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.