Women's Tennis Begins Fall Play
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/24/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 24, 2009

Albuquerque, N.M.- Roy Cañada begins his first season as the head coach of the University of New Mexico women's tennis team when the Lobos open fall play this weekend with the UNM Fall Invitational at the Linda Estes Tennis Complex. Play will begin on Friday and run through Sunday starting at 9 a.m. each day. Players from Texas Tech, Arizona, Denver and Boise State will make up the tournament field.

Friday will feature the most action with one doubles draw and two singles on the schedule. Saturday and Sunday will both have one singles and doubles draw.

Under New Management
Roy Cañada replaces Kathy Kolankiewicz as the head coach for the women's tennis team. Cañada had been the top assistant coach under Kolankiewicz for the past 13 years and was promoted to associate head coach in 2007. During his 13 years with the program, the Lobos have compiled a record of 223-126. Cañada was named Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2005.

Scouting the Lobos
The Lobos are coming off a 10-14 season it's 24th consecutive with double-digit wins. New Mexico returns four players from last year's team in juniors Ashley Bonner, and Anya Villanueva-Forte, and sophomores Manumea Durie and Eliane Bourdages while welcoming four freshman - Kristin Eggleston, Michaela Oldani, Laura Richardson and Amy Shipperd.

"This is a very exciting time for UNM women's tennis starting out with our very first fall event here at home," said Cañada. "We have a very young, eager and talented team and we are facing some very tough competition this weekend."

Bonner returns as the most experienced member of the team posting a 9-19 record during the 2008-09 season. The Los Alamos, N.M. native went 5-4 in spring play last year.

Villanueva-Forte posted a 7-13 overall record last season and went 12-20 overall in doubles play, spending most of her time with Bonner.

Scouting the Opponents
Boise State is coming off a strong 2008-09 season. The Broncos earned their first NCAA win in school history and notched a 24-5 record - the best finish ever for the program. Boise State finished the 2008-09 season ranked 34th according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). Pichittra Thongdach returns for her senior year and is No. 47 on the ITA preseason rankings. Thongdach is also ranked at No. 33 in doubles with partner Lauren Megale.

Denver also finished strong in 2009, posting a 16-6 record and making it to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Pioneers ended the 2008-09 season ranked 39th. Head coach Jeremy Wurtzman, who was previously the men's assistant coach at Ohio State, is beginning his first year as head coach.

Texas Tech is coming off a 10-14 season. The Lady Raiders fell to Texas in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championships and ended the season at No. 72 on the ITA rankings. Texas Tech is also under new leadership this season as Todd Petty takes the reins as head coach after serving as interim coach last season.

Arizona ended regular season play 11-10. The Wildcats bring back sophomore Natasha Marks. Marks is tied at No. 29 on the ITA preseason rankings. The sophomore made it to the second round of the NCAA Championships.

Lobos Fall Schedule
The Lobos will play in five fall meets starting out at home with this weekend's UNM Fall Invite and ending at home with the SW Collegiate Invite (Oct. 23-25). New Mexico will travel to Colorado Springs, Colo. for the Falcon Fall Invite (Oct. 2-4) then to Las Vegas for the ITA Mountain Region (Oct. 14-18). The Lobos will finish up their road trip in Kansas City, Mo. with the Jayhawk Invitational Oct. 23-25.