Lyric Bonilla | Photo by Ruben R Ramirez – UTEP
UTEP tennis will get its first tests of the season as the Miners host Arizona and Texas Tech on Saturday, January 30 at 12 p.m. and Sunday, January . 31 at 2 p.m., respectively, at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club.
“We are very excited to finally get back on the court,” UTEP Tennis Head Coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We haven’t been able to compete since March 2020, but we have been working hard waiting for this day to come. It makes it even more special to be able to begin our season at home at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club against two great programs like Arizona and Texas Tech. I want to thank our Athletic Training Staff, our Administration and UTEP President Heather Wilson for going above and beyond to give us this opportunity to compete again.
“We know how tough these two matches this weekend will be, but we are ready for the challenge and will represent our school, our department and our team with class and pride as we kick off our Spring 2021 Season.”
In 2019-20, the Miners were 4-10 before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Junior Lina Sáchica led UTEP in singles wins (11) with the majority of her match wins coming in the third slot (4).
Then-junior Erandi Martinez notched eight match wins last season with two coming in the No. 2 slot.
Making a return for another go-around of her senior year is Vanessa Valdez who was recently this week highlighted by the El Paso Times. Valdez was 4-7 in the Miners’ No. 1 slot for singles and was 1-1 in Conference USA singles matches.
Joining Valdez are seven other returners as well freshman Veronika Lebisova (Czech Republic) and sophomore transfer Lyric Bonilla (previously Tennessee).
“We have a great group this year,” Fernandez said. “They are all extremely talented and we are expecting great things from them this year as we mature and improve. The team is led by our two Seniors, Vanessa Valdez and Erandi Martinez, and we have two newcomers that will take the court for the Miners this Spring for the first time, Lyric Bonilla and Veronika Lebisova. We have really been looking forward to watching these two compete for us this year.”
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