LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Sept. 14) - The New Mexico State women's tennis team advanced four players into the singles quarterfinals during the opening day of the Aggie Invitational at the NM State Tennis Center Friday.
The Crimson and White hosts claimed a quarter of the 16 quarterfinal slots in the pair of singles main draw brackets by winning five of eight matches on the opening day. Each of the Aggies' doubles pairings received first round byes and will take the court Saturday morning for second round action.
"Overall I think it was a pretty good day," said head coach Ivan Fernandez. "We've got four of our returning players still in the main singles draws. I thought our two freshmen played pretty well but are still adjusting and may have felt some pressure playing at home in the first tournament. I'm really happy about how hard everybody fought today. Hopefully we can get a good start going in doubles tomorrow morning and keep it going for the rest of the weekend."
In the Crimson singles draw first round, Aggie freshman Lisa Roslanova scored a come-from-behind win in the first match of her collegiate career against Makenzie Mitchell of Tarleton State. After dropping the first set at love, 6-0, Roslanova turned it around to take the second set 6-4. The Aggie rolled in the final set 6-0 to advance to the second round.
In round two Roslanova battled Kristin Eggleston of UNM. Eggleston edged the Aggie 6-4 in the first set before winning the match at 6-0 in the second.
Fellow freshman Mia Brandt made her Aggie debut in the second round of the Crimson draw. Her opponent, Laura Mongin of Abilene Christian, did not surrender a game in a first round win earlier in the day. Brandt fell 6-2 in set one before dropping set two at 6-3.
Senior captain Ginet Pinero opened play in the second round of the Crimson draw. She blanked Silvia Nieva of Tarleton State in set one and coasted to a 6-3 win in set two to advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Fellow senior captain Jodie Williams also began play in the second round of the White singles draw. Returning from an injury-plagued season in 2011-12, Williams played her first singles match in over a year against Kaysie Hermsdorf of Abilene Christian. The Aggie dropped set one 6-2 before falling 6-3 in the second.
Three returning Aggie players took the spotlight in the White singles draw as each advanced to the quarterfinals after second round victories.
Junior Ros-Polly Nguyen had the easiest time on the court, taking out Samantha Siegel of St. Edward's 6-1, 6-3 to claim her spot in the quarters.
Classmate Annemieke Witte went three sets to advance to the final eight. The Aggie doubled up Emily Conrad of Abilene Christian 6-3 in the first set but dropped the second stanza in a tiebreaker at 7-6. Witte pulled out the win in set three with a convincing 6-2 result.
Sophomore Denise Van Der Ben rounded out the Aggie quarterfinalists with a three-set victory of her own. Marina Rull of Tarleton State took set one 6-3. But Van Der Ben fought back and only dropped two games the rest of the way with 6-1 wins in each of the final two sets to advance.
Fans will have an opportunity to see the Aggies in action again Saturday as all three NM State doubles teams begin competition at 9 a.m.; admission is free. The tournament finals are slated to begin at 9 a.m. Sunday.
For all of the latest Aggie women's tennis news click NMStateSports.com.