The UTEP tennis team (1-5) will return home to play three matches in as many days at the El Paso Tennis Club this weekend.
The Miners will square off with Conference USA foe UTSA (5-5) at 10 a.m. MT Friday, challenge No. 11 in Division II University of Central Oklahoma (2-0) at 12 p.m. Saturday and face regional opponent Utah State (3-5) at 10 a.m. Sunday. Admission is free for each of the matches.
“We are very excited to be playing at home again this weekend at the El Paso Tennis Club,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. The three teams we are hosting this weekend will bring a high level of competition to our young team. We have been competing very well so far this season. We hope that this weekend will continue to show our progress.”
Three freshmen are among UTEP’s line-up for singles, including Kirsten Prelle at No. 1. Prelle went 2-0 and was leading the 81st-ranked player in the country (Aiwen Zhu, UNLV) in the third set when the match was halted during the Miners’ two days of competition in Las Vegas, Nev. (Feb. 8-9). Prelle also was 2-1 in doubles play on the trip while competing alongside fellow classmate Kathleen Percegona.
Freshman Rine Nozaki shares the team lead for dual-match wins with Prelle by standing at 3-3 while competing primarily at the No. 5 singles slot. She is coming off a straight-set victory against Lucia Zagar of Youngstown State (Feb. 9). Sophomore Erandi Martinez is 2-2 in dual-match play while holding down the No. 3 singles position. She also tasted victory in the most-recent weekend of competition, cruising past Cali Fuller from Weber State (Feb. 8).
Percegona, junior transfer Vanessa Valdez and senior Yvette Van Oijen all sport one dual-match win to their credit thus far on the campaign.
Last time out on the courts the Orange and Blue won the doubles point while also receiving singles victories from Prelle and Nozaki but were edged out on the other courts in a 4-3 neutral-site setback to Youngstown State (Feb. 9).