Though they were full of fight, the UTEP Miners were edged by Interstate-10 rival NM State 4-3 on Senior Day Friday to close out the tennis regular season.
The Miners, who had six players for the first time since March 4, were able to field a full lineup. That helped the team get an early lead in the match, claiming the doubles point with wins on courts one and three. First, at the No. 1 position, Milou Pietersz and Lois Wagenvoort powered past NM State’s Vanessa Valdez and Rebecca Keijzerwaard 6-0, their first shutout as a pair.
Maria Paula Medina and senior Duda Santos, returning from injury, helped the effort with a 7-6 (7-5) victory over Lindsay Harlas and Gabrielle Joyce on court three. Senior Daphne Visscher and Raven Bennett fell 7-6 (9-7) to the Aggies’ Rimpledeep Kaur and Marie-Pier Thiffault.
For the first time since their Feb. 19 victory over Pac-12’s Colorado, the Miners entered singles play with a 1-0 lead. The Aggies did not go down easily, however, getting wins on courts one and five due to Santos’ and Bennett’s retirement from injury, and a 6-3, 6-2 Keijzerwaard victory on court three from Visscher.
The Aggies clinched the match with a win on court six, as Harlas upended Medina 6-4, 6-1.
Though they trailed 4-1, the Miners battled to secure a couple more points. The relentless junior Pietersz dropped her first set against Valdez 6-0 but dominated set two with a 6-1 victory and followed with a 7-5 triumph in set three. Wagenvoort took set one in a 6-3 fashion, but Thiffault evened up play with a 6-4 victory of her own. In the deciding set, Wagenvoort was able to work her way to a 6-4 victory.
The Miners will now look to prepare for the Conference USA Championships beginning April 20 in Denton, Texas.
FINAL: New Mexico State 4, UTEP 3
1. Kaur, Rimpledeep (NMSU) def. Duda Santos (UTEP) 6-7, 1-2, retired
2. Milou Pietersz (UTEP) def. Valdez, Vanessa (NMSU) 0-6, 6-1, 7-5
3. Keijzerwaard,Rebecca (NMSU) def. Daphne Visscher (UTEP) 6-3, 6-2
4. Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) def. Thiffault,Marie-Pier (NMSU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
5. Arnaudova, Eli (NMSU) def. Raven Bennett (UTEP) 6-3, 3-2, retired
6. Harlas, Lindsay (NMSU) def. Maria Paula Medina (UTEP) 6-4, 6-1
1. Milou Pietersz/Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) def. Valdez, Vanessa/Keijzerwaard,Rebecca (NMSU) 6-0
2. Kaur, Rimpledeep/Thiffault,Marie-Pier (NMSU) def. Daphne Visscher/Raven Bennett (UTEP) 7-6 (9-7)
3. Maria Paula Medina/Duda Santos (UTEP) def. Harlas, Lindsay/Joyce, Gabrielle (NMSU) 7-6 (7-5)