The UTEP tennis team will head to San Antonio, Texas for a two-match slate against league foes UTSA and LA Tech on April 6 and 7 at the UTSA Tennis Center.
The Miners will meet the Roadrunners on Friday at 1 p.m. CT and will return to action for a Saturday matchup against LA Tech, slated for a 1 p.m. CT start.
“Although we are shorthanded due to some injuries, we are ready to fight as much as possible for these two conference matches,” head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “This group has shown a lot of heart thus far and we are up for the challenge.”
The Miners (6-11 overall, 0-3 C-USA) are fresh off a 1-1 weekend after notching a 5-2 win over Angelo State, but falling short against New Mexico. Due to injuries, the team was forced to play with an incomplete lineup against the Lobos, but were able to stay competitive in the point-clinch match.
Against Angelo State, Miner freshmen Erandi Martinez and Milena Baigorria, paired together for the first time this season in doubles play, dominated the Belles’ Melanie Dreux and Lucie Maitrot 6-3 at the no. 3 doubles position, while Maria Paula Medina and Yvette van Oijen pulled out a 6-4 win at the no. 2 spot over Virginie Becht and Zoe Gubbels to seal the doubles point for the Miners.
The Orange and Blue then kept its momentum into singles play as five Miners notched set one wins leading to four singles victories. The Miners have seen solid play from Martinez, who has tallied 19 total singles wins, including a 3-1 mark playing the no. 3 spot in the lineup, while Baigorria remains strong in dual match play with a 4-1 record.
The Roadrunners (6-10 overall, 0-0 C-USA) are coming off a 4-1 loss to Marquette at home and are 2-3 in their last five contests with wins over Lamar and New Mexico State. The in-state rivals last met on April 9, 2017 at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club, with the Roadrunners running away with the 4-0 victory over the Miners.
Pacing UTSA is Laura Cabrera, who has accumulated a 12-4 overall record in singles play, including five wins playing the no. 2 spot and a flawless 4-0 at the no. 4 position.
The Runners’ Charleen Tiwari has also been strong at the no. 4 spot in the lineup with a 9-4 mark and is 10-6 overall. Tiwari pairs with Ivana Ilic in doubles play, and the tandem has a team-best six wins at the no. 3 position in the lineup.
The Lady Techsters (7-8 overall, 0-2 C-USA) host Grambling State at home on Thursday before Saturday’s matchup with the Miners in the Alamo City. LA Tech and UTEP last met on March 14, 2009 at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club, where the Miners earned the shutout 4-0 win.
Leading the Lady Techsters is Sonia Chen, who is 24-8 overall and 11-3 in dual match play, playing primarily at the no. 3 position.
Chen notched LA Tech’s lone point in a 4-1 loss to Northwestern State on Monday to extend her win streak to 10. Chen notched an ITA Regionals championship in the fall and is part of a team-high eight doubles wins with Claudia Oravcova.
The weekend’s slate will be the final regular season road trip for the Miners. They will return home for Senior Day against Texas A&M-Kingsville on April 13 at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club.