UTEP women’s tennis knocks off NMSU on senior day

EL PASO, Texas – The UTEP tennis team (6-14, 1-4 CUSA) showed off its grit and skillset in knocking off I-10 rival NM State, 4-3, on “Senior Day” at the El Paso Tennis Club Sunday. The Miners set the tone by cruising to the doubles point before doing enough in singles action to down the Aggies (5-15, 2-5 CUSA) in an action-packed match.

“We knew it would be a battle today,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We came out with a lot of energy and got the doubles point. Singles were hard fought, and we managed to split them to give us the 4-3 win. I’m so proud of how hard these girls played today. It’s always great to win on senior day!”

Veronika Lebisova and Zuzanna Szczepanska blasted Dora Kurdi and Anna Pinaieva, 6-3, at No. 1 doubles. Carlotta Mencaglia and Hanna Telzynska took out Valeri a Ivanovskaia and Natsuki Nishimura by the same score at No. 2 doubles, with both matches finishing at the same time to lock up the point for the Orange and Blue. Elena Dibattista and DeCora Antoine were leading Whitney Moon and Mingfang Lisa Zhu, 5-3, at No. 3 doubles when the match was stopped with the point decided.

There were tight battles across the board in singles play, but the Miners simply outclassed the visitors, especially down the stretch, to come away with the triumph. Paloma Hennicaux held off Moon, 7-6, 7-6, at No. 6 singles. Szczepanska dropped the first set to Ivanovskaia, 5-7, at No. 5 singles, but she regrouped to stake the final two sets, 6-1, 6-1. It all came down do court two, where Mencaglia wowed with her mettle by rallying for the 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, outcome to clinch the match for the Miners.

The outcome in those matches rendered the setbacks on the other courts moot, with the Miners having done enough to come away with the win. Lebisova was bounced by Pinaieva, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 1 singles. Dibattista was clipped in three sets by Lisa Zhu at No. 3 singles, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. Telzynska went down swinging at No. 4 singles against Kurdi, 7-6, 6-0.

The Miners will look to the build on the thrilling rivalry victory when they play at the 2024 CUSA Championships hosted by FIU from April 18-21.

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