DENTON, Texas– Maria Paula Medina posted a dominant straight set victory but a short-handed UTEP tennis team was upended by Marshall, 4-1, on Thursday in the first round of the 2017 Conference USA Women’s Tennis Championship in Denton, Texas. The 14th seeded Miners (4-14), whose season has been plagued by injury, had to forfeit a double’s team on court three, giving the No. 3 Thundering Herd (14-9) a cushion in doubles play.
In doubles play, Raven Bennett and Duda Santos, both nursing injuries, forfeited their match on court three. The doubles point was decided when Milou Pietersz and Lois Wagenvoort fell to Anna Pomyatinskaya and Derya Turhan 6-2 on court one. Maria Paula Medina and Daphne Visscher’s close match with Rachael Morales and Maddie Silver was left unfinished at 4-4.
Though they were at a disadvantage going into doubles play, the Miners had a full line-up for singles play. Santos battled the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s No. 117 ranked singles player in Marshall’s Turhan, dropping 6-0, 6-1. On court four, Wagenvoort fell to Pomyatinskaya 6-2, 6-1.
The Miners’ first point came from Medina’s straight set dominance of the Herd’s Nikola Novackova, 6-3, 6-3 on court six. Bennett stole set one from Daniela Dankanych 7-5 but dropped the second set 6-2 at the No. 5 position. Pietersz, playing the No. 2, also won her first set against Silver 6-4, but slipped in a tight 6-5 set two.
Before Bennett and Pietersz’s matches were completed, Marshall’s Morales ended the match with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Visscher on court three, ending UTEP’s run in the tournament and 2016-17 season.
FINAL: No. 3 Marshall 4, No. 14 UTEP 1
1. #117 Derya Turhan (MAR) def. Duda Santos (UTEP) 6-0, 6-1
2. Maddie Silver (MAR) vs. Milou Pietersz (UTEP) 4-6, 6-5, unfinished
3. Rachael Morales (MAR) def. Daphne Visscher (UTEP) 6-4, 6-2
4. Anna Pomyatinskaya (MAR) def. Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) 6-2, 6-1
5. Daniela Dankanych (MAR) vs. Raven Bennett (UTEP) 5-7, 6-2, 1-1, unfinished
6. Maria Paula Medina (UTEP) def. Nikola Novackova (MAR) 6-3, 6-3
1. Anna Pomyatinskaya/Derya Turhan (MAR) def. Milou Pietersz/Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) 6-2
2. Rachael Morales/Maddie Silver (MAR) vs. Maria Paula Medina/Daphne Visscher (UTEP) 4-4, unfinished
3. Stephanie Smith/Daniela Dankanych (MAR) def. Raven Bennett/Duda Santos (UTEP), by forfeit
No. 14 UTEP 4-14
No. 3 Marshall 14-9
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,4,6,3)