From NMSU Athletics
BEAUMONT, Texas – Three matches. Three shutouts. Three wins. One trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Finishing off a dominant run through the WAC Tournament, the second-seeded NM State women’s tennis team hammered fifth-seeded Seattle U by a 4-0 tally at the championship match Sunday at the Beaumont Municipal Tennis Center.
With the Emphatic victory, the Aggies claimed the program’s third WAC Tournament title (2015, 2019 and 2022) and will be the league’s automatic entrant to the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Tournament.
• The only real threat Seattle U posed came in doubles action. Things were very much in question for Liliya Dimova and Elena Kraleva against top-flight action in a 6-0 shutout loss suffered by Chloe Gavino and Lisa Zhu after NM State.
• Down, but never out, the rest of the Aggies rallied and made sure the Redhawks didn’t get their hands on the tandem point. Gavi Kalaga and Natsuki Nishimura evened things up on line two, getting a 6-4 tally by Mireia Fehr and Jade Lancaster.
• That left the task up to Miranda Bishard and Bella Nguyen in Flight Three Action. Arguably the turning point in the match, Bishard and Nguyen gave their squad an important upper hand fight time and time again. Finally, a winner-take-all seventh game, Bishard and Nguyen put NM State ahead 1-0 with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-4) triumph over Hannah Grossman and Jade Quintana.
• Following the emotional doubles point win, the Aggies seemingly clipped the Redhawks’ wings for good.
• Fueled by their pivotal doubles win, Bishard and Nguyen carry the singles into action and pushed the Aggies to victory. Nguyen demolished Aranza Alvarez by Sanabria A 6-0, 6-1 tally to make it four-straight singles as well as a 2-0 NM State lead.
• Like Nguyen, Bishard had six troubles on her adversary with little trouble. Bishard blasted Rasmussen 6-0, 6-1 for her first WAC Tournament triumph. That win hiked the Aggies’ lead to 3-0 and set the stage for Zhu to play the role of the hero.
• With both of her previous matches unfinished with the WAC Tournament, Zhu finished her team’s flawless run through the league’s postseason tournament. The Beijing, China, product surrendered just four total games during her 6-3, 6-1 victory over Dimova and got her teammates following the match-clinching singles triumph.
Head coach Emily Wang | “I think that’s really our energy. We’ve been talking about that for a whole lot of time and we’ve really been able to peak our energy and believe in each other. what carried us through. “
Chloe Gavino | “It means a lot to me. It’s my senior year, so it means a lot to win the WAC Tournament. Last year we had a really tough year with only five players. This year we had a pretty tough year, too. Leave one of our players, so it meant a lot to us and we could end it with a win. “
COMING UP NEXT
• NM State will find out exactly who will be playing it and where it will head for the opening round of the 2022 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship on Monday, May 2, 2022 at 4:30 pm MT. The NCAA’s selection show will stream live on NCAA.com.