The UTEP women’s tennis team won its second straight match posting a 4-3 win over the Wyoming Cowgirls at the El Paso Tennis Club on Sunday.
“It is exciting to see how good this team can be if everyone shows up and competes at a high level,” head coach Roberto Aspillaga said. “This is allowing us to put ourselves in situations to win, and as we do that over and over again, we will get better at closing matches and playing under pressure.”
UTEP won two of the three doubles matches to gain an early 1-0 lead in the match. At No. 1 doubles, No. 107 Vivienne Kulicke and Duda Santos downed Wyoming’s Magdalena Stencel and Nastya Tokereva, 6-2. The Miner’s Matilda Tench and Raven Bennett defeated Wyoming’s No. 3 doubles tandem, Elisa Koonik and Tessa van Der Ploeg.
“The team did a good job getting started early in the doubles. We talked about communicating better and playing with a chip on our shoulder. I feel that helped us play purpose-driven, confident doubles.”
Kulicke, playing at No. 1 singles, defeated Wyoming’s Magdalena Stencel, 6-4, 6-2, for UTEP’s 2-0 lead in the match. The cowgirls gained their first point of the match when Tessa van Der Ploeg beat Matilda Tench at the fourth spot, 6-1, 6-2. Sophomore Lois Wagenvoort increased the match lead to 3-1 with her 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles over Dorottya Jones. Wyoming’s Tokereva won at the third spot over UTEP’s Duda Santos, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), while the Miner’s Bennett was topped (6-2, 7-5) by Miranda Talbert from Wyoming.
“Vivienne and Lois played disciplined tennis from start to finish,” Aspillaga continued. “They did a great job staying poised all the way through, which is challenging against a feisty and solid Wyoming squad.”
Miner Daphne Visscher clinched the match for UTEP with her No. 5 singles win over Elisa Koonik, 6-1, 2-6, 6-3.
“A perfect example of closing matches and playing well under pressure is junior captain, Daphne Visscher, who rebounded from a tough, clinching loss against Abilene Christian last weekend, to win the deciding match for us today,” said Aspillaga. “She executed with purpose, had the guts to take calculated risks when needed and continued to believe in her game plan no matter how she felt.”
Next up for the UTEP squad is a match up against I-10 rival, NM State next Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M. at11 a.m. (MT).
“Beating last year’s Mountain West Conference finalist is a good win for us, and helps us gain some confidence in preparation for our match against NM State next weekend,” said Aspillaga.
- Vivienne Kulicke (UTEP) def. Magdalena Stencel (WYO) 6-4, 6-2
- Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) def. Dorrottya Jones (WYO) 6-3, 6-2
- Nastya Tokereva (WYO) def. Duda Santos (UTEP) 6-4, 7-6 (8-6)
- Tessa van Der Ploeg (WYO) def. Matilda Tench (UTEP) 6-1, 6-2
- Daphne Visscher (UTEP) def. Elisa Koonik (WYO) 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
- Miranda Talbert (WYO) def. Raven Bennett (UTEP) 6-2, 7-5
- Duda Santos/Vivienne Kulicke (UTEP) def. Magdalena Stencel/Nastya Tokereva (WYO) 6-2
- Dorrottya Jones/Miranda Talbert (WYO) def. Daphne Visscher/Lois Wagenvoort (UTEP) 6-1
- Matilda Tench/Raven Bennett (UTEP) def. Elisa Koonik/Tessa van Der Ploeg (WYO) 6-2