EL PASO, Texas – For the third-consecutive time, the New Mexico State women’s tennis team defeated its Texas rival after defeating Texas-El Paso, 4-3, on Sunday at the El Paso Tennis Club.
The Aggie victory improves their dual-match record to 5-9 while the Miners fall to 8-11. The win not only broke a five-match losing streak, but also was the first win of the spring schedule for NM State at an opponent’s home court.
“This was a complete team effort,” Aggie head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We fought hard from the first point until the last. UTEP has a very strong team and we were fortunate to get the win today. I am very proud of the team for bouncing back after a disappointing match on Friday (vs UNM).”
Each team won three singles matches, so the deciding point was the first one contested on the day, the doubles’ point, which the Aggies took after winning two of three doubles’ matches.
The day didn’t start out too good for NM State after the Miners took the first match of the day, winning the No. 1 doubles’ match in a shutout, 8-0. The Aggie duo of junior Denise Van Der Ben and freshman Marie-Pier Thiffault could not muster up a point versus UTEP’s Rebeca Calvillo and Davina Meza.
NM State fought back, however, winning the remaining two doubles’ matches , both at 8-6, to take the all-important doubles’ point. Senior Ros-Polly Nguyen and junior Susana Alcaraz won at the two spot against Marie LeBlond and Daphne Visscher while senior Annemieke Witte and sophomore Ashvarya Shrivastava defeated the Miner duo of Matilda Rose Tench and Gabi Vazquez at the No. 3 position.
In singles play, Nguyen defeated LeBlond in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, at the three spot while Witte, playing at No. 6, also won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, over Rose Tench.
The final and clinching point for the Aggies came from Shrivastava at the No. 4 spot. The NM State sophomore won her eighth-consecutive singles’ match after defeating Vazquez in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. Shrivastava has also won 10 of 11 matches, all at the four spot with the exception of one, which she played at the No. 3 spot.
The Aggies will now prepare for their final road trip of the season, a three-match trip to California, which begins on Tuesday, March 25, in Northridge, Calif. NM State will matchup versus Cal State Northridge beginning at 3 p.m. (MDT).