Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics
Freshman Kirsten Prelle and sophomore Erandi Martinez each picked up wins in singles play but the UTEP tennis team was dispatched, 5-2, by visiting NM State to spoil “Senior Day” on Saturday.
“Unfortunately we did not play with the confidence that was needed to win today,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Kirsten (Prelle) and Vane (Vanessa Valdez) played great in the doubles. That carried over into the singles with Kirsten winning easily. Vane did as much as she could with her injured foot. Erandi (Martinez) played very solid and got her win. We just were not able to get any other help to secure the points.”
Prelle cruised past Rebecca Keijzerwaar, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 1 singles while Martinez edged Neus Torregrosa, 7-6, 7-5, at No. 4 singles to highlight the action for the Miners (7-13). UTEP’s three-match surge was halted by the Aggies (13-9) in the regular-season finale.
Action commenced in doubles with Prelle and Vanessa Valdez drilling Harsha Challa and Bhargavi Kalaga, 6-1, at the top position. Rine Nozaki and Martinez were edged, 6-4, by Chloe Gavino and Keijzerwaar at No. 3 doubles. Yvette van Oijen and Kathleen Percegona also came up shy, 7-5, against Lindsay Harlas and Yadira Rubio, 7-5, at No. 2 doubles, allowing NM State to take the doubles point.
UTEP needed victories on four of the six courts in singles play, but it wasn’t in the cards. Prelle did her part with her fourth consecutive triumph at the top position while Martinez extended her winning streak to three at No. 4 singles.
Valdez battled but fell, 6-3, 7-5, to Harlas at No. 2 singles. Van Oijen came up short, 6-2, 7-6, against Rubio at No. 5 singles. Milena Baigorria fell, 7-6, 6-2, at No. 6 singles. Percegona was upended, 6-1, 6-4, at No. 3 singles.
The Miners will now turn their attention to the 2019 C-USA Championships (April 18-21) at Rice in Houston, Texas.
Tennis Match Results
New Mexico State at UTEP
4/13/2019 at El Paso, Texas
(El Paso Tennis Club)
New Mexico State 5, UTEP 2
1. Kirsten Prelle (UTEP) def. Rebecca Keijzerwaar (NMST) 6-0, 6-2
2. Lindsay Harlas (NMST) def. Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 6-3, 7-5
3. Harsha Challa (NMST) def. Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) 6-1, 6-4
4. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) def. Neus Torregrosa (NMST) 7-6, 7-5
5. Yadira Rubio (NMST) def. Yvette Van Oijen (UTEP) 6-2, 7-6
6. Chloe Gavino (NMST) def. Milena Baigorria (UTEP) 7-6, 6-2
1. Kirsten Prelle/Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) def. Harsha Challa/Bhargavi Kalaga (NMST) 6-1
2. Lindsay Harlas/Yadira Rubio (NMST) def. Yvette Van Oijen/Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) 7-5
3. Chloe Gavino/Rebecca Keijzerwaar (NMST) def. Rine Nozaki/Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 6-4
New Mexico State 13-9
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,3,5,2,6,4)