» News

A Lobo Message from Coach Erica Perkins Jasper

November 7, 2014 10:55 AM

Hello fans!

Thanks you for the tremendous support this fall—it has been an exciting and successful individual season for our players and we couldn’t have done it without our wonderful fan support!

Fall Recap:

We played a much more challenging fall schedule than in the past few seasons, and I couldn’t be more proud of how we performed.  We took home two singles titles this fall—Rachana Bhat won the Cardinal Draw and Susie Baklini won the White Draw at the Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, AZ.  Both ladies had some impressive wins en route to the title—it’s also great to see two former Southwest Section junior players (Susie is from Albuquerque, Rachana is from Tucson) represent us at a high level.  As a coach, one of our goals when I arrived was to recruit the section and region as well as possible to attract and cultivate our best “local” talent—Rachana and Susie were two of our first recruits—so it’s great to see their improvement and hunger!  We also had some strong showings at National and Regional events with Gabby Otero—another local talent out of Albuquerque—winning two rounds at the All-American Pre-Qualifying and Dominique Dulski and Natasha Smith winning their first round of qualifying in doubles at this prestigious event.  As many of you know, we were fortunate this year to host the USTA/ITA Mountain Regional Championships, which was the first time we have hosted the event in program history.  It was a great opportunity to showcase our beautiful new facility, the McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium, and to get to play our biggest event of the fall right here at home in front of our fans!  A huge thanks should go out to the staff at the Lobo Tennis Club as well as our department facilities team and events team—it was an “all hands on deck” type event and everyone really worked tremendously hard to make it world class!

In terms of results, we had 3 players (Dulski, Smith, and Emily Olivier) reach the round of 16 of better, with Emily reaching the quarterfinals and knocking off 3 seeds in a row to get there!  Our 3 players in the round of 16 was the second highest total of all teams in the event!

We also had a great fall off the court giving back to the local community.  The team performed 60 hours of community service throughout the fall at various events.  As a coach I am probably as proud of that as I am of our on court accomplishments!

We’ve now transitioned to our off-season schedule and 8 hour weeks for the team.  This scheduling helps the ladies really focus on their school work for the final third of the semester, while still working on their fitness, strength, and a little skill work on the tennis court!

Hall of Honor:

anafThis is a special week for a special Lobo Women’s Tennis great, Ana Friganovic Kucelin.  Ana is being inducted tomorrow night into the UNM Alumni Letterman’s Hall of Honor.  Ana, who was one of my contemporaries in college, was a TRUE CHAMPION on and off the court.  Her competitive fire and skills were not only known regionally and conference-wide but also nationally.  She is arguable one of the greatest competitors to wear the cherry and silver and we couldn’t be more excited to honor her this weekend!  

Ana Friganovic Kucelin (Tennis 1996-2000) Athletic Awards and Accomplishments

•First UNM women’s tennis player to qualify for NCAA Championships all four years
•Four-time All-Conference Selection (WAC and MWC)
•Two-time Academic All-American
•UNM record holder for singles wins
•UNM record holder for career wins
•UNM Hall of Honor Female Athlete of the Year 2000

International Tour:

We are excited to announce officially that we will be taking an International Tour this coming summer.  Per NCAA rules, programs are allowed one tour every four years, and through a generous gift from one of our awesome supporters plus team fundraising this season, we will be able to make this a reality.  Obviously the team is VERY excited and extremely thankful for this opportunity.  We will play a team-style match in Paris, followed by training in Barcelona, and finish with a tournament in Cannes—we also will do some sightseeing and hopefully provide the players with a meaningful and educational cultural experience.  By supporting our team fundraisers such as Monday Night Ladies League, Team Clinics, and other special events or by donating to our foundation account (The Ad-In Club), you have all played a part in making this trip a reality.  For those of you interested in supporting the trip further, please contact me for more information!  

Spring Schedule:

Once again we have a full home slate this spring—12 home matches—so hopefully we can build on last year’s momentum with our great home fan support.  We also will be hosting the 2015 Mountain West Conference Championships, which is a tremendous opportunity for us.  Hopefully we can get some great crowds out for this combined (Men’s and Women’s) championships—and cheer both Lobo teams on to a Championship!  To check out our schedule in more detail, click here:


I hope everyone has a great month of November—in this month of Thanksgiving, the team, Kelcy, and I are truly thankful for YOU and your support!!!

Go Lobos!!!


Erica Perkins Jasper
Head Women's Tennis Coach
University of New Mexico

Office: 505.925.1612
Cell: 505.392.0866