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