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Lobos Open 10-3 in Singles at NMSU Invitational Day One

by Frank Mercogliano

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Four Lobos went 2-0 to advance to the semifinals of three respective brackets on the opening day of the New Mexico State Invitational.  Yue Lin “Polly” Chen is in the semifinals of the Crimson bracket as the No. 4 seed, Satoho Toriumi is in the semis of the Gray bracket as the No. 4 seed as is Hsiang-Wen “Albie” Huang as the No. 2 seed, and Myu Kageyama also is in the semifinals as the No. 3 seed in the White bracket.

Overall, New Mexico and New Mexico State each have four semifinalists and UTEP and Abilene Christian have two each.  No Lobo teams played in doubles as all three teams had byes.

In the Crimson bracket, Chen disposed of both opponents in straight sets.  First she took out Georgia Townsend of NMSU 6-3, 6-2 and then won in her quarterfinal match against Kathleen Percegona of UTEP 6-4, 6-4.  UNM’s other two players in the bracket both won their opening round matchups before losing in the quarters.  No. 2 seed Hsuan Huang beat Linda Eloundou Nga of NMMI 6-3, 4-6, 10-7, but she lost her next match 6-4, 6-4 for Maryjoe Crisologo of Abilene Christian.  Freshman Sanne Schalekamp won her collegiate debut 6-2, 6-3 aginst Veronika Lebisova of UTEP before falling to top-seeded Harsha Challa 4-6, 6-3, 10-8.  Chen and CHalla meet in the first of two Crimson bracket semis.

In the Gray bracket, Albie Huang lost three games the entire day.  She blitzed Samantha Salim of Arizona Christian 6-0, 6-0 and then handled ACU’s Paula Garrote with ease 6-2, 6-1, setting up a meeting with unseeded Laura Schmitz of UTEP.  Opposite her in the top half of the bracket, Toriumi also went 2-0, almost as easily.  Toriumi beat Arizona Christian’s Emma Troyer 6-1, 6-0.  Her quarterfinal match was tougher, but she handled Bissola Lassissi of NMMI 7-5, 6-2.  She will face unseeded Lyric Bonilla of UTEP, who beat the top seeded Bella Nguyen in three sets.  Huang will face UTEP’s Laura Schmitz, also unseeded.

In the White Bracket, Kageyama defeated Johanna Lutz of Arizona Christian 6-2, 6-1 and then topped Elena DiBattista of UTEP 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, setting up a semifinal showdown with NMSU’s Bhargavi Kalaga.  UNM’s other freshman Sarah O’Connor lost her debut, falling in the match of the day, a 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 13-11 barn-burner to NMMI’s Manuella Eloundou Nga.

Action continues on Saturday in Las Cruces, with the final day on Sunday.