LAS VEGAS, Nv. – The UTEP tennis team fell behind after dropping the doubles point, but roared back behind singles wins from Vanessa Valdez, Erandi Martinez, Maria Aveiga and Thássane Abrahim to knock off Youngstown State 4-3, on Friday.
“We competed very well on all three doubles but dropped the point,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We came out fighting on all six singles. Tuca (Thássane Abrahim) started us off with a win at No. 5. Then Vane (Vanessa Valdez) won at No. 1 followed by Mafer (Maria Aveiga) at No. 4 and Erandi (Martinez) at No. 3. It was a very closely-fought match, but I’m very proud of the girls for closing the match, 4-1, before dropping the last two matches. It was a great win for us today. We are starting to see some improvement, and I know we can keep it going.”
The Penguins (2-4), who had won two of the past three matches, took the early lead in the match after picking up wins in doubles play at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. Tamara Teufl and Elvira Esteo snuck past Kathleen Percegona and Aveiga, 7-5, at No. 1 doubles. Imaan Hassim and Jessica Stanmore held off Eve Daniels and Lina Sáchica, 6-3, at No. 2 doubles.
UTEP’s Valdez and Martinez derailed Claudia Barboza and Lucia Zagar, 6-3, at No. 3 doubles, but YSU still held the lead going into singles action.
It proved to be inconsequential for the Orange and Blue, who emerged victorious on four of the courts to pull off the impressive comeback. Abrahim got things going by drilling Moraleja, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 5 singles. Valdez followed suit by blasting Teufl, 6-2, 6-3, at the top slot.
Aveiga kept things going with a hard-fought 7-6, 6-4, victory over Zagar at No. 4 singles. Martinez capped the rally with a 7-5, 7-6, triumph against Stanmore at No. 3 singles.
Daniels battled only to fall in three sets, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, at the hands of Esteo at No. 6. Sáchica secured the first set, 6-2, at No. 2 singles against Hassim before coming up shy, 6-3, 6-3.
UTEP will look to build on the momentum of Friday’s win when it locks up with Weber State at 11 a.m. MT Saturday. The Miners will then wrap up the weekend at UNLV at 11 a.m. MT Sunday.
UTEP 4, Youngstown State 3
- Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) def. Tamara Teufl (YSU) 6-2, 6-3
- Imaan Hassim (YSU) def. Lina Sáchica (UTEP) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
- Erandi Martinez (UTEP) def. Jessica Stanmore (YSU) 7-5, 7-6
- Maria Aveiga (UTEP) def. Lucia Zagar (YSU) 7-6, 6-4
- Thássane Abrahim (UTEP) def. Cassandra Moraleja (YSU) 6-1, 6-3
- Elvira Esteo (YSU) def. Eve Daniels (UTEP) 7-5, 2-6, 6-3
- Tamara Teufl/Elvira Esteo (YSU) def. Kathleen Percegona/Maria Aveiga (UTEP) 7-5
- Imaan Hassim/Jessica Stanmore (YSU) def. Eve Daniels/Lina Sáchica (UTEP) 6-3
- Vanessa Valdez/Erandi Martinez (UTEP) def. Claudia Barboza/Lucia Zagar (YSU) 6-3
Youngstown State 2-4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,1,4,3,2,6)