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Tuesday , April 24 2018
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Pihl Stays in the Top-Five, Miner Golf Drops to Ninth on Leaderboard

TEXARKANA – After ending his round on two birdies, Nicklas Pihl stayed even-par to remain in the top-5 of the field, but the UTEP men’s golf team dropped six spots on the leaderboard to ninth place out of 13 teams after day two of stoke play at the 2018 Conference USA Men’s Golf Championship.

The Miners shot 12-over 300 for a tournament total of 21-over 597 (297-300) at the Texarkana Country Club (par 72/ 6,969 yards), putting the team eight strokes out of qualifying for match play on Wednesday with one round of stroke play left. Middle Tennessee and UAB are tied for the field lead with a 6-over 582 total, while Rice is in third place with 10-over 586 (303-283).

UTSA and North Texas are tied for the fourth and final qualifying spot for match play after totaling 13-over 589. The final round of stroke play will be tomorrow, the Miners will begin to tee off at 8 a.m. CT alongside Southern Miss and Western Kentucky.

Pihl paced the Miners for the second straight day, firing 1-over 73 for an even-par 144 (71-73) total. He started his day with four-straight bogeys, but Pihl bounced back with six birdies, including four on the back-nine. The senior leads the team with nine birdies.

Behind five birdies and only two bogeys, Aaron Terrazas had a strong round of 69 for a 3-over 147 (78-69) total, lifting him 31 spots up the leaderboard to tie for 14th place. Three of his five birdies were collected on Par 5s, helping Terrazas to tie for second in the field in Par 5 scoring (4.50 avg./-4 Sc.). The junior has six birdies total and 22 pars.

“Nick [Pihl] and Aaron were great,” head coach Scott Lieberwirth said. “Nick fought really well today. I’m happy for the both of them.”

Charles Corner shot a round of 79 for a 8-over 152 (73-79) total and a share of 40th place. The senior picked up four birdies for eight total. Rounding out the Miner scorecard, Settavut Paradee and Santiago Castilla both tied for 54th after totaling 13-over 157. Paradee had a round two score of 82 and leads the team in pars with 24, while Castilla chalked in a round of 79 with a birdie.

As a unit, the Miners have totaled 25 birdies and 104 pars.

The top four finishers in stroke play will move on to the match play portion of the tournament to be played on Wednesday, April 25.

“We just need a complete performance, top to bottom, and we haven’t had that yet,” Lieberwith said. “We’re going to have to play one of the best rounds of the year [tomorrow]. We’re going to have to be on tomorrow.”

Live stats are available via

UTEP Tied for Third After Round One Of Conference Tournament

TEXARKANA – Seniors Nicklas Pihl and Charles Corner each finished day one in the top-10 to lift the UTEP men’s golf team to a share of third place out of 13 teams after round one of the 2018 Conference USA Championship on Sunday.

“We’re in fine shape, we’re only one round in, there’s a lot of golf left to play,” head coach Scott Lieberwirth said. “We just have to play our game and clean some things up tomorrow (Monday).”

The Miners are tied with second-seeded Middle Tennessee with 9-over 297, while UAB is leading the field after an even-round of 288 and UTSA is in second place with 8-over 296.

Competition at the Texarkana Country Club (par 72/6,969 yards) will resume Monday, April 23, with the Miners teeing off alongside top-seed North Texas on hole one beginning at 8:40 a.m. CT for the second round of stroke play. The top four finishers in the stroke play portion of the tournament will move on to match play on Wednesday, April 25.

Pihl captains the Miner run after three birdies on the back-nine helped him remain under par for a round of 71 and a share of fourth place out of a pool of 65 competitors. The senior, playing in his fourth conference tournament, only bogeyed twice in the round. Corner slipped into the top-10 after firing 1-over 73 to claim a spot in a seven-way tie for seventh place.

Corner notched four birdies to lead the team and is tied for first in Par 5 scoring (4.25 avg./-3 Sc.), while Pihl is tied for second in the field in Par 3 scoring (3.00 avg./ E Sc.).

“It was great today for Nick and Charlie [Corner],” Lieberwirth said. “Nick played maybe the best round of golf he’s played here in his four years at Texarkana. It was a very solid round of golf. Charlie got off to a rough start, but fought his way back into it.”

Settavut Paradee made his way into the top-20 after firing 3-over 75 to share a spot in 18th place. Paradee leads the field in pars with 15 after his steady round. Santiago Castilla and Aaron Terrazas both shot 6-over 78 to tie for 46th place. Both picked up a birdie and 11 pars each.

As a unit, the Miners pace the field in pars with 59 and have collected nine birdies.

“It [Texarkana Country Club] didn’t yield much, it’s a tricky golf course that’s set up very well,” Lieberwirth said. “You have to hit greens out here, there was about two inches of rain here last night so some of the areas around the greens were really tight and wet. Bermuda grass is just very difficult to get around.”

The stroke play portion of the tournament will conclude on Tuesday and match play will begin on Wednesday. Live stats for the tournament are available here.

Late Surge Powers Ole Miss Past UTEP 7-1

Julia Wright notched a solid performance for UTEP, but Ole Miss scored four runs in the seventh to pull away and top the Miners, 7-1, on Saturday afternoon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

The Rebels improve to 25-18 overall, while the Miners fall to 18-28. UTEP will continue Conference USA action next weekend at Middle Tennessee.

Wright (5-15) threw all 7.0 frames and recorded five strikeouts and only two walks allowed on 98 total pitches. Two earned runs were credited to Wright.

UTEP registered four hits – Kaitlin Ryder singled in the first, while Courtney Clayton, Taylor Sargent and Kacey Duffield each singled in the third.

Ole Miss went up 1-0 in the first inning on a Brittany Finney single.

The Miners, as they did last night, got runners aboard during the Saturday contest. But UTEP stranded three in back-to-back innings (second and third) early in the contest. The Miners recorded all their hits against Ole Miss starter Kaitlin Lee. UTEP left three runners on during the second inning on a pair of errors, while Pamala Baber was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Left-handed pitcher Anna Borgen (4-5) who earned her first save on Friday night, came into relief in the fourth frame and kept UTEP’s bats in check, not allowing a hit and retiring the final 12 batters. Borgen got the win after throwing the final 4.0 innings. Lee tossed 3.0 frames.

With the score 2-0, UTEP got on the board in the third frame when Kira McKechnie was hit by a pitch with bases to loaded, scoring Ryder.

But Ole Miss scored another run during the fourth to make the count 3-1 and Alex Schneider put the ball game away when she connected on a three-run home run in the seventh.

Miners Rally Comes Up Short, Falls to Ole Miss 8-4

Ole Miss of the SEC jumped out to a big lead after a five-run sixth, but UTEP held its own, scoring three runs in the seventh while the game-tying run came to the plate. But the Rebels (24-18) held off the Miners’ (18-27) rally, winning 8-4 on a brisk and breezy Friday night at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex in front of a rowdy and loud crowd of 451 fans.

UTEP and Ole Miss will conclude the weekend series on Saturday at 4 p.m.

The Miners registered 10 hits, as Kaitlin Ryder finished 3-for-3 with a RBI and run, and Courtney Clayton went 2-for-4 with two runs and a RBI, along with her team-leading fourth triple. Cortney Smith added a 3-for-4 outing, while Kacey Duffield and Taylor Sargent each singled.

Ole Miss got the on the board first during the first when Brittany Finney used a two-out single to go ahead 1-0. The Rebels scored two more runs during the fourth to go up 3-0.

In the fifth, UTEP put a run on the board to get within a pair of runs. Clayton led off the home half with a triple hit to right center. Ryder plated her best friend on a sac-fly hit to left to make the score 3-1.

The Rebels answered with the five runs in the sixth to go up 8-1.

But the Miners showed more resiliency, proving they can hit on SEC pitching.

After Ariana Valles drew a one-out walk and eventually reached second base on a wild pitch. Clayton then drove Valles home with her second hit of the night, a hard single to left center. Ryder then doubled down the right line, advancing Clayton to third base. Duffield made the score 8-3 on a sac-fly hit to right, plating Clayton for her second run of the night.

Sargent followed with a single of her own, brining Ryder across the dish, making the count 8-4. Smith singled for a third time during the evening and Kira McKechnie drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. But Ole Miss pitcher Anna Borgen forced the final batter to ground out to earn her first save of the season.

McKechnie (9-8) made the start in the circle, throwing a complete game and tallying three K’s.

Clayton’s triple was the sixth of her career. She ranks tied for second on the program’s all-time list with teammate Sargent and Sarah Ramirez. Clayton, with her 2-for-4 outing, recorded her 71st multi-hit game, while starting her 201st consecutive game.

Ryder registered her 95th career RBI and upped her average to .331 on the season. Smith, with her three hits, increased her batting average to .301.

UTEP put runners on board, but left 11 stranded to Ole Miss’s four.

Mining Minds Special Lighting Commemorates Honors Convocation

The “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at UTEP’s University Avenue roundabout will be illuminated in blue and orange Sunday evening, April 22, 2018, in honor of The University of Texas at El Paso’s Honors Convocation.

Each spring, the University salutes the achievements of students, staff and faculty in areas of service, leadership and academics. Numerous awards will be presented at this year’s Honors Convocation, including the UTEP Top Ten Senior Awards, which are given to students who have achieved success academically and through their University and community involvement.

“Mining Minds” is an iconic piece of public art installed in 2010 to enhance the UTEP campus. At night, orange lights illuminate the steel structure while light from LEDs emanates from the perforated “ones” and “zeroes” at each end of the pick.

On special occasions, including historic dates, major annual milestones and to celebrate special accomplishments, the pick is illuminated in blue and orange.

The ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. April 22 in Magoffin Auditorium.

UTEP Golf’s Corner Named to 2018 InTouch Credit Union All-Academic Team

IRVING, Texas – For his work on the golf course and the classroom, UTEP men’s golf senior Charles Corner was recognized by Conference USA as one of five men’s golf student-athletes named to the 2018 InTouch Credit Union All-Academic Team, the league announced Friday.

“He’s [Corner] is a phenomenal student-athlete,” head coach Scott Lieberwirth said. “He does everything right, in the classroom he works really hard and he’s really successful and it translates over to the golf course as well. He’s been our best player this year and I’m really proud of Charlie and what he’s brought to our program. He’s been a great player, a great student and a good ambassador of our program. This is a very high honor and he’s extremely worthy of it.”

Corner made his way onto the all-academic squad with a 3.60 in finance. The Canada product is a returner from the 2017 C-USA championship squad, and has finished at the top of the Miner scorecard in four of five spring tournaments. He has constructed a team-best 71.5 stroke average through 10 events with three top-five finishes.

His second-place showing at the Price’s Give ‘Em Five Invitational lifted UTEP to a team crown. Corner is a multi-C-USA Honor Roll winner and Academic Medal recipient and was also an all-conference second team selection and a Golf Coaches Association of America Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar.

Also making the all-academic list was Marshall’s Alex Weiss, Middle Tennessee duo James Beckner and Chip Thomas, and Rice’s Mitchell Meissner.

The Miners will begin their quest to defend their C-USA title beginning April 22 through April 25 at the Texarkana Country Club in Texarkana, AR.

Live Stats will be available here.

UTEP’s Saruni Named to The Bowerman Mid-Outdoor Watch List

Michael Saruni was named to The Bowerman Mid-Outdoor Watch List, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced Thursday afternoon.

The Bowerman consists of the top-10 track and field athletes throughout the country and is regarded as the most prestigious track and field honor in the collegiate ranking.

The sophomore is ranked highly in both the 400m and 800m. Saruni clocked an altitude-converted time of 45.53 in the 400m at the Don Kirby Tailwind Open, which ranks him No. 3 in the country. He followed that up with a time of 1:48.39 in the 800m the next week at the Texas Invitational, which puts him 17th in the nation.

This marks the Kenya native’s second appearance on the watch list after making the outdoor preseason list. He is just the fourth Miner to receive national recognition following Blessing Okagbare (2010) Anthony Rotich (2014 and 2015), and Emmanuel Korir (2017). Okagbare is the only Miner to be a finalist for the prestigious award.

Saruni and the UTEP track and field team will head out west to Tucson, Ariz., for the Desert Heat Classic for the final regular-season meet on April 28th.

Be sure to follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter and UTEPTRACK on Instagram for live updates and breaking news.

UTEP Softball to Host SEC’s Ole Miss Friday, Saturday

The UTEP softball team will take a break from league action and will host Southeastern Conference program Ole Miss April 20 and 21 at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

Friday’s contest between the Miners (18-26) and Rebels (23-18) will start at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s game is set for a 4 p.m. start.

Friday night’s contest is a ‘Blackout’ as tickets will be $2 for fans who wear black.

The Miners are on a four-game winning streak and have won seven of their last 10 contests, after shutting out New Mexico on April 16. The Miners threw a no-hitter against New Mexico on Feb. 17 in Las Vegas, Nev., during an 8-0 win in five innings. UNM went hitless for the first 4.1 frames during Monday’s contest.

Prior to the victory against UNM, UTEP is coming Conference USA foe North Texas April 14-15.

UTEP first baseman Kacey Duffield was named the C-USA Player of the Week after her clutch performance during the Miners’ sweep against the Mean Green during the weekend. The junior hit .600 with a slugging percentage of 1.400. Duffield hit two home runs with four runs and racking up seven RBI.

Sunday’s contest ended in unique fashion as back-to-back putouts were recorded from left and right field, respectively, to complete the series sweep. In back-to-back UNT at bats, Kaitlin Ryder threw a runner at home from left field to record the second out, while Taylor Sargent threw out another runner at home from right field.

With the sweep against North Texas, the Miners jumped up to the no. 9 spot in the conference standings, as the top eight schools will advance to the C-USA Softball Championship May 9-12 in Charlotte, N.C.

C-USA series sweep was the first for UTEP since sweeping North Texas April 30-May 1, 2016.

UTEP, after a 1-8 start in C-USA action, is 6-3 since when with a pair of victories against UTSA (March 30), a triumph at WKU (April 7) and the recent series sweep against UNT. UTEP also improved to 12-4 at home overall, while its league home mark is 6-3. UTEP defeated UAB, 16-13, on March 18.

UTEP senior Courtney Clayton, who started her 200th consecutive game on April 16, ranks third in C-USA with a .406 batting average, while ranking in the top 10 in multiple offensive categories. Ryder ranks in the top 30 in C-USA with a .315 average. Ryder, who had struggled a bit at the plate, is hitting .476 during her last seven starts.

Junior hurlers Kira McKechnie and Julia Wright have combined for four wins during the four-game winning streak, while Wright earned her C-USA-leading fourth save against North Texas on Saturday.

Wright also tied the program’s single-season record with her fourth save. Wright added her first complete-game shutout in the mix on Monday against New Mexico.


UTEP is 0-1 all-time as it fell 6-4 against Ole Miss on March 6, 2011 in Denton, Texas. Kayla Black put the Miners ahead 2-0 in the top first after she connected on a two-run home run.

With the score 4-2 in favor of Ole Miss, Kia Moore brought the Miners within a run during the fourth when she was hit by a pitch with bases loaded. Moore also scored a run in the seventh inning.


The Rebels are coming off a 7-0 victory against ULM on April 18 in Oxford, Miss. Old Miss is 23-18 overall on the season and 5-13 in SEC play after losing the first two games against Mississippi State, but coming back to win the third game of the series, 7-6, after being down 6-3 on Sunday.

Ole Miss is 6-4 in its last 10 contests, that includes a victory against no. 14 LSU on April 8. Ole Miss also defeated no. 3 Oregon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Feb. 17. The Rebels are hitting .253 with 13 home runs. Kylan Becker leads the team with a .323 batting average and has tallied 10 RBI, while Elantra Cox paces the squad with 18 stolen bases, while hitting .315 with 10 RBI.

Autumn Gillespie leads the team with 25 RBI and seven doubles, and is tied with Amanda Roth (.147 avg.) for the team lead with three home runs. Ole Miss has a 2.72 ERA, while Kaitlin Lee (13-8) leads the team in wins, starts (19), innings pitched (128.1) and K’s (64). Ava Tillmann (3-3) has a 2.46 ERA in 48.1 innings and Anna Borgen (3-5) has fashioned a 2.46 ERA in 49.2 innings.


Ole Miss is only the second SEC program to play in the Sun City. Missouri played a pair of contests on March 21, 2016. UTEP dropped both contests, but Taylor Sargent hit .500 with two doubles and scored a run.

Sargent also registered two RBI and drew a walk in the series. UTEP (0-8) has yet to defeat a SEC program. UTEP also faced Missouri to open the 2018 campaign while taking on Arkansas in 2004, Tennessee in 2004 and 2009, Ole Miss in 2011 and Texas A&M in 2016.


The top three teams (by winning percentage) in each division, along with two Wild Card teams from either division will advance to the Conference USA Championship in Charlotte, N.C. May 9-12. As of April 19, UTEP is standing in ninth place in the C-USA overall standings.

LA Tech (13-5) leads the West Division, while Florida Atlantic (9-6) leads the East. UAB (10-4-1) ranks second in the West, while North Texas (8-7) sits at third in the West. Marshall (10-7-1) is in second and FIU (8-7) is in third in the East. Middle Tennessee (7-8) and WKU (7-8) occupy the Wild Card spots.

MT will host FAU this weekend, while Marshall will play at WKU. UTSA will host Southern Miss, and North Texas will host FIU. UAB will play at LA Tech.

UTEP Football to Host Youth Camp May 19

In a month, UTEP football head coach Dana Dimel and the rest of the coaching staff will be hosting the 2018 UTEP Youth Football Camp. The camp is offered to children in grades K-8 without any extra requirements.

Participants may sign up for the May 19 camp as either an individual or a team with an enrollment fee of $26.50 per player.

This camp is an opportunity for players to learn fundamentals and advanced skills from high level coaches. Campers will get to compete in both offensive and defensive positions to experience every aspect of the game.

The Youth Football Camp will take place on Saturday, May 19 at the Sun Bowl Stadium, giving participants a true Division I College Football experience. Campers are asked to bring tennis shoes, shorts, a t-shirt, and socks.

Football cleats and mouthpieces are encouraged but optional.

Enrollment will close May 18 at 11:30 PM. Registration for the camp is now open online.


UTEP’s Heritage House Shines Light on Institution’s Past

With all the hustle and bustle of college life, it is understandable if students, faculty and staff at The University of Texas at El Paso ignore the nondescript two-story, sand-colored stucco building “hidden” in the center of campus. Understandable, but unfortunate.

The building in question is Heritage House, 405 Kerbey Ave. It has served many purposes through the years from home to classroom to gallery. It is a valued depository of artifacts and memorabilia that chronicles and celebrates UTEP’s existence and traditions starting from its days as the State School of Mines and Metallurgy in 1914.

The wall-to-wall displays and special exhibits overseen by UTEP’s Heritage Commission can educate about the campus’ past or elicit warm waves of nostalgia.

For Ramiro Martinez, a retired El Paso pharmacist who earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UTEP in 1967, it was a little of both. He found himself sitting in the Heritage Conference Room, the former home’s dining area, lost in the past as he fingered through an old Flowsheet yearbook.

Martinez said he passed the Heritage House as a student, but never gave the building much thought. At that time, the converted home was used for special University projects.

While on campus for 2017 Homecoming activities, someone recommended he visit the house. One hour into his tour, he was having a pseudo-reunion because he found several of his college buddies on the black-and-white pages of the Flowsheet.

“(Heritage House) is very nice,” said Martinez, who was appointed to the Heritage Commission in November 2017 because of his interest. “It’s nice to come back and see how things were. There’s a lot of history here.”

The home houses collections of books, photos, uniforms, sculptures, paintings and assemblies of glassware, jewelry and different incarnations of UTEP mascot Paydirt Pete. The Heritage Commission has an inventory of thousands of artifacts, which includes approximately 2,000 glossy, black-and-white photos of the campus, people on campus and campus activities throughout the years.

Built in 1920, the building served as home to the institution’s first dean, Steve H. Worrell, and his wife, Kathleen. The Worrells deeded the home to the college after they left in 1923. It remained a residence until the 1960s when it was used as a classroom, for special projects, and eventually for facilities services. University President Diana Natalicio approved renovations to the property and turned it over to the Heritage Commission in 1994.

UTEP formally created the 30-member Heritage Commission on Oct. 8, 1980, to preserve the University’s artifacts. The all-volunteer group is made up mostly of retired alumni, faculty and staff. Before Heritage House, members kept memorabilia in their offices and in the basement of the Administration Building.

Commission members inventory donations, respond to research inquiries and set up displays in Heritage House and the glass display case

UTEP’s Heritage Commission, pictured during a spring 2018 meeting near Miner Canyon student housing, oversees the research and displays at Heritage House. Photo: Laura Trejo / UTEP Communications

outside the Tomás Rivera Conference Center on the third floor of Union Building East. They also lead tours mostly for interested alumni and student groups.

The main draw for the hundreds of annual visitors is to learn about the campus’ history, heritage and traditions.

Briane Carter, Heritage Commission chair and former director of UTEP’s University Career Center, did not mince words when discussing the importance of Heritage House.

“If (Heritage House) wasn’t here, the history of UTEP would be lost,” Carter said. “We’re here to preserve that history and allow visitors to rediscover it.”

One of her favorite Heritage House stories involves Tatsumi Morizuka, a retired resident of Kawai-Cho, Japan, who stopped by UTEP during a bus and train tour of the southern United States in 2016.

Morizuka was familiar with California and some Northeastern states, but wanted to experience the Southwest, especially UTEP, which he read about in a Japanese guide book. He praised the campus in general, and was specifically glad to have spent time in Heritage House. He said the photos and exhibits were wonderful ways to familiarize first-time visitors with the University’s history and traditions.

“The time I spent at Heritage House was precious and unique,” Morizuka said in an email interview, adding that he did not know of any similar gallery at a Japanese university. “It is as if I had been transported to a small, fancy land.”

Stephanie Meyers, DMA, professor of music, said the house is a “big hit” with participants of her String Project, a program that offers string instrument instruction to area elementary school students. She said the children are especially fond of the different Paydirt Pete costumes, some of which date back to before their parents were born.

“They see (Heritage House) as a warm, inviting place,” Meyers said. “They love everything about it.”

The C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department in the University Library often collaborates with Heritage House, said Claudia Rivers, director of Special Collections and a de facto member of the Heritage Commission.

The two entities have similar, but different, missions. Whereas Heritage House collects and displays UTEP artifacts, Special Collections is a cache of documents about the University and beyond to include the City of El Paso, the Southwest region and the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We work closely with them,” Rivers said. “They are a wonderful resource. There are a lot of knowledgeable people there who perform a great service for the University.”

Maribel Villalva, assistant vice president for alumni relations, praised the Heritage Commission for the countless hours they spend archiving, caring for and displaying the memorabilia, and then educating the public about the University. The commission and Heritage House are supported by UTEP’s Office of Alumni Relations.

“We are so grateful for these dedicated volunteers who have chosen to give back to UTEP in this meaningful way,” Villalva said. “They help us to preserve UTEP’s proud history.”

For more information, visit the Heritage House website.

Author:  Daniel Perez – UTEP Communications

UPDATE: UTEP’s Tennis Season Ends In Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. – The UTEP tennis team saw its season come to an end at the 2018 Conference USA Women’s Tennis Championships after suffering a 4-0 loss to third-seeded and No. 44 Old Dominion at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center in Norfolk, Va. on Thursday.

The Miners (6-15, 0-5 C-USA), the 14th seed in the tournament, were forced to forfeit No. 3 doubles and the No. 6 singles spot to the nationally-ranked Monarchs (18-4, 6-0 C-USA) due to injury.

During the doubles slate, Lois Wagenvoort and Raven Bennett were leading ODU’s Victoria Olivarez and Nataliia Vlasova 4-3 at the No. 1 doubles spot in their effort to tie the battle for the point. However, Maria Paula Medina and Milena Baigorria slipped up 6-2 to Holly Hutchinson and Natalya Malenko at the No. 2 doubles position, sealing the doubles point to the tournament host and leaving the top doubles match unfinished.

Fighting a 2-0 deficit heading into singles play, Medina, battling through injury, was able to notch a point in her match against Olivarez at the No. 4 spot in the lineup, but was forced to retire. Wagenvoort, playing in her final conference championships as the lone senior on the team, slipped to Hutchinson 6-0, 6-2 at the top singles position, ending the match. Bennett was fighting in her match on court two against Vlasova after falling in the tight first set, but it was left unfinished at 6-4, 2-2. On court three, Erandi Martinez had a 2-1 advantage in the second stanza against Yuila Starodubtseva and Baigorria was battling back from a 2-0 debt to Adriana Rajkovic before the match was called.

The young UTEP team finished the year with six wins and will return seven of their eight players next season. Wagenvoort ended her UTEP career with 37 wins, ranking ninth on UTEP’s career wins list, while Martinez’s 20 singles wins in her debut year already placed her in the top-20 of that same list.

“I want to thank Lois [Wagenvoort] for her hard work and commitment to UTEP tennis these last four years,” head coach Ivan Fernandez. “It was my honor to get to coach her this year. Lois and the rest of the girls played with a lot of heart. Under the circumstances, we did all we could to represent UTEP with pride and dignity. I will continue to rebuild and we will keep striving to get better every day.”

Tennis Match Results – UTEP vs Old Dominion
Apr 19, 2018 at Norfolk, Va. (Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center)  #44 Old Dominion 4, UTEP 0

Singles competition

1. Holly Hutchinson (ODU) def. Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) 6-0, 6-2
2. Nataliia Vlasova (ODU) vs. Raven Bennett (UTEP) 6-4, 2-2, unfinished
3. Yulia Starodubtseva (ODU) vs. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 6-3, 1-2, unfinished
4. Victoria Olivarez (ODU) def. Maria Paula Medina (UTEP) 5-1, retired
5. Adriana Rajkovic (ODU) vs. Milena Baigorria (UTEP) 6-3, 2-0, unfinished
6. Louie McLelland (ODU) def. No player (UTEP), by default
Doubles competition
1. Victoria Olivarez/Nataliia Vlasova (ODU) vs. Lois Wagenvoort/Raven Bennett (UTEP) 3-4, unfinished
2. Holly Hutchinson/Natalya Malenko (ODU) def. Maria Paula Medina/Milena Baigorria (UTEP) 6-2
3. Adriana Rajkovic/Yulia Starodubtseva (ODU) def. No player/No player (UTEP), by default

Match Notes:

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

***Previous Story Below

IRVING, Texas – The UTEP tennis team will open the 2018 Conference USA Women’s Tennis Championship with a bout against No. 3 seed and tournament host Old Dominion on Thursday, April 19, at 12 p.m. ET.

The four-day tournament will begin on April 19 and conclude with the championship match on Sunday, April 22, all matches will be played at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center in Norfolk, Virginia.

“The great thing about the conference tournament is that anything can happen,” head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “Regardless of what happened during the regular season, every team has a chance.”

UTEP is the no. 14 seed in the championship, while the top-two seeds No. 1 FIU and No. 2 Rice earned first-round byes.

The Miners, who have been fighting through injury, wrapped up regular-season play against NM State, where they were edged 4-1 by the Aggies. Freshman Erandi Martinez put the Miners on the board after taking down the Aggies’ Quinty Janssen. Martinez leads the team with a 20-10 overall record, including a 4-1 mark at the No. 3 spot in the lineup, where she primarily plays.

The Miners have also seen strong play and fight from Raven Bennett, who has notched two wins as the Miners’ No. 2 as well as Maria Paula Medina, who has anchored the No. 4 spot in the lineup with three wins. Milena Baigorria has earned five wins this season, and veteran Lois Wagenvoort has battled for two wins at the top of the lineup.

The No. 44 nationally ranked Old Dominion squad (17-4) is riding a six match winning streak and has won nine of its last 10 matches, including a 6-1 victory over No. 42 ranked William & Mary this past weekend. On the season, ODU compiled a 12-2 record at home, a 5-2 record on the road and an undefeated 5-0 record in Conference USA play. The Monarchs have an overall singles record of 91-21, an overall doubles record of 38-12.

Pacing the team is Yulia Starodubtseva, who holds a 18-2 singles record, and Nataliia Vlasova, who is 16-2 on the year. In doubles play, Monarch tandem Victoria Olivarez and Vlasova have complied a 11-4 record to lead the team.

The winner between UTEP and ODU’s match will move on to face the winning team from “Match 6”, a clash between North Texas and UAB. That match, which would be played on Friday, April 20, would be the final matchup in the quarterfinals round.

Opening round action commences at 9 a.m. ET with (8) Southern Miss facing off against (9) Charlotte for a chance to play (1) FIU in the quarterfinals. Also at 9 a.m., (7) WKU will square off against (10) Louisiana Tech for a crack at (2) Rice in another quarterfinal bout.

Playing at the same time as the Miners, (4) Florida Atlantic and (13) Marshall will meet at 12 p.m. ET. The final two first-round matchups feature (5) Middle Tennessee taking on (12) UTSA and (6) North Texas playing (11) UAB.

Semifinals will begin the following day, April 21, when the final four teams compete for a berth into the C-USA Tournament Championship. The C-USA Championship will be played on Sunday, April 22 at 10 a.m. EST. Both the Semifinals and the Championship rounds will be broadcasted live on CUSA TV.

Schedule of Events:

First Round – Thursday, April 19
Match 1: (8) Southern Miss vs. (9) Charlotte – 9 a.m.
Match 2: (7) WKU vs. (10) Louisiana Tech – 9 a.m.
Match 3: (4) Florida Atlantic vs. (13) Marshall – 12 p.m.
Match 4: (3) Old Dominion vs. (14) UTEP – 12 p.m.
Match 5: (5) Middle Tennessee vs. (12) UTSA – 3 p.m.
Match 6: (6) North Texas vs. (11) UAB – 3 p.m.

Quarterfinals – Friday, April 20
Match 7: Match 1 winner vs. (1) FIU – 10 a.m.
Match 8: Match 2 winner vs. (2) Rice – 10 a.m.
Match 9: Match 3 winner vs. Match 5 winner – 2 p.m.
Match 10: Match 4 winner vs. Match 6 winner – 2 p.m.

Semifinals – Saturday, April 21
Match 11: Match 7 winner vs. Match 9 winner – 12 p.m. (CUSA TV)
Match 12: Match 8 winner vs. Match 10 winner – 12 p.m. (CUSA TV)

Championship – Sunday, April 22
Match 13: Match 11 winner vs. Match 12 winner – 10 a.m. (CUSA TV)

All Times Eastern

UTEP Women’s Golf Surges to Second at C-USA Championship

FORT MYERS, FL. – The UTEP women’s golf team saved its best for last on day three of the Conference USA Championship Wednesday, shooting 291 to take second place at the 12-team event.

“I’m really proud of the girls,” UTEP coach Jere Pelletier said.   “They hung in there and played their hearts out.  Our practices over the course of the year paid off.  We were shooting to win the conference, but finishing second was a big leap for us.”

The Miners fired a 23-over-par 887 (300-296-291) as UTSA won with a 10-over-par 874 (294-292-288).

“I think we got a little more familiar with the course as the tournament went on, and we were a little more confident,” Pelletier said.  “I think some of the nerves wore off and that helped us.  If we hadn’t had the one bad backside on the first day, we would’ve been really competitive.”

UTEP junior Lily Downs tied for fifth place with a four-over-par 220 (75-71-74).  She joined UTSA’s Julie Houston and Ana Gonzalez, Middle Tennessee’s Hanley Long, WKU’s Georgina Blackman, and North Texas’ Sabina Pena and Lauren Cox on the All-Tournament Team.  Houston was the individual champion with a four-under 212 (73-70-69).

The Miners’ June Ting (77-76-71-224), Valeria Mendizabal (74-78-72-224) and Abbie Anghelescu (74-76-74-224) were part of a five-way tie for 17th place.  Shannon O’Dwyer finished in 60th place (89-73-89-251).

“Lily had a good tournament,” Pelletier said.  “She had a little rough patch today but finished with three birdies in the last four holes and captured a top-five finish, which was wonderful for her.  Val, Abby and June played very steady the whole way and that’s what you need. They were really solid and that’s what helped us the most.”

It capped an exceptional season for the Miners, who finished in the top-three at seven of 10 tournaments.  With Ting being the squad’s lone senior, hopes are high for 2018-19.

“I’m sorry to see June leave.  I hate to lose her,” Pelletier said.  “But we’re excited about the future for the Miners.”

UTEP Wants You! Application Period Now Open for Inaugural Fan Council

Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced that the application process has begun for UTEP Athletics’ inaugural Fan Council.

“During our Town Hall meetings this spring, we have gotten tremendous feedback on how we can make our fan experience better,” Senter said. 

“The primary purpose of the Fan Council will be to continue evaluating game day for all sports, make recommendations, and work alongside our department to implement these suggestions.  We’re excited to hear from our most ardent supporters and give them a voice in the future of UTEP Athletics, because Every Person Makes a Difference!  #EPMAD”

Applications will be accepted from now through May 18 online.  The council will be composed of 30 individuals, representing different constituents and perspectives, on one, two and three-year terms. 

Council members will be selected in late May, with meetings to be held quarterly starting in June.

UTEP Women’s Golf Stays in Third at C-USA Championship

FORT MYERS, FL. – The UTEP women’s golf team maintained its hold on third place following day two of the Conference USA Championships at the Verandah Club in Fort Myers on Tuesday.

With a 20-over-par 596 (300-296), the Miners are 10 strokes behind first-place UTSA (294-292-586), and six behind second-place Old Dominion (301-289-590).

UTEP’s Lily Downs is right in the thick of the individual title chase. Her two-over-par 146 (75-71) leaves her three strokes back of first-place UTSA teammates Julie Houston (73-70-143) and Ana Gonzalez (70-73-143).

The Miners’ Abbie Anghelescu is tied for 12th place (74-76-150), Valeria Mendizabal is tied for 21st place (74-78-152), June Ting is tied for 27th place (77-76-153) and Shannon O’Dwyer is tied for 52nd place (89-73-162).

The final 18 holes will be contested on Wednesday.

Wright’s Complete-Game Performance Helps Miners Blank Lobos 7-0

UTEP starting pitcher Julia Wright allowed only four hits and struck out six behind a complete-game effort as the Miners (18-26) shutout New Mexico (11-29), 7-0, on Monday afternoon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

“[Julia Wright] did a great job, she only gave up four hits and had a no-hitter going into the fifth inning,” fifth-year UTEP head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “She did a great job of getting ahead early in the counts and it work to her advantage.”

The Lobos, after being no-hit by UTEP on Feb. 17 in Las Vegas, Nev., finally chalked one up when Monica Salas singled with one out during the fifth inning.

Monday’s victory was the fourth straight for the Miners after sweeping Conference USA foe North Texas this past weekend, while their home record improves to 12-4. UTEP has already surpassed last season’s win total of 12.

UTEP went up 4-0 early as Kaitlin Ryder drove home Courtney Clayton in the first frame. Clayton had singled to get on base for her 236th career hit.

The Miners scored a trio of runs in the second as Ariana Valles registered a RBI when she singled to right center, plating Taylor Sargent. Valles would reach second on the throw. Then with two outs on the board, Clayton put the ball into play as UNM shortstop Cameryn O’Grady committed a throwing error and letting Valles and Pamala Baber score runs.

Clayton has now reached base 32 times on errors during her career, extending her school record.

After going scoreless three innings, the Miners put up three more in the sixth to make the score 7-0. Sophomore Bryanna Molina, on a pinch-hit opportunity, was hit by a pitch with bases loaded to earn a hard RBI – the first of her career. Linda Garcia and Ilena Santos each grounded out but were credited with an RBI each during their pinch-hit at bats.

Wright then took the circle for the top seventh and after allowing the leadoff hitter Chelsea Johnson to single, she struck out D’Andra DeFlora looking and Andrea Howard swinging for back-to-back K’s. Salas popped out to the Conference USA Player of the Week first baseman Kacey Duffield to end the contest.

Miners the were credited with eight hits, led by Sargent’s 2-for-2 outing, along with her second triple of the season and sixth of her career. Sargent now ranks tied for second with Sarah Ramirez on the program’s all-time list. Valles’s added a 2-for-3, one-run, one-RBI performance.

Lindsey Sokoloski registered a pinch-hit single during the sixth and scored a run, Mariah Ellis, also on a pinch-hit opportunity, scored a run after she was walked. Baber drew a walk in the second and scored a run, while singling on a bunt during the fourth frame.

Sargent, who recorded the last out by throwing out a runner at home plate from right field during Sunday’s win over North Texas, threw out a runner at home during the fifth. Sydney Broderick singled to right with Salas at second base, but Sargent snagged the ball and made a direct throw to Ryder to end the top half.

“[Sargent] is just solid out there [in right field],” Echo-Hawk said. “She has a great arm and is one of our more accurate throwers. So, as long as she’s being aggressive, she’s gives us a good chance to get that out at home.”


UTEP will host Southeastern Conference program [RV] Ole Miss (21-18) April 20 and 21. Friday’s contest will begin at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s game is set for a 4 p.m. start at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex. The Rebels are playing Mississippi State on Monday night and are 4-13 in SEC play.