Erandi Martinez notched a straight-set victory, but the UTEP tennis team suffered a 4-1 loss against UT Arlington in a match that was closer than the final score indicated on Friday at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club.
Three games were left unfinished in the point-clinch format, but Martinez got the Miners on the board with a 6-1, 7-5 win at the no. 3 position over the Mavericks’ Anna Wichert before the match was called. The win marked the freshman’s sixth dual match victory in singles play. The Miners fell to 4-5 on the season, while the Mavs improved to 3-2.
“It was defiantly a lot closer than the score shows, it’s unfortunate that it didn’t go our way but I think a couple of points here and there and this match could have been completely turned around,” head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “The energy and the chemistry that the team showed today was the best that I’ve seen so far this year. I think that if we can keep this kind of energy going and we can keep competing this well on all the courts then I know that the results are going to come our way.”
In the competitive doubles play matches, Yvette Van Oijen and Alisa Morozova kept pace with UTA’s Almudena Boza and Carla Cerdan, securing four points before falling 6-4 at the no. 3 position. Next to them, Chloe Purkiss and Milena Baigorria pushed four points, but slipped 6-4 to Momoka Horiguchi and Nanaka Takeuchi, clinching the doubles point for the Mavericks.
In an unfinished match, Raven Bennett and Lois Wagenvoort went toe-to-toe with Agustina Serio and Anna Wichert behind strong serving from Bennett and aggressive play by Wagenvoort, but could not close the 6-6 match before the doubles point was won.
Wagenvoort fell 6-1, 6-2 to Serio at the top-spot in singles play, but Martinez’s win on court three kept the Miners close in a 2-1 deficit with four singles tilts still going. Purkiss faltered at no. 5 6-3, 6-3 to Klara Mrcela, and Morozova stayed competitive in the set against Boza in a 6-4 loss in set one, but fell in the second stanza 6-1 at the no. 6 position, ending the match.
Before the match was called, Bennett fell 6-2 against Horiguchi in set one, but came back fighting for a 6-3 set two win at the no. 2 spot. Playing at the no. 4 spot, Van Oijen was close to a victory after taking set one 6-3 and leading Takeuchi 5-4.
“We were one game away from winning at no. 4, Yvette [Van Oijen] was up a set,” Fernandez said. “She played very well, especially since she is coming off of an injury. She’s still not moving one-hundred percent, but she’s getting there. It was just a matter of time before she was able to finish [her match]. Raven was just starting the third set, they had split sets. I liked the energy that we came out with today. I think overall this is probably the best that we’ve played as a team. The doubles were all super close, I mean a couple of points here and there and that doubles point is ours and we’re still out there playing.”
The Miners will return to their home court on Sunday when they battle Wyoming in a regional match-up. First serve against the Cowgirls is set for 9 a.m.