Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post
Elena DiBattista blasted Madi Moore, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 6 singles to highlight the action for UTEP (3-6) in its 4-1 setback against Northern Arizona (10-4) at the El Paso Tennis Club Saturday afternoon.
“Unfortunately we did not play up to our potential today,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We knew it was going to be a tough match but I expected us to fight a little bit harder than we did. Elena did a great job coming in to play singles today and really showed us that she wants to be in the lineup. I hope we can learn this tough lesson today and turn it around tomorrow at NM State.”
With the Miners in the midst of playing five matches in seven days, clinch format was used. The match commenced with doubles play where NAU took the early lead.
Thassane Abrahim/Veronika Lebisova fought hard but were edged, 6-4, by Mimi Bland/Ellie Millard at No. 1 doubles. Vanessa Valdez/Lina Sachica were bounced, 6-3, by Elinor Beazley/Gina Dittman. The match at No. 3 doubles went unfinished.
DiBattista stole the show for the Orange and Blue in singles action. She posted the double-bagel victory against Moore at No. 6 singles. UTEP’s attempt to rally didn’t happen with NAU securing the next three singles matches to clinch. Martinez fell to Bland, 6-3, 6-0, at No. 2 singles, marking just her second loss on the year. Sachica was tripped up by Millard, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 3 singles.
The visitors then clinched the match with Abrahim being upended by Ava Neyestani, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 4 singles. The remaining matches were unfinished.
The Miners will wrap up the weekend in the Battle of I-10 with NM State in Las Cruces at 12 p.m. MT Sunday.
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NAU Lumberjacks 4 – UTEP 1
- Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) vs. DITTMANN, Gina (NAU) 5-7, 0-2, unfinished
- BLAND, Mimi (NAU) def. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 6-3, 6-0
- MILLARD, Ellie (NAU) def. Lina Sachica (UTEP) 6-0, 6-2
- NEYESTANI, Ava (NAU) def. Thassane Abrahim (UTEP) 6-4, 6-1
- Veronika Lebisova (UTEP) vs. BEAZLEY, Elinor (NAU) 1-6, 5-5, unfinished
- Elena Dibattista (UTEP) def. MOORE, Madi (NAU) 6-0, 6-0
- MILLARD, Ellie/BLAND, Mimi (NAU) def. Thassane Abrahim/Veronika Lebisova (UTEP) 6-4
- DITTMANN, Gina/BEAZLEY, Elinor (NAU) def. Vanessa Valdez/Lina Sachica (UTEP) 6-3
- Kathleen Percegona/Lyric Bonilla (UTEP) vs. MOORE, Madi/NEYESTANI, Ava (NAU) 3-5, unfinished
NAU Lumberjacks 10-4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,2,3,4)
Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post