The UTEP tennis team will compete in its second fall tournament in as many weeks when it heads up I-10 to take part in the NM State Aggie Fall Invite Friday through Sunday.
The Miners will lock up with players from Abilene Christian, NM State, UIW, UTPB and Western New Mexico during the three-day event. Play will commence at 9 a.m. MT with two rounds of doubles matches before singles action starts at 11:30 a.m. MT.
Ailyn Castañeda, Ana Gonzalez and Lina Sáchica will make their Miner debut while lone senior Vanessa Valdez will also compete in the annual event.
“I’m very excited to see this other group of girls play,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “This will be some very solid competition at the NM State Invite. These four ladies are ready to compete so it will be good to see how they match up against some other teams.”
Sáchica played two years at Lindsey Wilson College, helping the squad win a pair of conference crowns and compete at the NAIA National Championships.
“I just want to give my best and have good results,” Sáchica said. “I’m ready to support my team, and I hope they support me too.”
Castañeda was a four-year letter winner at Americas HS who finished in third place at the district tournament each season. She will now continue her tennis career at the collegiate level, representing her hometown Miners.
“I’m really excited about starting my career,” Castañeda said. “I’m looking forward to playing college tennis, for all the experiences that I’m going to have and for all the new girls I’m going to meet.”
Gonzalez also hails from El Paso, having competed as the No. 1 singles player during the entirety of her prep career with Loretto Academy HS.
“I’m real excited for this tournament this weekend in Las Cruces,” Gonzalez said. “I hope to do well, play good, have good results and give my best.”
Valdez, the lone senior on the squad, will play exclusively in doubles this weekend. Last year she tied for the team lead with 17 doubles triumph (17-11 overall).
“The example that I’m trying to set for my team is a lot of commitment,” Valdez said. “There’s a lot of pride to get to go this tournament. This is the first time they (Ailyn Castañeda, Ana Gonzalez and Lina Sáchica) are competing for us, and I’m excited for them to represent UTEP with me.’
For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter), @UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.