The UTEP tennis team turned in a strong performance across the board in a 7-0 win against Division II Western New Mexico to start the 2019 dual-match season on a high note at the El Paso Tennis Club Saturday afternoon.
The Miners (1-0) took the doubles point to secure the early lead before cruising to straight-set victories in singles action to topple the Mustangs.
“We had a solid day all around today,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “There was great energy from the doubles all the way through the singles. I’m very proud of this team and their effort. It’s nice to see all the hard work these last two weeks become reality. I’m looking forward to see where the rest of the spring takes us.”
Action commenced in doubles play, with the tandem of Vanessa Valdez and Yvette Van Oijen making quick work of Karina Diaz/Nicold Gonzalez, 6-0, at the No. 2 position. The Miners locked up the doubles point after Rine Nozaki and Erandi Martinez drilled Christine Roerick/Kaycie Cormier, 6-0, at No. 3 doubles. For good measure the freshmen pairing of Kirsten Prelle/Kathleen Percegona bested Camila Gomez/Julia Tozzi, 6-3.
Focus then switched to singles action, with the Orange and Blue continuing to cruise. Nozaki got things started with a 6-1, 6-2, vanquishing of Gonzalez at the fifth spot. Martinez bested Gomez, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 3 singles. Fittingly the senior Van Oijen, making her first appearance of the season after missing the fall, officially clinched the team triumph by defeating Roerick, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 6 singles.
Valdez tasted victory by toppling Jayci Fulgenzi, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 2 singles. Prelle knocked off Tozzi, 6-1, 6-3, at the top slot. Percegona, who arrived at UTEP earlier this month, picked up her first career singles win with a 6-4, 6-2 vanquishing of Diaz at No. 4 singles to put the finishing touches on the match.
UTEP will have a quick turnaround, taking to the road to lock up with UT-Arlington (Feb. 1) and North Texas (Feb. 2).
UTEP 7, WNMU 0
1. Kirsten Prelle (UTEP) def. Julia Tozzi~ (WNMU) 6-1, 6-3
2. Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) def. Jayci Fulgenzi (WNMU) 6-2, 6-1
3. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) def. Camila Gomez (WNMU) 6-0, 6-3
4. Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) def. Karina Diaz (WNMU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Rine Nozaki (UTEP) def. Nicold Gonzalez (WNMU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Yvette Van Oijen (UTEP) def. Christine Roerick (WNMU) 6-1, 6-3
1. Kirsten Prelle/Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) def. Camila Gomez/Julia Tozzi~ (WNMU) 6-3
2. Vanessa Valdez/Yvette Van Oijen (UTEP) def. Karina Diaz/Nicold Gonzalez (WNMU) 6-0
3. Rine Nozaki/Erandi Martinez (UTEP) def. Christine Roerick/Kaycie Cormier (WNMU) 6-0
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,3,6,2,1,4)
Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post