The UTEP tennis team (6-10, 0-0 Conference USA) defeated New Mexico State University (6-14, 2-0 Western Athletic Conference) on Sunday, April 10, at the El Paso Tennis Club. I-10, with a final score of 4-3. The Miners won a few singles matches along with the doubles point, but NMSU would not have gone down without a fight and came back for most of the singles matches.
In the singles matches, the Miners won four of the NMSU’s. Senior Kathleen Percegona was defeated by NMSU junior Chole Gavino, 4-6, 4-6 when The Miners lost the first three. In the second singles match, freshman Carlotta Mencaglia was defeated by NMSU freshman Mingfang Zhu, 5-7, 2-6. Senior Lina Sachica was defeated in the third singles match against NMSU sophomore Natsuki Nishimura, 6-1, 6-7, 6-7.
The Miners were able to win back-to-back fourth and fifth singles matches, when sophomore Elena Dibattista defeated NMSU senior Gavi Kalaga in a three-set match, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4. In the fifth singles match, sophomore Veronika Lebisova defeated NMSU sophomore Bella Nguyen in a straight set match, 6-0, 6-3. In the last singles match, junior Thassane Abrahim was defeated by a three-set match in NMSU redshirt senior Miranda Bishard, 7-6, 4-6, 4-6.
In doubles matches the Miners were unstoppable. The first doubles match was all Abrahim and Lebisova as they teamed up to defeat NMSU’s Gavino and Zhu with a match score of 6-2, giving the Miners a strong start. Dibattista and Percegona defeated NMSU’s Bishard and Nguyen in a doubles match with the third doubles match at 6-3, while the Miners wins the doubles competition.
The second doubles match was NMSU’s Kalaga and Nishimura against junior Eve Daniels and Mencaglia. Daniels and Mencaglia were leading Kalaga and Nishimura, 5-4, but the match went unfinished, and the match was decided by a team point.
“Today was a battle the whole way through,” UTEP Tennis Head Coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We knew it was going to be a battle. I am very proud of how hard we fought today. It’s unfortunate that it came out of the way, but I really liked the energy that the team played with today. ”
UTEP Tennis returns to the El Paso Tennis Club when they head home for the regular season at Seward County Community College at 11 a.m. Friday, April 15, and at the University of the Southwest at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 17. The Conference USA Tournament will be April 21-24 in Murfreesboro, Tennesse. Admissions is free for students and the public to take place on April 15 and 17.
NMSU Athletics of NMSU Courtesy for All Stats, nmstatesports.com
UTEP Athletics of UTEP Courtesy for All Stats, utepminers.com
Katrina Villarreal is a staff reporter and may be reached [email protected]