Lina Sáchica | photo courtesy UTEP Athletics
The UTEP tennis team fought hard in a 6-1 setback to Abilene Christian on Saturday afternoon at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club. Four of the six singles matches were decided in three sets, as the final score didn’t reflect the overall competitiveness of the match.
The Miners (1-1) lost the all-important doubles point to the Wildcats (2-3) to fall behind 1-0. After Lina Sáchica knotted the score with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Allison Stewart at no. 3 singles, Abilene Christian rode victories from Ileana Mocciola (no. 5), Claire Fisher (no. 6), Andrea Guerrero (no. 4), Sarah Adams (no. 1) and Nini Memishishi (no. 2) to the team win.
UTEP’s Vanessa Valdez (no. 1 singles) and Maria Aveiga (no. 6) both won the first set 6-2 before their opponents rallied to victory. Valdez dropped the third set, 7-5, to ACU’s Adams. The Miners’ Kathleen Percegona was also involved in a highly competitive match at no. 4 singles, as she bowed out to ACU’s Guerrero 7-5, 7-5.
The Miners’ Erandi Martinez took ACU’s Memishishi to a third set before stumbling 6-4. UTEP’s Eve Daniels lost her first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6, to the Wildcats’ Mocciola.
“We knew that it was going to be a tough battle coming into this match,” UTEP coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Abilene Christian has already played a few [matches] this semester, so they’re coming in a little bit more seasoned than we are. But I really enjoyed watching our girls compete. This is probably the closest 6-1 score that you’ve ever going to see. So many matches went to three sets. I’m really proud of how the girls fought, and if this is a sign of how we’re going to compete this season, then I think there are a lot of good things ahead for us in the future.”
UTEP will wrap up its season-opening three-match homestand against long-time rival New Mexico on Sunday at noon at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club. Admission is free.
“With the quick turnaround tomorrow against UNM, we need to make sure that we take care of our bodies today and get ready for another fight tomorrow,” Fernandez said.
1. Sarah Adams/Nini Memishishi (ACU) def. Maria Aveiga/Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 7-6
2. Andrea Guerrero/Ileana Mocciola (ACU) def. Erandi Martinez/Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) 6-3
3. Claire Fisher/Allison Stewart (ACU) def. Eve Daniels/Lina Sáchica (UTEP) 6-1
Doubles Order of Finish: 3,2,1
1. S. Adams (ACU) def. V. Valdez (UTEP) 2-6, 6-3, 7-5
2. N. Memishishi (ACU) def. E. Martinez (UTEP) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
3. L. Sáchica (UTEP) d. A. Stewart (ACU) 6-1, 6-3
4. A. Guerrero (ACU) def. K. Percegona (UTEP) 7-5, 7-5
5. I. Mocciola (ACU) def. E. Daniels (UTEP) 7-6, 6-2
6. C. Fisher (ACU) def. M. Aveiga (UTEP) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
Singles Order of Finish: 3,5,6,4,1,2
Records: UTEP 1-1, Abilene Christian 2-3