LAS CRUCES, N.M. (July 22) – New Mexico State women’s tennis head coach Ivan Fernandez announced the 2013 fall tournament schedule on Monday, July 22. The schedule consists of four tournaments, including the NM State hosted Aggie Invitational and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Regional.
The fall schedule kicks off with the home-hosted Aggie Invitational, Sept. 13-15, at the NM State Tennis Center. The Aggies are set to meet traditional rivals New Mexico and UTEP, along with Western Athletic Conference newcomer Grand Canyon University. Northern Arizona and the Arizona Wildcats are scheduled for the tournament also.
“It is going to be a very competitive tournament and I look forward to seeing the team in action,” Fernandez said.
After opening the season at home, the Aggies head to Las Vegas, Nev., for the UNLV Invitational, Sept. 20-22. The team continues on the road and heads to the San Diego State Invitational the following weekend.
“The two tournaments will really show me how we will stack up with many top teams in the nation,” Fernandez said. “We are fortunate to get to compete at events of this caliber.”
The fall season concludes with the Central Regional Tournament in Las Vegas. The mid-October tournament is used as a qualifying event for the ITA Indoor Nationals. The tournament includes schools for the region and is set for Oct. 9-13.
Fernandez welcomes four newcomers to the team to join the five returners from the 2012-13 season. One of those returners is Ashvarya Shrivastava, who did not compete last season.
“I am very excited to be starting the year with four new players in August,” Fernandez said. “It is more like five actually since Ashvarya (Shrivastava) was not able to compete last year. She will have a huge impact on the lineup now.”
Fernandez’s four newcomers are junior transfer, from Northwood University in Michigan, Susana Alcaraz (Aguascalientes, Mexico), Brittany Collens (Manchester, Mass.), Marie-Pier Thiffault (Quebec, Canada) and Gabrielle Joyce (Roswell, N.M.).
Alcaraz comes to NM State from a national-ranked Division II program at Northwood and brings a wealth of experience to the program, playing No. 1 singles and doubles for the Timberwolves.
“The three freshmen are also going to have an impact on the line up,” Fernandez said.
Collens is highest ranking American player the program has had in recent years. Thiffault, who was a top-ranked junior, brings extended international experience to the team as one of seven players from abroad. The freshman class is rounded out by Joyce, a New Mexico native. She has spent the last year training at the Newks Tennis Academy in Texas.
“I am really excited to have this group of new players coming in to add to a solid core of returners. Seniors and Co-captains Annemieke Witte and Ros-Polly Nguyen will lead the team this year. With junior, Denise Van Der Ben and sophomores, Mia Brandt and Shrivastava as well, we will be a team to beat in the WAC,” Fernandez said.
The Aggies finished the 2103 spring season eighth in the conference with a 2-6 WAC record. Riddled with injury, the team worked to a 6-16 overall record with notable wins over I-10 rival UTEP and WAC opponents Seattle U and Utah State.
NM State takes to the NM State Tennis Center on Sept. 13 for the Aggie Invitational to start the fall season. For more information on Aggie tennis, visit www.NMStateSports.com.