The injury-plagued UTEP tennis team fell in a regional match to New Mexico at the El Paso Tennis and swim Club on Saturday.
Forced to forfeit one doubles match and one singles match due to an incomplete lineup from injuries, the Miners lost the 4-0 tilt to the Lobos to move to 6-11 on the season, while New Mexico evened up to a 6-6 mark.
“I think considering the situation that we’ve been under, I think we fought as hard as we could,” head coach Ivan Fernandez said.
The Lobos entered doubles play already with an advantage with the UTEP forfeit at the no. 3 doubles, but Lois Wagenvoort and Raven Bennett, paired at no. 1 doubles, and Maria Paula Medina and Milena Baigorria at the no. 2 spot, remained battling for the point.
Taking on New Mexico’s Hsiang-Wen Huang and Danielle Quevedo, Wagenvoort and Bennett worked to secure a point for the Miners, but fell 6-1. Baigorria and Medina’s match against Natasha Munday and Diana Wong was called at a 4-3 score as the doubles point went to the Lobos.
“We had a lot of opportunities at number one doubles and we just couldn’t capitalize,” Fernandez said. “I thought that we had a chance to win at number two [doubles], but playing with only two doubles instead of three puts a little bit of added pressure on everybody to try to play as perfectly as possible, knowing that’s not really realistic. We came out fighting in the doubles and showed a lot of energy and a lot of heart.”
Another forced forfeit on court six left UTEP down 2-0 in the match. Medina took on the Lobos’ Bronte Murgett at the no. 4 position, but slipped 6-0, 6-2. On court no. 5, Baigorria battled Quevedo but fell 6-2, 6-2, sealing the win for the Lobos.
Erandi Martinez notched a convincing 6-1 set one win against Yue Lin Chen at the no. 3 position, but was down 5-2 in set two when her match was left unfinished.
Bennett fell in a competitive 6-4 set one against Ruth Copas and was fighting in a 3-2 set two score before her match was left unfinished. Veteran leader Wagenvoort, playing the top position in the lineup, kept pace but fell to Wong 6-4 in set one and was leading set two 5-3 before play was called.
“We started out a little shaky on some of the singles courts, but we had our opportunities,” Fernandez said. “I think overall, we did as well as we could. Being down two-zero after doubles makes a little more pressure to be able to fight back and know that we have to win four out of the five singles, so the fact that we competed hard and we were able to hear everybody yelling and supporting each other on all the courts is really all that I can ask for in a situation like this.”
The Miners will head to the Alamo City for a two-match Conference USA slate April 6 and 7, both slated for noon-time starts. The Miners will face state-rival UTSA on April 6, then meet with LA Tech on April 7 at the UTSA Tennis Center.
Tennis Match Results New Mexico vs UTEP
Mar 31, 2018 at El Paso, Texas – El Paso Tennis and Swim Club
New Mexico 4, UTEP 0
1. Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) vs. WONG, Diana (NM) 4-6, 5-3, unfinished
2. Raven Bennett (UTEP) vs. COPAS, Ruth (NM) 6-4, 3-2, unfinished
3. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) vs. CHEN, Yue Lin (NM) 6-1, 2-5, unfinished
4. MURGETT, Bronte (NM) def. Maria Paula Medina (UTEP) 6-0, 6-2
5. QUEVEDO, Danielle (NM) def. Milena Baigorria (UTEP) 6-2, 6-2
6. HUANG, Hsiang-Wen (NM) def. No player (UTEP), by forfeit
1. HUANG, Hsiang-Wen/QUEVEDO, Danielle (NM) def. Lois Wagenvoort/Raven Bennett (UTEP) 6-1
2. Maria Paula Medina/Milena Baigorria (UTEP) vs. MUNDAY, Natasha/WONG, Diana (NM) 4-3, unfinished
3. MURGETT, Bronte/RICH, Lauren (NM) def. No player/No player (UTEP), by forfeit
New Mexico 6-6 | UTEP 6-11