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The Western New Mexico University women’s tennis team made it a tough challenge for No. 38 Texas A&M-Kingsville as the Lady Mustangs played inspired throughout the day and came close to pulling out the win before the Javelinas held on for the 7-2 Lone Star Conference victory Saturday.

It was senior day for the lone season on the team in Jeanne Kolb. The three men’s seniors were also honored after the match that included Vladimir Gnilozubov, Pablo Santibanez and Zachary Grabovic.

Kolb posted 11 singles victories and nine doubles wins in her two-year career at WNMU, including the wins on Senior Day. Gnilozubov collected 44 singles and 45 doubles victories in his four-year career. Santibanez added 22 singles and 32 doubles victories in his four-year career (three playing season, missing last season). Grabovic picked up 10 singles and 21 doubles victories in his two-year career with the Mustangs.

Kolb made it a Senior Day to remember, as she was involved with both points collected by the Lady Mustangs. In doubles, Kolb/junior Klara Smolikova played a marathon match at the top flight that took nearly two hours before they pulled out the 9-7 victory. It was a tough time for sophomores Nadia Justiniano/Karina Diaz at No. 2 and freshmen Kaycie Cormier/Christine Roerick at No. 3 as both fell by the same scores of 1-8 to give Texas A&M-Kingsville (12-10, 4-2 LSC) the 2-1 lead entering singles.

In singles, WNMU (2-18, 0-6 LSC) had chances to win the top three matches that all went three sets. Kolb completed her day picking up the win at No. 3. She roared out to a 6-4 win in the opening set and after a 4-6 loss in the second, she came back with a 10-5 win in the third. Smolikova at the top flight and Justiniano at No. 2 also went three sets. Smolikova had the start she was looking for when she grabbed the first set, 6-2. After falling in a tight second set, 5-7, she then couldn’t come back in the third before dropping the decisive set, 4-10. Justiniano did the same thing in her match at No. 2. She won a first set tiebreaker, 7-6, and after losing the second, 2-6, she kept the third set close for a while before dropping the set, 5-10. Cormier won three games at No. 6, 1-6, 2-6, Roerick won two games at No. 5, 1-6, 1-6 and Diaz fell at No. 4, 0-6, 0-6.

Both tennis teams will now prepare for the Lone Star Conference Championships that will take place Apr. 20-21 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Live from Silver City

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