• June 19, 2021
 Miner Tennis drops heartbreaker at New Mexico, 4-3

Photo courtesy NM Athletics

Miner Tennis drops heartbreaker at New Mexico, 4-3

ALBUQUERQUE – Erandi Martinez, Lina Sachica and Veronika Lebisova all won singles matches but homestanding New Mexico snuck past UTEP, 4-3, Thursday afternoon.

The Miners (2-5) were competitive in doubles play but the Lobos (6-2) took the point and then did just enough in singles to hold off the Orange and Blue.

“I knew it was going to be a very close match,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “All three of the doubles (matches) could have gone either way. I was confident that we would compete well in the singles. I’m proud of how hard everyone fought but especially Vane (Vanessa Valdez) to come back from 0-5 down in the third set to get it to a tiebreaker. She showed tremendous heart and fight. Erandi (Martinez) continues to play well, and it’s great to have Vero (Veronika Lebisova) and Lina (Sachica) starting to win some. It was a great learning experience for everyone, and I hope we put it to practice the last few matches of the spring.”

It was a well contested battle in doubles, but UNM took all three matches. Hsiang-Wen Huang/Satoho Toriumi edged Kathleen Percegona/Lina Sachica, 7-6, (7-4) at No. 3 doubles. It was close on No. 2 doubles as well with Yue Lin Chen/Myu Kagayama clipping Vanessa Valdez/Eve Daniels, 7-5. Thassane Abrahim/Veronika Lebisova fell to Natasha Munday/ Hsuan Huang, 6-3, at the No. 1 position.

Action then switched to singles where the Miners mounted their rally. Lebisova drilled Toriumi, 6-2, 6-0, at No. 6 singles for her third straight victory. Martinez pushed her winning streak to two by dispatching Munday, 6-4, 7-6, at No. 2 singles. Sachica also took care of business in straight sets, blasting Hsiang-Wen Huang, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 5 singles.

UNM’s Hsuan Huang toppled Abrahim, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 3 singles and Kagayama bounced Percegona, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 4 singles. That put all of the attention at No. 1 singles where Valdez and Chen were locked up in an epic battle. Valdez took the first set, 6-4, but Chen bounced back to win the second set, 6-3.

Chen then raced out to a 5-0 lead in the third set, but Valdez refused to quit. She fought off one match point at 5-1, two at 5-2, one at 5-3 and three at 5-4 before the eventual tiebreaker that would go the way of the home side.

UTEP will return to action at home against UT Tyler on April 9.

For complete coverage of UTEP tennis, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWTennis (Twitter)@UTEP_Tennis (Instagram) and on Facebook or click here to visit the official home of UTEP Athletics

Singles competition

  1. Yue Lin Chen  (UNM) def. Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2)
  2. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) def. Natasha Munday (UNM) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
  3. Hsuan Huang (UNM) def. Thassane Abrahim (UTEP) 6-2, 6-1
  4. Myu Kagayama (UNM) def. Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) 6-4, 6-4
  5. Lina Sachica (UTEP) def. Hsiang-Wen Huang (UNM) 6-3, 6-1
  6. Veronika Lebisova (UTEP) def. Satoho Toriumi (UNM) 6-2, 6-0

Doubles competition

  1. Natasha Munday/ Hsuan Huang (UNM) def. Thassane Abrahim/Veronika Lebisova (UTEP) 6-3
  2. Yue Lin Chen/Myu Kagayama (UNM) def. Vanessa Valdez/Eve Daniels (UTEP) 7-5
  3. Hsiang-Wen Huang/Satoho Toriumi (UNM) def. Kathleen Percegona/Lina Sachica (UTEP) 7-6 (7-4)

Match Notes:

UTEP 2-5

New Mexico 6-2

Order of finish: Doubles (,2,3); Singles (6,3,5,4,2,1)

T-3:56

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