Elite tennis back in Stephenville with Tarleton hosting 2 matches Friday-Saturday

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STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton Tennis is playing at the most elite level the program has seen in quite a while, and Texan fans will get to witness it this weekend in their own backyard.

Tarleton will host the UTEP Miners on Friday at 10 a.m. CT at the Potishman-Lard Tennis Courts in Stephenville. On Saturday, the Texans will take on New Mexico State at 2 p.m. CT. UTRGV will also be onsite to face New Mexico State and UTEP.

The Texans have been leading the Western Athletic Conference all season, so it’s no surprise they won their first two conference matches of the season this past week. The only surprise was that Tarleton was not picked to finish first in the Southwest Division of the pre-conference coaches’ poll. Clearly, Tarleton was not happy about it, and took it out on Lamar and Stephen F. Austin.

Now the Texans are 13-4 overall on the year, 5-0 against WAC teams, technically 2-0 in conference play. Tarleton is also 4-1 at home this year. Their 13 overall wins are already their most wins in a season since 2015-16, and the Texans still have five matches left to play.

Since head coach Elianne Douglas-Miron changed up the doubles pairings ahead of their match against Dixie State on March 5, Tarleton has won the doubles point in all five matches, and no Tarleton doubles team has even suffered a loss in that span. The new top duo of Deniza Marcinkevica and Martha Makantasi are 4-0, winners of the last two WAC Doubles Team of the Week honors.

In singles, six of the eight Texans have winning records, most notably Celia Vaudiau, who boasts a 15-1 singles mark thanks to her 15-match winning streak. She hasn’t lost in over two months, a Jan. 16 defeat at No. 14 Texas A&M. Martha Makantasi (12-4) and Elsa Boisson (11-5) have the next best singles records for the purple and white, with Makantasi primarily in the No. 3 spot, Boisson at No. 4.

The Miners come to Stephenville with a 5-8 record, although they’ve played their best tennis of late, riding a season-long three-match winning streak. UTEP and Tarleton have shared two opponents thus far – each squad swept UTPB 7-0, while the Miners lost to Pacific 1-6, Tarleton losing 2-4.

Kathleen Percegona has played at the top singles spot all season with a 5-7 record to show for it. Veronika Lebisova has the longest winning streak for UTEP at four straight match wins. She’s 6-2 on the year at the Nos. 2, 3 and 5 positions.

New Mexico State sports a 2-11 overall record, yet to play a conference match. The Aggies have won two of their last four matches after losing their first nine of the season, beating UTPB 7-0 this past Saturday. NM State has also played Pacific (a 2-5 loss) and Oklahoma, whom the Texans faced in January.

Mingfang Zhu has the best singles record on the Aggies at 6-4, including a 4-2 mark at No. 2.

These matches are free of charge for students and fans to attend. There will not be a live stream or live scoring.

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