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LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State women’s tennis team concluded its season-opening tournament with three Aggies in the finals of their respective flights and two winning their bracket.

Freshman Brittany Collens defeated Rebeca Calvillo, the No. 1 singles player from UTEP, in straight sets (6-3, 6-3) to win her bracket and pick up her first tournament title as an Aggie.

“Brittany really impressed me today,” head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “She beat a very good and experienced player and I can see that Brittany has a very bright collegiate career ahead of her,” he said.

Fellow freshman Susana Alcaraz topped the No. 1 player from Western New Mexico in the finals to win her flight. She finished the match with a 6-4, 6-2 win in the finals after she defeated her opponent from in-state rival New Mexico (6-1, 6-1) to advance to the semifinals. In that match, Alcaraz beat her counterpart from Northern Arizona in three sets.

Sophomore Ashvarya Shrivastava made her way to the semifinals match with a win over her opponent from NAU (7-6, 7-6), but fell short in advancing to the finals after falling to her opponent from New Mexico.

Aggie junior Denise Van der Ben saw similar fate when she topped her opponent from Grand Canyon in straight sets in the opening round of the tournament, but fell in the semifinals round of Laura Oldham from University of Arizona. She made a comeback to finish third in the bracket when she topped Marie LeBlond of UTEP.

Senior Annemieke Witte made her way to the finals of her flight after beating her opponents from UTEP and Tarleton State, but fell short in the finals to her opponent from New Mexico.

In the doubles flights, Shrivastava and Alcaraz worked to make their way to the semifinals round, but fell to the duo from GCU in a tough 9-7 decision. Newcomers Marie-Pier Thiffault and Chloe Jolliff saw action in the semifinals match of their doubles flight, but the freshman pair dropped 8-4 to a duo from New Mexico.

“Overall we had a very solid tournament,” Fernandez said. “It was great to see the team get to play against some strong opponents after practicing the least few weeks.”

NM State now looks to head west to the UNLV Invitational on Sept. 20-22, in Las Vegas, Nev.


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