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Home | Tag Archives: UTEP Tennis (page 3)

Tag Archives: UTEP Tennis

UTEP Tennis Upended By Weber State 5-2

LAS VEGAS, Nv. – Freshman Kirsten Prelle and sophomore Erandi Martinez each picked up a win in singles play in the UTEP tennis team’s 5-2 defeat in a neutral-site match with Weber State on Friday

. Prelle also teamed forces with classmate Kathleen Percegona to emerge victorious in a doubles match

The doubles point was close but ultimately went to the Wildcats, and the Miners’ efforts to rally fell short in singles play.

“We had great chance to win the doubles point,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Kirsten (Prelle) and Kathleen (Percegona) played great at No. 1. We couldn’t close at No. 2. In the singles, we fought super hard. Kirsten and Erandi (Martinez) both won. They played extremely well and fought very hard. We had chances on many of the courts but couldn’t make it work. It was a great learning experience, and we are still getting better with every match.”

WSU’s Megan Lombardi and Cali Fuller bested Rine Nozaki and Erandi Martinez at No. 3 doubles play, 6-2, but UTEP countered. Prelle and Percegona were in top form, cruising past Yuuna Ukita and McKenna Lloyd, 6-1, at the top slot. That put the focus on No. 2 doubles where Vanessa Valdez and Yvette Van Oijen battled but came up just short, 6-4, against Sara Parker and Patty Kuo.

Following a brief break, singles play began. Prelle took care of business at No. 1, defeating Kuo, 7-6, 6-3. Martinez also got in the win column at No.3 singles, derailing Fuller, 6-4, 6-2.

Nozaki gave Lombardi everything she could handle at No. 5 singles. She dropped the first set, 6-2, before responding to take the second set, 7-6. It was a back-and-forth battle in the super tiebreaker, with Lombardi managing a 10-8 win. Valdez squared off with Ukita at No. 2 singles, falling 6-4, 6-2. Percegona was upended by Dickason, 6-4, 6-0, at No. 4 singles while Van Oijen was edged by Lloyd, 6-4, 7-5, at No. 6 singles.

UTEP will lock up with UNLV in a true road match at 11 a.m. MT Saturday.

Weber State 5, UTEP 2

Singles competition

  1. Kirsten Prelle (UTEP) def. Patty Kuo (WSU) 7-6, 6-3
  2. Yuuna Ukita (WSU) def. Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 6-4, 6-2
  3. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) def. Cali Fuller (WSU) 6-4, 6-2
  4. Morgan Dickason (WSU) def. Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) 6-4, 6-0
  5. Megan Lombardi (WSU) def. Rine Nozaki (UTEP) 6-2, 6-7, 10-8
  6. McKenna Lloyd (WSU) def. Yvette Van Oijen (UTEP) 6-4, 7-5

Doubles competition

  1. Kirsten Prelle/Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) def. Yuuna Ukita/McKenna Lloyd (WSU) 6-1
  2. Sara Parker/Patty Kuo (WSU) def. Vanessa Valdez/Yvette Van Oijen (UTEP) 6-4
  3. Megan Lombardi/Cali Fuller (WSU) def. Rine Nozaki/Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 6-2

Match Notes:

Weber State 3-2

UTEP 1-3

Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,6,2,1,3,5)

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UTEP Tennis Falls In Rain-Shortened Match At North Texas 4-0

DENTON, Texas – The UTEP tennis team fell at fellow Conference USA foe North Texas, 4-0, in a match that was shortened to singles play and moved indoors due to inclement weather on Saturday.

The match was slated to begin at 11 a.m. MT but was delayed until 4 p.m. MT and moved indoors due to the weather. Due to a time crunch, the doubles portion of the match was cancelled. The homestanding Mean Green picked up victories at No. 1, No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6 to clinch the outcome against the Miners (1-2). The match-ups at No. 2 and No. 3 singles were halted.

“We lost 4-0, but competed super well under tough conditions,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “I’m very proud of the girls, and how they competed against one of the top teams in C-USA. It was great to experience where we want to be in a couple of years.”

Freshman Kirsten Prelle battled but fell, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1 singles to Tamuna Kutubidze. Transfer Vanessa Valdez was upended, 6-1, 6-3, against Maria Kononova at No. 2 singles.

Senior Yvette Van Oijen was knocked off, 6-1, 6-3, by Ivana Babic at No. 6 singles. Freshman Rine Nozaki was dispatched by Minying Liang, at No. 5 singles.

UTEP will continue the stretch of having five straight matches outside of El Paso when it ventures to Las Vegas for three matches in as many days from Feb. 8-10. The Miners will lock up with Weber State (Feb. 8), at UNLV (Feb. 9) and against Youngstown State (Feb. 10).

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UTEP Tennis Battles In 6-1 Setback At UT-Arlington

ARLINGTON – Freshman Rine Nozaki tasted victory at No. 5 singles and the UTEP tennis team was competitive in the majority of the matches in a 6-1 setback at undefeated UT-Arlington Friday. The match was delayed several hours due to rain.

“There was great energy today,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “It was very close in the doubles, and we were in all the matches. It was much closer than the (team) score shows. We had chances at No. 1 and No. 3 (singles) that were lost in super tiebreakers. It was great to see the girls fighting so hard. This was a great test today.”

The Mavericks (3-0) claimed the doubles point but the Miners (1-1) made them work for it. At the No. 3 slot UTEP’s Erandi Martinez and Rine Nozaki were clipped, 6-4, by the pairing of Carla Vives and Almudena Boza. It was a similar story at the No. 2 position, with the Miner tandem of Vanessa Valdez and Yvette Van Oijen being edged, 6-4, by Carla Pons and Momoka Horiguchi. With the doubles point decided, the battle at No. 1 doubles between UTEP’s freshmen pairing of Kirsten Prelle and Kathleen Percegona and UTA’s Lucia Natal and Nanaka Takeuchi was halted, 5-5.

Action then switched to singles play, where Nozaki provided a win for the Orange and Blue against Vives. Nozaki won the first set, 7-5, dropped the second set by the identical score and then put things away with a 10-5 result in the super tiebreaker.

Prelle started strong by taking the first set, 6-3, against Horiguchi at No. 1 singles. She was dispatched by the same score in the second set and then came up short in the super tiebreaker, 10-3. A super tiebreaker was also required at No. 3 singles in the match-up between Pons and Martinez. The sophomore fell, 6-2, in the initial set before bouncing back to stake the second set, 6-4. In the super tiebreaker, Martinez was derailed, 10-3.

Valdez locked up with Natal at No. 2 singles. The transfer battled only to lose the first set, 6-4. She went down in the second set, 6-2. Milena Baigorria was saddled with a 6-0, 6-0 setback at the hands of Boza at No. 6 singles.

The Miners will be back in action Saturday, playing at fellow Conference USA foe North Texas (2-2) at 11 a.m. MT/12 p.m. CT.

Singles competition
1. Momoka Horiguchi (UTA) def. Kirsten Prelle (UTEP) 3-6, 6-3, 10-3
2. Lucia Natal (UTA) def. Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 6-4, 6-2
3. Carla Pons (UTA) def. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 6-2, 4-6, 10-3
4. Nanaka Takeuchi (UTA) def. Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) 6-3, 6-2
5. Rine Nozaki (UTEP) def. Carla Vives (UTA) 7-5, 5-7, 10-5
6. Almudena Boza (UTA) def. Milena Baigorria (UTEP) 6-0, 6-0

Doubles competition
1. Kirsten Prelle/Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) vs. Lucia Natal/Nanaka Takeuchi (UTA) no result
2. Carla Pons/Momoka Horiguchi (UTA) def. Vanessa Valdez/Yvette Van Oijen (UTEP) 6-4
3. Carla Vives/Almudena Boza (UTA) def. Erandi Martinez/Rine Nozaki (UTEP) 6-4

Match Notes:
UTEP 1-1
UT-Arlington 3-0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,2,4,1,3,5)

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UTEP Tennis Topples Western New Mexico 7-0, In Dual-Match Opener

The UTEP tennis team turned in a strong performance across the board in a 7-0 win against Division II Western New Mexico to start the 2019 dual-match season on a high note at the El Paso Tennis Club Saturday afternoon.

The Miners (1-0) took the doubles point to secure the early lead before cruising to straight-set victories in singles action to topple the Mustangs.

“We had a solid day all around today,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “There was great energy from the doubles all the way through the singles. I’m very proud of this team and their effort. It’s nice to see all the hard work these last two weeks become reality. I’m looking forward to see where the rest of the spring takes us.”

Action commenced in doubles play, with the tandem of Vanessa Valdez and Yvette Van Oijen making quick work of Karina Diaz/Nicold Gonzalez, 6-0, at the No. 2 position. The Miners locked up the doubles point after Rine Nozaki and Erandi Martinez drilled Christine Roerick/Kaycie Cormier, 6-0, at No. 3 doubles. For good measure the freshmen pairing of Kirsten Prelle/Kathleen Percegona bested Camila Gomez/Julia Tozzi, 6-3.

Focus then switched to singles action, with the Orange and Blue continuing to cruise. Nozaki got things started with a 6-1, 6-2, vanquishing of Gonzalez at the fifth spot. Martinez bested Gomez, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 3 singles. Fittingly the senior Van Oijen, making her first appearance of the season after missing the fall, officially clinched the team triumph by defeating Roerick, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 6 singles.

Valdez tasted victory by toppling Jayci Fulgenzi, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 2 singles. Prelle knocked off Tozzi, 6-1, 6-3, at the top slot. Percegona, who arrived at UTEP earlier this month, picked up her first career singles win with a 6-4, 6-2 vanquishing of Diaz at No. 4 singles to put the finishing touches on the match.

UTEP will have a quick turnaround, taking to the road to lock up with UT-Arlington (Feb. 1) and North Texas (Feb. 2).
UTEP 7, WNMU 0
Singles competition
1. Kirsten Prelle (UTEP) def. Julia Tozzi~ (WNMU) 6-1, 6-3
2. Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) def. Jayci Fulgenzi (WNMU) 6-2, 6-1
3. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) def. Camila Gomez (WNMU) 6-0, 6-3
4. Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) def. Karina Diaz (WNMU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Rine Nozaki (UTEP) def. Nicold Gonzalez (WNMU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Yvette Van Oijen (UTEP) def. Christine Roerick (WNMU) 6-1, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Kirsten Prelle/Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) def. Camila Gomez/Julia Tozzi~ (WNMU) 6-3
2. Vanessa Valdez/Yvette Van Oijen (UTEP) def. Karina Diaz/Nicold Gonzalez (WNMU) 6-0
3. Rine Nozaki/Erandi Martinez (UTEP) def. Christine Roerick/Kaycie Cormier (WNMU) 6-0

Match Notes:
WNMU 0-0
UTEP 1-0

Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,3,6,2,1,4)

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Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post

UTEP Tennis To Host To Western New Mexico In 2019 Dual-Match Opener Saturday

The UTEP tennis team will square off against Division II member Western New Mexico in its 2019 dual-match opener at the El Paso Tennis Club at 12 p.m. MT Saturday.

“After two weeks of practice we are ready to finally begin competing,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “The team has been working extremely hard in practice and they are very excited to get started. We are looking forward to getting our newcomer Kathleen (Percegona) on the court. I have been very impressed with the play of Erandi (Martinez) and Vanessa (Valdez) the last couple of weeks. Yvette (Van Oijen), who is coming off an injury, has made tremendous strides to recover and is also ready to play. It will be great to see how we compete as a team and to kick off our spring season.”

Admission is free, and there will be a free clinic with the team following the match.

It is the first of 19 dual matches on tap in the spring for the Miners, with seven slated for home. The other home contests include match-ups with UTSA (Feb. 22), the University of Central Oklahoma (Feb. 23), Utah State (Feb. 24), Boise State (April 5), UT-Tyler (April 6) and NM State (April 13).

Saturday’s match marks the second straight year that the Orange and Blue will open up the spring against the Lady Mustangs. UTEP posted a pair of 7-0 wins to start the season strong on Jan. 20, 2018.

Freshman Kirsten Prelle paced the Miners in the fall tournament season, posting a team-best singles record of 9-3. She won six straight matches at one point, including taking home a singles title at the Aggie Fall Invite. Fellow classmate Percegona arrived at UTEP in January, and will look to follow in her footsteps. Martinez and Valdez both picked up four wins in the fall while Nozaki secured three.

Following the match with WNMU, UTEP will take to the road to lock up with UT-Arlington (Feb. 1) and North Texas (Feb. 2).

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UTEP Tennis To Compete At ITA Mountain Regional Tournament

The UTEP tennis team will join other top teams in its region when it competes at the ITA Mountain Regional Tournament (Las Vegas, Nv.) from Tuesday through Sunday.

“This tournament is what we have been working towards these last six weeks,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “The team is coming off some good results, and we are looking forward to see how we compete with all the teams in the region.”

The Miners have amassed 17 singles wins in a trio of fall tournaments thus far. Freshman Kirsten Prelle paces the unit at 7-2 but Vanessa Valdez (four wins), Erandi Martinez and Rine Nozaki (three victories each) have also shown flashes.

Prelle, who became the first Miner freshman to win a flight tournament title since 2010, has joined forces with Valdez to forge a mark of 6-3 in doubles action. Martinez and Nozaki have teamed up to go 2-2 in doubles play.

The tournament will pit the Orange and Blue against other high-quality competition from the Mountain Region.

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UTEP Tennis Has Solid Final Day At SDSU Fall Invite

SAN DIEGO – Kirsten Prelle/Vanessa Valdez secured third place in the top flight of doubles action with a 7-5 conquest of Meredith Jones/Ashleigh Harvey (Air Force) to highlight the action for the UTEP tennis team on the last day of competition at the San Diego State University Fall Invite Sunday.

Individually Prelle garnered runner-up accolades after coming up short in a three-set battle, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, to Nnena Nadozie (SDSU) in the finals.

“Overall we had a solid finish to the weekend,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “It was great to see everyone fighting hard and showing a lot of Miner pride in the last day of this event. This is three weekends in a row of great competition and solid results from everyone. We are learning a lot and will continue to improve. We have a couple of days off before we get back to training for the ITA Regional Tournament on Oct. 10.”

Sophomore Erandi Martinez toppled Ludovica Infantino (Grand Canyon), 6-3, 6-3, to clinch the consolation back draw in her flight. Freshman Rine Nozaki followed suit by knocking off Valentina Mokrova (Grand Canyon), 6-4, 6-4, to claim the crown in her back draw.

Milena Baigorria was upended, 6-4, 6-2, by Ludovica Infantino (SDSU). Valdez was dispatched, 6-2, 6-2, against Celia Morel (Grand Canyon).

In doubles play Baigorria/Nozaki had a close call but fell, 7-6 (3) vs. Abbie Mulbarger/ Aesha Patel (SDSU)

The Miners will return to the courts when they play at the ITA Mountain Regional Tournament from October 10-14.

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Prelle Punches Ticket To Championship Round At SDSU Fall Classic

SAN DIEGO, Ca. – Freshman Kirsten Prelle picked up her sixth consecutive singles win while also securing a spot in the finals with a thrilling three-set victory to lead the way for the UTEP tennis team on the second day of the San Diego State University Fall Classic Saturday.

Prelle started strong by taking the first set against Jolene Coetzee (Cal State Northridge), 6-1. Coetzee struck back to secure the second set, 6-2. Prelle regrouped and found another gear to win the final set and the match, 6-1. She will lock up with Nnena Nadozie (SDSU) in the finals on Sunday.

“I wish that we had competed a little bit better in doubles, but again this is a work in progress,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez. “As long as they fight and support each other, I know that the results will come.”

Sophomore Erandi Martinez showed off her mettle by rallying for a three-set triumph, 0-6, 7-5, 6-3, against Agustina Rimoldi Godoy (SDSU) in the consolation round. Freshman Rine Nozaki also regained her winning ways in the back draw, dropping Lauren Anderson (SDSU), 6-3, 7-6 (5).

Valdez was upended, 6-3, 6-2, by Emilia Occhipinti (Grand Canyon). Milena Baigorria fell, 6-1, 6-1, to Ludovica Infantino (Grand Canyon).

In doubles play Baigorria/Nozaki were downed, 6-3, by Lauren Anderson/ Ellie Ashley (SDSU). Prelle/Valdez were dispatched in a close call, 7-6 (4), by TJ Fumagalli/Kristin Kerrigan (Air Force). The duo will vie for third place on Sunday.

The Miners will wrap up the tournament on Sunday.

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UTEP Tennis To Play At San Diego State University Fall Classic This Weekend

The UTEP tennis team will compete in its third fall tournament in as many weeks when it plays at the San Diego State University Fall Classic from Friday through Sunday.

The Miners will join Air Force, Cal State Northridge, Grand Canyon and host SDSU to help comprise the field.

The tournament will begin at 10 a.m. (MT) each day with two doubles brackets. There will be five brackets of singles play that will immediately follow the doubles competition on all three days of the event.

“We are very excited for this event,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We have been going for many years, and it is always great competition. Kirsten (Prelle) and Vanessa (Valdez) are coming off a solid weekend at NM State. I am glad to have Milena (Baigorria) back from her injury and am looking forward to having her competing again. Erandi (Martinez) finished last weekend with two good wins. I know she is finding her rhythm again. Rine (Nozaki), who was also impressive last weekend, will pair up with Milena (Baigorria) in doubles this weekend. Our goal to keep improving every week is our main focus for this invite so we can hopefully be in peak form for the ITA Regional Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev., in two weeks.”

Prelle enters the weekend at 5-1 in singles play on the season, which includes four straight wins. She claimed the singles flight title at the NM State Aggie Fall Invite (Sept. 23-25), which allowed her to become the first UTEP freshman to achieve the feat since Rebeca Calvillo also did it in 2010.

Valdez follows with four singles victories. Prelle/Valdez have also teamed up to produce the top mark (4-2) on the squad in doubles play.

Nozaki picked up a pair of singles wins in her collegiate debut at the NM State Aggie Fall Invite. She also joined forces with Martinez to secure two triumphs on the doubles courts at the event. Martinez enters this weekend riding a two-match win streak in singles play. Baigorria will be back in action after missing the NM State Aggie Fall Invite with an injury.

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Prelle Claims Singles Crown On Final Day Of NM State Aggie Invite

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.

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UTEP Tennis Shines On Second Day Of NM State Aggie Invite

LAS CRUCES – Kirsten Prelle and Vanessa Valdez punched a ticket to the championship round in doubles play while Prelle did so in singles action on a quality second day of competition for the UTEP tennis team at the NM State Aggie Invite Saturday.

“It was a solid showing today in both singles and doubles,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Kirsten (Prelle) and Vanessa (Valdez) were very solid in doubles and singles today. Having a Miner in both the singles and doubles finals shows that the hard work we are putting in at practice is paying off. Regardless of the results we are getting better with every match. I’m very proud of this Miner team.”

Prelle/Valdez ousted Rebecca Keijzerwaard/Bhargavi Kalaga (NM State), 6-3, 7-5, in the semifinals. It marked the duo’s third consecutive win at the event. The tandem will face Lindsay Harlas/Harsha Challa (NM State) in the finals on Sunday.
Rine Nozaki/Erandi Martinez played well only to fall in a close contest, 6-4, 3-6, 10-3, at the hands of Yadira Rubio/Neus Torregrosa (NM State).

Prelle, a freshman, impressed by sinking senior and the No. 1 player for New Mexico (Ruth Copas), 5-7, 6-3, 10-6. For an encore she took down the No. 1 player from homestanding NM State (Keijzerwaard), 6-2, 6-0, to advance to the finals on Sunday.

Nozaki dispatched Madison Hoelting (UTPB) in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0. In the ensuing round she was bounced by Chloe Gavino (NM State), 6-1, 6-1.

Valdez toppled Carolina Torrico (WNMU), 6-2, 6-2. She won by default over Neus Torregrosa (NM State) to reach the finals of the consolations.

Martinez fell to Bhargavi Kalaga (NM State), 6-3, 6-0. She regrouped nicely with a 6-3, 6-2, triumph vs. Sabrina Sanchez Chavez (Mesa Community College).

UTEP will wrap up the event on Sunday.

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UTEP Thrives In Doubles Play On Opening Day Of NM State Aggie Invite

LAS CRUCES – Kirsten Prelle and Vanessa Valdez claimed a pair of doubles matches to highlight play for the UTEP tennis team on the first day of competition at the NM State Aggie Invite.

“We started out the day incredibly positive in the doubles, lots of energy and communication,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “The fact that Kirsten and Vanessa were able to pull out the second match the way that they did was great. They just stepped up and took care of business. We knew we weren’t going to have any easy matches (in singles play). We showed a lot of improvement from last week to this week. I’m very happy with the core of this team. I like the direction that we are going in for sure.”

Action commenced with doubles, with a unique format of best two out of three sets (to six). The change didn’t affect UTEP, which cruised to victories in both of its matches. Prelle/Valdez blanked Brooke MacLay/Sabrina Sanchez-Chavez (Mesa Community College), 6-0, 6-0. On the other court the Orange and Blue’s Rine Nozaki/Erandi Martinez rolled to a 6-0, 6-3, win vs. Fulgenzi-Roerick (WNMU).

Prelle/Valdez kept things going in round two, knocking off Quinty Janssen/ Clara Rizea (NMSU) by a final score of 7-6, 6-2.

Nozaki/Martinez had a compelling second-round match-up with Yuelin Chen/ Natasha Munday (UNM). It went back-and-forth before the Lobo pair claimed the contest, 4-6, 6-4, (10-3).

Nozaki put together a quality performance in her collegiate singles debut. She blasted Nadia Justiniano (NM State), 6-1, 3-0 (retired).

Valdez squared off with Chen (UNM). She got off to a good start in the opening set but ultimately dropped it, 7-5. Chen secured the match with a 6-1 result in the second set.

Martinez battled but was dispatched by Harsha Challa (NM State), 6-2, 6-2.

UTEP will continue play at the event Saturday.

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UTEP Tennis To Play At NM State Aggie Invite

The UTEP tennis team will take part in the NM State Aggie Invite (Friday-Sunday). It marks the second fall tournament for the Miners.

The Orange and Blue join host NM State, New Mexico, UTPB, Mesa Community College and Western New Mexico to fill out the field.

“We are very excited to play in the NM State Aggie Invite this weekend,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We have worked hard again this week, and look forward to continued improvement after Midland (Racquet Club Intercollegiate Invite). Rine Nozaki will be playing in her first collegiate event. It will be great to see her out there competing.”

Transfer Vanessa Valdez set the tone for the Miners at the season-opening Midland Racquet Club Intercollegiate Invitational (Sept. 14-16). The junior won the consolation championship, and she enters this weekend having posted three consecutive victories.

Freshman Kirsten Prelle had a solid start to her collegiate career, posting a 2-1 record in singles play. She also forged a 1-1 mark in doubles action, playing alongside Valdez.

Sophomore Erandi Martinez finished 1-1 in singles play in the event.

Freshman Rine Nozaki will debut for the Orange and Blue. She was ranked as the second-best player in Okayama, Japan, in 2017.

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UTEP Tennis Opens Fall Season At Midland Racquet Club Intercollegiate Invitational

Sophomores Erandi Martinez and Milena Baigorria as well as newcomers Kirsten Prelle and Vanessa Valdez will represent the UTEP tennis team in its opening tournament of the fall campaign by partaking in the Midland Racquet Club Intercollegiate Invitational Friday through Sunday.

UTEP will be competing alongside the likes of Penn State, Texas Tech, Arizona, Utah State, UT Arlington, UAB, Abilene Christian and Tyler Jr. College. It will be the first of five fall tournaments for the Miners, who will also take part in the NM State Aggie Invite (Sept. 21-23), the San Diego State University Invitational (Sept. 28-30), the ITA Mountain Regional Tournament (Oct. 10-14) and the GCU Invitational (Nov. 2-4).

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to take four players to this tournament that has a longstanding history of great participants,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Erandi Martinez, Vanessa Valdez, Kirsten Prelle and Milena Baigorria will be making the trip with me and will be making the trip with me. It is great to finally get to see them compete after a couple of weeks of practice.

“The team has been working very hard to prepare for this tournament. I am looking forward to watching them compete against players from these established programs. This will give us a good idea of how we compare to them and how much more we need to work to build the successful UTEP tennis program that we aspire to be.”

Martinez paced the Miners in 2017-18 with a 20-10 overall singles record in her collegiate debut year, playing primarily the No. 3 position. Baigorria posted five total wins last year, including coming on strong in the spring by going 4-1 in dual-match play.

Valdez is a transfer from NM State, who thrived under Fernandez during the 2016-17 season. She was a first-team All-WAC performer after pacing the Aggies in singles victories (16). She will have two years of eligibility with the Orange and Blue.

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UTEP Tennis Team Named ITA All-Academic Team

The UTEP tennis team has been named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic team, it was revealed by the organization Tuesday.

Additionally a pair of returning Miners (Maria Paula Medina and Yvette van Oijen secured ITA Scholar-Athlete status.

It marked the third consecutive year and fourth time on record that the UTEP tennis team has been recognized by the ITA for its hard work in the classroom. The program was also previously a recipient in 1996, 2016 and 2017.

“I am really proud of the team for being named to the ITA All Academic Team once again and especially proud of the ones that were recognized as Scholar Athletes,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “It is not easy to manage school and tennis while doing well at both. I want to thank the staff of the MAAC for their incredible academic support of the student athletes to make these awards happen for us.”

It is not the first academic honor of the year, which secured the grade point award at the 44th-Annual “Dinner with the Miners” banquet on May 3, 2018. Additionally seven Miners were placed on the 2018 Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll on April 12, 2018, while one individual earned a C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal on April 13, 2018.

To garner the ITA All-Academic team honor the program must sport a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or better (on a 4.00 scale). The ITA Scholar-Athlete recipients need to be a letter winner, boast a GPA of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) for the academic year and have been enrolled at the institution for a minimum of two semesters.

In all, 735 teams and 4,328 student-athletes across all five divisions of college tennis were honored.

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