UTEP women’s tennis head coach Roberto Aspillaga announced his team’s 2016 fall schedule Thursday, which includes seven tournament appearances.
“Last year we had players show great individual results and signs of significant improvement in their development, Aspillaga said. “We are also incorporating two top-notch players to the team, which will add great depth to our squad. This year’s fall schedule will be extremely competitive and will provide with opportunities for everyone to keep growing”
The Miners will open the fall schedule at the Midland Open from Saturday, Sept. 17 through Monday, Sept. 19. The next weekend, the Orange and Blue will be in Las Cruces, N.M. to take part in the New Mexico State Invite, Sept. 24-25.
UTEP will then travel to the Arizona Wildcat Invite held in Tucson, Ariz., Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. Following the trip to Arizona, selected members of the team will head to Los Angeles, Calif. for one of the four college grand slams, the All-American Championships, from Sunday, Oct. 2 through Saturday, Oct. 9.
The following week will have the squad in Albuquerque, N.M. for the ITA Regional Championships hosted by the New Mexico Lobos, Oct. 12-16.
The Orange and Blue’s next two tournaments on the schedule will travel selected Miners to Phoenix, Ariz. for the Grand Canyon Invite or back to Los Angeles, Calif. for the Jack Kramer Invitational, Nov. 4-6.
Four members have been awarded with invitations to participate at in the prestigious Jack Kramer Invitational, with participants from teams like Stanford, UCLA, Baylor and Pepperdine.
The 2016-17 roster includes two seniors (Duda Santos and Daphne Visscher), three juniors (Vivienne Kulicke, Lois Wagenvoort and transfer Milou Pietersz), two sophomores (Raven Bennett and Maria Paula Medina) and one freshman (Sophia Intert).
Aspillaga enters his second season at the helm of the program. Under his direction, the Miners finished the spring season with an 11-11 overall record and a 2-2 Conference USA mark.
During Aspillaga’s first season, a pair of Miners made names for themselves after garnering accolades. The first came on Jan. 26 when freshman Raven Bennett was named the C-USA Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week. It was the first time in 10 years that a Miner earned such an honor.
Vivienne Kulicke dominated opponents in her first season with the Orange and Blue. Kulicke received a no. 107 ranking in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings on Feb. 23. She was the first Miner in 10 years to crack the ITA rankings. Kulicke followed the honor with another, as she was named the C-USA Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week on March 1.
She finished the season ranked 14th in the 2016 Oracle ITA Tennis Rankings in the Texas Region. And following that, Kulicke was then named the 2016 C-USA Newcomer of the Year and earned a spot on the All-C-USA Singles first team. She was the first Miner to earn the tennis newcomer of the year award since UTEP joined C-USA in 2005.