The UTEP women’s team pushed No. 53 New Mexico to the brink Saturday before falling, 4-1, at the El Paso Tennis Club on Senior Day.
“I am very proud of the girls for the way they dealt with adversity today,” head coach Roberto Aspillaga said. “They played with a lot of heart and problem solved very well today. It was only appropriate, considering we all wanted to give Tilly a great last home match.”
With the loss, the Miners end the 2016 regular season with an overall record of 11-10.
“New Mexico is a very deep and disciplined squad,” Aspillaga said. “I have a lot of respect for the coaching staff and their players. They are a NCAA tournament caliber team for a reason.”
UNM took the early advantage by claiming the doubles point with wins on courts one and three. First off the court, sophomore Lois Wagenvoort and senior Matilda Tench dropped a 6-3 decision to Emily Olivier and Dominique Dulski on court one. The UNM team of Sharon Coone and Ludivine Burguiere closed out a 7-6 (7-2) win over the UTEP duo of Vivienne Kulicke and Maria Paula Medina.
The match on court two was stopped due to the claimed point.
UTEP did not fold however, coming back to take UNM to the end. The Miners got on the board when No. 122 Kulicke came back to beat Emily Olivier, 6-3, 6-1, on court one. UTEP had chances to make it even closer, as it forced UNM to third sets at Nos. 3, 4 and 6 singles.
The Orange and Blue fell behind when the Lobo’s Andrea Leblanc defeated Wagenvoort, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 2 and Coone topped Medina at No. 5, 6-0, 6-2.
UNM closed out the win at No. 3 with with Dulski coming back to win the third set and the match against Tench, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
“After knowing Duda was out for injury, it would have been easy to go through the motions today and give up,” said Aspillaga. “But we did exactly the opposite. We made UNM earn every single point”
Next on the schedule is the 2016 C-USA Women’s Tennis Championship hosted by Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on April 20-24.
The Miners return everybody from this year except Tench, who celebrated her last match at the El Paso Tennis Club as a Miner.
“We are going to miss Tilly, not only for what she brings on court, but also for the intangibles she brings off court,” coach Aspillaga said. “She is constantly bringing positive energy and good humor, on top of taking care of her stuff. I think these attributes make her special and I am certain she will be very successful in life.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to coach her and to also have her join the team next year as a support staff.”
- No. 122 Vivienne Kulicke (UTEP) def. OLIVIER, Emily (UNM) 6-3, 6-1
- LeBLANC, Andrea (UNM) def. Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) 6-3, 6-4
- Daphne Visscher (UTEP) vs. BURGUIERE, Ludivine (UNM) 3-6, 7-5, 1-5, unfinished
- DULSKI, Dominique (UNM) def. Matilda Tench (UTEP) 1-6, 7-5, 6-3
- COONE, Sharon (UNM) def. Maria Paula Medina (UTEP) 6-0, 6-2
- Raven Bennett (UTEP) vs. BHAT, Rachana (UNM) 7-5, 5-7, 5-1, unfinished
- OLIVIER, Emily/DULSKI, Dominique (UNM) def. Matilda Tench/Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) 6-3
- Raven Bennett/Daphne Visscher (UTEP) vs. LeBLANC, Andrea/BHAT, Rachana (UNM) 6-6, unfinished
- COONE, Sharon/BURGUIERE, Ludivine (UNM) def. Vivienne Kulicke/Maria Paula Medina (UTEP) 7-6 (7-2)