Photo by Michael Reese
Lina Sáchica cruised to a win in straight sets, but the UTEP tennis team was dispatched by I-25 rival New Mexico, 4-1, at the El Paso Tennis & Swim Club Sunday afternoon.
“It was another tough day,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We are fighting on every court and were up on many courts and just couldn’t close it out. We are young and learning with every match. I’m extremely proud of Lina (Sáchica), who was able to close out her matches both days. She is showing great energy, and I hope the rest of the team can match that in the matches to come.”
The Lobos (1-1) took the early lead in the match after staking victories at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Bronte Murgett and Natasha Munday dispatched Vanessa Valdez and Erandi Martinez, 6-2, at the top slot. Kathleen Percegona and Maria Aveiga were clipped by Sara Kuuttila-Webbert and Myu Kageyama, 6-1, at No. 2 doubles.
With the doubles point decided the match at No. 3 went unfinished. UTEP’s Eve Daniels and Sáchica were leading the UNM tandem of Alisia Manolescu and Yue Lin Chen, 5-3, at the time it was halted.
The Miners (1-2) looked to rally in singles action behind Sáchica. The junior drilled Manolescu, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 3 singles for her second victory in as many days. UTEP battled on the other courts, but was unable to finish off matches.
Kuuttila-Webbert held off Valdez, 6-1, 7-5, at No. 1 singles. Martinez was bounced by Murgett, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 2 singles. Eve Daniels was knocked off by Danielle Quevedo, 7-5, 6-0, at No. 5 singles. Due to the team outcome being decided, two matches went unfinished.
In No. 4 singles Percegona dropped the first set to Munday, 7-5, but was leading the second set, 4-2, when action stopped. Aveiga lost the opening set to Kageyama, 6-4, at No. 6 singles. The second set was tied, 6-6, when play was halted.
UTEP will be back in action with a pair of matches next weekend. The Miners will face Idaho State in a neutral-site contest on Feb. 8 and then play at Utah State on Feb. 9.
New Mexico vs UTEP | Feb 02, 2020 at El Paso, Texas
(El Paso Tennis Club)
New Mexico 4, UTEP 1
- Sara Kuuttila-Webbert (NM) def. Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 6-1, 7-5
- Bronte Murgett (NM) def. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 6-1, 6-3
- Lina Sáchica (UTEP) def. Alisia Manolescu (NM) 6-3, 6-2
- Natasha Munday (NM) vs. Kathleen Percegona (UTEP)5-7, 4-2, unfinished
- Danielle Quevedo (NM) def. Eve Daniels (UTEP) 7-5, 6-0
- Maria Aveiga (UTEP) vs. Myu Kageyama (NM) 4-6, 6-6, unfinished
- Bronte Murgett/Natasha Munday (NM) def. Vanessa Valdez/Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 6-2
- Sara Kuuttila-Webbert/Myu Kageyama (NM) def. Kathleen Percegona/Maria Aveiga (UTEP) 6-1
- Eve Daniels/Lina Sáchica (UTEP) vs. Alisia Manolescu/Yue Lin Chen (NM) 5-3, unfinished
New Mexico 1-1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,3,5,1)