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Elena Dibattista: causing a racket for UTEP tennis

Gianluca Cuevas
Dibattista complied over 50 victories in her career, with them coming in both singles and doubles matches.

As the semester winds down and graduation approaches, Elena Dibattista, a native of Italy, is returning life’s serve and leaving her mark on at UTEP as an accomplished tennis player and dedicated student.  

During her time at UTEP, Dibattista has led by example both on and off the tennis court. Dibattista served as the team captain for the 2023-2024 season. She also compiled over 50 victories between singles and doubles action during her four and a half years as a Miner and received academic honors in 2021 and 2022 from Conference USA (C-USA). and being recognized as the 2021 C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medalist. Dibattista also helped lead the Miners past the first round of the C-USA Tournament for the first time in 15 years.   

Dibattista intends to continue to play tennis, perhaps not on a professional level, but wants it to be a part of her life. 

“I was thinking about coaching or, but for sure, I’m going to keep playing 100 percent,” Dibattista said about her tennis-playing prospects. “Even at a high level, I would still want to play some tournaments, singles, or doubles, I have so much fun playing tennis.” 

The Dibattista, set to graduate with honors, has never shied away from any challenge, including the academic challenge that comes along with being a student athlete. 

“I always had to balance being an athlete and a student, since when I was a kid,” Dibattista said. “Being in university is different from being in high school, so I did have to adapt a little bit, but it wasn’t a shock. In the morning, we had classes and then practices from one to six, basically. Then I would come back, shower, and eat. And then, I would just go straight back to studying and homework. It took a lot of mental strength.” 

Graduating is an intimate time where one can finally look back and realize how far they have come; this was no different for Dibattista as her reflections made it clear that coming to UTEP from Italy was always going to be the right decision for her life and career.

“I will remember all the time that I spent on the court with my teammates. I feel very blessed for each and every one of my teammates. I had the honor of being the leader this year on my own team.” Dibattista said. “The El Paso community just welcomed me in a way that made me feel like I was home. Obviously, at first, I was still struggling, but now everyone, every single person on my team, my coaches, all the people that I’ve, you know met around in the training room and, just around campus. They’re making saying goodbye to El Paso so hard.”

As Dibattista’s college career comes full circle, she reflects and wonders what she would tell her freshman self if she had the chance to meet her. 

“I would tell her to enjoy every single moment. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bad moment that you’re going through, if it’s a tough one, if it’s a happy one, just enjoy it because it’s going to go by so fast.” Dibattista said. “You know it seems like it was yesterday that I was just arriving here at UTEP and I’m a senior about to leave, so enjoy every single moment.” 

Overall, Dibattista’s legacy at UTEP will be remembered for her outstanding achievements on the tennis court, her leadership skills, and her dedication to her studies. As she prepares to graduate, Dibattista is excited to lead a fulfilled life where the future is bright. She will use her experience as a student-athlete to inspire and inform others about the world of tennis.

“The future is going to be bright. I know it’s going to be bright, but like these, these past four years are not coming back,” Dibattista said. “It’s going to be a completely different lifestyle, a completely different experience that I’m going to enjoy, but I know that I’m going to think back to all these experiences, and I’m going to be like, ‘I miss it’.” Dibattista said.  

Jorge Guajardo is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Jorge Guajardo
Jorge Guajardo, Staff Reporter
Jorge Ian Guajardo, is 30 years old and born and raised in El Paso. He is majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in English rhetoric. He is a contributor at The Prospector looking to lay the foundation for a long and successful career in journalism once he graduates.
Gianluca Cuevas
Gianluca Cuevas, Photographer
Gianluca Cuevas is a staff photographer for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. He plans to work in the automotive industry designing cars/mechanic in the F1. He also has his small photography business 365elements which he plans to continue to grow.
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