The Fall Can't Begin Without a Little Tennis in the Air

Sept. 12, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - With the start of a new school year come those back to school jitters. By this time though, many students have overcome these and are getting settled into campus life. But if one went walking on campus, they would probably find a group of tennis players more talkative and maybe some even more animated than usual. The only possible answer for these symptoms is that tennis is back and the players are more excited than ever.

Some key players returning this year on the women's side are junior Michaela Bezdickova and sophomore Maria Sablina. They both were named to the 2011-12 All-Mountain West Team for doubles. Michaela Bezdickova was also named to the All-Mountain West Team for her second time last year for singles. Bezdickova had a 21-9 overall record in singles, while the duo of Sablina and Bezdickova had a 6-5 overall record in doubles.

Returning on the men's side are seniors Jadon Phillips and Conor Berg. Phillips and Berg are nationally ranked #58 doubles team in the nation, while Phillips is ranked #117 singles player in the U.S. These two players will compete in the qualifying round of the ITA All-American for doubles. Phillips will also compete in the qualifying round for singles at the ITA All-American being held on Sept. 29-Oct.7 in Tulsa, Okla.

The women's team consisting of seniors Kristin Eggleston, Michaela Oldani, and Laura Richardson; junior Nikolina Grbac; and sophomores Sarah Mahboob Khan, Maria Sablina, and Katie Wookey will be heading down to Las Cruces, N.M. this weekend to play in the NMSU Fall Invitational from Sept. 14-16.

"We are excited to head to Las Cruces this weekend to compete--the team has put excellent effort in on the courts and in the weight room these first few weeks," Head Coach Erika Perkins Jasper said. "Coach McKenna and I are thrilled at how this team is pulling together and working to get better every day.  The focus this fall is to build a base and get a lot of match experience so we are prepared physically and mentally for the spring dual match season."

Also to note that Michaela Bezdickova will not be traveling to Las Cruces as she has been invited to play in the qualifying round of the Coleman Vision Tennis Championships. The championship will be held at Tanoan Country Club in Albuquerque, N.M. For more information, visit

The men's team consisting of juniors Mads Hegelund, Mitch McDaniels; and sophomores James Hignett and Samir Iftikar will be heading down to Midland, Texas this weekend to play in the Midland Collegiate Invitational from Sept. 14-16.

"Our main goal this fall is to get a lot of matches in for as many guys as possible.  We will try to get our active freshmen up to collegiate speed and get them ready for the spring dual match season," Head Coach Alan Dils said. "I look for my returning players to make big impacts at our ITA Regional Tournament and for Jadon and Conor to make a national impact at the All-American.  Jadon and Conor are nationally ranked in doubles and Jadon in singles and I think they both are poised for big years as seniors."

This weekend will usher in Head Coach Alan Dils' 16th season with UNM and Head Coach Erika Perkins Jasper's first season with UNM.

For the latest information this year, be sure to follow UNM women's tennis and UNM men's tennis on Twitter (@UNMWomensTennis) (@UNMMenTennis) and on Facebook ( (