanced to the finals of the consolation draw doubles round as the UTEP tennis team concluded its second day of action at the NM State Aggie Fall Invite Saturday.

Sáchica and Ana Gonzalez also picked up wins in singles play in a day that was marred by several rain delays.

“Today was a solid day,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We had chances to make it a great day but lost two super tiebreaker matches. Tomorrow, Vanessa (Valdez) and Lina (Sáchica) play in the main draw of the consolation doubles final at 9 a.m. Lina will also be playing for third place in consolation singles side of the draw. Ana (Gonzalez) and Ailyn Castañeda completed play today by finishing in a tie for second place in the Grey Singles Draw.”

Valdez and Sáchica bested the pairing of Melissa Ariza Gonzalez and Maria Briones (UTPB), 6-2, to punch their ticket to the championship in the back draw of doubles action.

Sáchica also got the best of Briones (UTPB) in singles play by virtue of a 6-3, 6-1 outcome. Following two rain delays, she won the opening set in the match against Ileana Mocciola (ACU), 6-0. The junior dropped the next set, 6-1, and couldn’t close out the super tiebreaker in a narrow 12-10 defeat.

Gonzalez got in the win column for the initial occasion of her collegiate career, besting Nelia Williams (UTPB) in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. Castañeda tried to follow suit only to fall to Julia Terrazas (WNMU), 6-4, 4-6, 10-5.

UTEP will wrap up its play at the event on Sunday.

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

UTEP Tennis to compete at NM State Aggie Fall Invite

The UTEP tennis team will compete in its second fall tournament in as many weeks when it heads up I-10 to take part in the NM State Aggie Fall Invite Friday through Sunday.

The Miners will lock up with players from Abilene Christian, NM State, UIW, UTPB and Western New Mexico during the three-day event. Play will commence at 9 a.m. MT with two rounds of doubles matches before singles action starts at 11:30 a.m. MT.

Ailyn Castañeda, Ana Gonzalez and Lina Sáchica will make their Miner debut while lone senior Vanessa Valdez will also compete in the annual event.

“I’m very excited to see this other group of girls play,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “This will be some very solid competition at the NM State Invite. These four ladies are ready to compete so it will be good to see how they match up against some other teams.”

Sáchica played two years at Lindsey Wilson College, helping the squad win a pair of conference crowns and compete at the NAIA National Championships.

“I just want to give my best and have good results,” Sáchica said. “I’m ready to support my team, and I hope they support me too.”

Castañeda was a four-year letter winner at Americas HS who finished in third place at the district tournament each season. She will now continue her tennis career at the collegiate level, representing her hometown Miners.

“I’m really excited about starting my career,” Castañeda said. “I’m looking forward to playing college tennis, for all the experiences that I’m going to have and for all the new girls I’m going to meet.”

Gonzalez also hails from El Paso, having competed as the No. 1 singles player during the entirety of her prep career with Loretto Academy HS.

“I’m real excited for this tournament this weekend in Las Cruces,” Gonzalez said. “I hope to do well, play good, have good results and give my best.”

Valdez, the lone senior on the squad, will play exclusively in doubles this weekend. Last year she tied for the team lead with 17 doubles triumph (17-11 overall).

“The example that I’m trying to set for my team is a lot of commitment,” Valdez said. “There’s a lot of pride to get to go this tournament. This is the first time they (Ailyn Castañeda, Ana Gonzalez and Lina Sáchica) are competing for us, and I’m excited for them to represent UTEP with me.’

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

UTEP Tennis wraps up play at Midland Racquet Club Intercollegiate Invitational

MIDLAND – Erandi Martinez advanced to the semifinals of consolation play before bowing out to set the tone for the UTEP tennis team on its final day of action at the Midland Racquet Club Intercollegiate Invitational on Saturday.

“We had another tough day today,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Erandi (Martinez) won, then lost in the semifinals of the consolation draw. Mafer (Maria Aveiga) fought hard in her consolation quarterfinal match, falling in three sets. Mafer and Tuca (Thássane Abrahim) lost in their main draw doubles match to a solid team from Lamar. Eve (Daniels) and Tuca played some exhibition singles matches, but also lost in three sets. We fought hard today, but just couldn’t get going. We will head home tomorrow and get back to work. This is a great event, and it showed us how much work we have to do. I am confident we will get there in due time.”

Martinez secured a spot in the semifinals of the back draw by advancing past Helena Jansen (TJC), 3-1, retired. Her run came to an end with a 6-2, 6-3, setback against Rishona Lewis (Texas State).

Aveiga had pushed Lewis to three sets before falling, 4-6, 6-3, 11-9.

In the main draw of doubles, UTEP’s tandem of Abrahim and Aveiga was upended by Biana Vitale and Natalia Molina (Lamar), 8-2.

The Miners will return to the courts when they compete at the NM State Aggie Invitational from Sept. 20-22.

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

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