UTEP’s Vanessa Valdez | Photo by Michael Reese
LAS VEGAS – The UTEP tennis team played hard, but couldn’t put it all together in a 4-0 road setback to UNLV. The Miners (3-7) were in search of their second straight win after rallying past Youngstown State, 4-3, on Feb. 21, but the homestanding Rebels (3-5) had other ideas.
“We competed well on several courts but could not maintain the momentum,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We are getting better with every match, but due to our youth there is a lack of discipline in finishing when we are up. This will get better as we mature. I felt like we had chances to win at three through six but could not stay in the match long enough. We will continue to work and get ready for next weekend.”
UTEP fell behind early with UNLV taking the doubles point as result of outcomes on No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. Kathleen Percegona and Maria Aveiga lost, 6-1, to En-Pei Huang and Izumi Asano, at No. 1 doubles.
UTEP’s Eve Daniels and Lina Sáchica fell by the same score to Samantha Li and Hsuan-Yu Lin at No. 3. Vanessa Valdez and Erandi Martinez were leading Connie Li and Sam Smith, 4-3, at No. 2 doubles when the match was halted.
The Miners had dropped the doubles point against YSU on Feb. 21 and were able to rally for the victory, but it wasn’t in the cards on Sunday. Huang bested Sáchica, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 2 singles, while Thássane Abrahim was tripped up by Smith, 7-5, 6-1, at No. 5 singles. UNLV clinched the match after Asano clipped Valdez, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 1 singles.
Martinez locked up with Connie Li at No. 3. The score was 7-5, 5-1, in favor of Li when it went unfinished. Percegona took the first set, 6-2, against Olivia Elliott. She was trailing, 5-3, in the second set when the match was stopped.
Daniels was behind, 6-3, 5-2, to Samantha Li at No. 6 singles when that match as well was stopped.
UTEP will look to build on the momentum it gained in Vegas when it returns home for match-ups with Montana State (1 p.m. MT) on Feb. 29 and Wyoming (10 a.m. MT, March 1). Admission is free.
UTEP vs UNLV – Feb. 23, 2020 at Las Vegas, NV
(Fertitta Tennis Complex) – UNLV 4, UTEP 0
- Izumi Asano (UNLV) def. Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 6-3, 6-3
- En-Pei Huang (UNLV) def. Lina Sáchica (UTEP) 6-1, 6-0
- Connie Li (UNLV) vs. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 7-5, 5-1, unfinished
- Olivia Elliott (UNLV) vs. Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) 2-6, 5-3, unfinished
- Sam Smith (UNLV) def. Thássane Abrahim (UTEP) 7-5, 6-1
- Samantha Li (UNLV) vs. Eve Daniels (UTEP) 6-3, 5-2, unfinished
- En-Pei Huang/Izumi Asano (UNLV) def. Kathleen Percegona/Maria Aveiga (UTEP) 6-1
- Connie Li/Sam Smith (UNLV) vs. Vanessa Valdez/Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 3-4, unfinished
- Samantha Li/Hsuan-Yu Lin (UNLV) def. Eve Daniels/Lina Sáchica (UTEP) 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,5,1)