Las Cruces, N.M.-The New Mexico State University women's tennis team concluded the regular season with a huge 4-3 win over conference rival Hawai'i on Friday, April 22.
The win gives the Aggies a 12-7 overall record and a 3-3 record in the Western Athletic Conference. The Aggies are now set for the conference tournament which is to begin on Friday, April 29, in Boise, Idaho.
"I like the way the girls are playing and I like our chances in the conference tournament," said head tennis coach Ivan Fernandez.
Six different Aggies earned at least 10 singles wins by the conclusion of the season. Juniors Natalia Salum and Manon Sylvain won 12 and 10 matches respectively, sophomores Ginet Pinero and Jodie Williams won 11 and 12 matches respectively, and freshman Ros-Polly Nguyen and Annemieke Witte won 10 and 18 games respectively.
The Aggies finished with an overall winning percentage of .531 in singles and .605 in doubles.
The match against Hawai'i was also the last regular season match for senior Isabela Kulaif. Kulaif finished the season 5-12 in singles and 11-11 in doubles. Since joining the Aggies in 2008, Kulaif has compiled 32 singles victories and 39 doubles victories.
"Isabela's fight and desire is something you can't teach, and she shows it every time she is on the court," Fernandez said.
The Aggies started off the day strong by sweeping all three doubles matches. Sylvain and Williams teamed up to defeat Katarian Poljakova and Barbara Pinterova 8-7 in the No. 1 match. Kulaif and Pinero followed up in the No. 2 match with an 8-6 victory over Natasha Zorec and Xenia Suworoa. Salum and Nguyen finished off doubles in the No. 3 match with a 8-6 victory over Alyssa Nafarrete and Aglae Van der Bergh.
Hawai'i stepped up its competitiveness in singles, but NM State held tough and was able to secure the win.
Sylvain defeated Pinterova 7-6, 7-5, in the No. 2 match. Salum defeated Zorec 7-5, 7-6, in the No. 4 match, and Witte defeated Van der Bergh 7-5, 6-0, in the No. 5 match.
"Annemieke and Natalia took care of business in singles today," Fernandez said.
The last NM State victory over Hawai'i came in the quarterfinals of the WAC tournament in 2008. NM State won 4-1.
NM State will begin the first round of the WAC tournament in Boise, Idaho, on Friday, April 29.
NM State-4, Hawai'i-3
1. Katarina Poljakova (UH) def. Isabela Kulaif (NMSU) 2-6, 7-5, 7-5
2. Manon Sylvain (NMSU) Barbara Pinterova (UH) 7-6, 7-5
3. Xenia Suworoa (UH) def. Ginet Pinero (NMSU) 5-7, 7-5, 7-6
4. Natalia Salum (NMSU) def. Natasha Zorec (UH) 7-5, 7-6
5. Annemieke Witte (NMSU) def. Aglae Van der Bergh (UH) 7-5, 6-0
6. Alyssa Nafarrete (UH) def. Ros-Polly Nguyen (NMSU) 6-7, 7-5, 6-0
1. Manon Sylvani/Jodie Williams (NMSU) def. Katarian Poljakova/Barbara Pinterova (UH) 8-7
2. Isabela Kulaif/Ginet Pinero (NMSU) def. Natasha Zorec/Xenia Suworoa (UH) 8-6
3. Natalia Salum/Ros-Polly Nguyen (NMSU) def. Alyssa Nafarrete/Aglae Van der Bergh (UH) 8-6