The UTEP tennis team ran its winning streak to four with a 6-1 dismantling of Sam Houston State at the El Paso Tennis Club Saturday afternoon.
The Miners are off to a 5-1 start for consecutive campaigns for the first time in school history. The past four triumphs have come in the Sun City, which has afforded UTEP its second-best opening to a season for home matches in program annals.
Only the 1994-95 edition of the Miners strung together more successive home victories to christen a campaign (five), a feat which UTEP has a chance to equal if it can find a way to defeat West Coast Conference foe Gonzaga in the 10 a.m. match on Sunday.
It was a determined squad which took to the courts at the onset of the match, with the Orange and Blue snagging the early edge behind sweeping the doubles points. It was Martina Trieweiler/Carolina DeLuca who got things rolling, waxing the SHSU tandem of Stasa Vujosevic/Giorgia Pozzan 8-2 at No. 2 doubles. The Miners then officially secured the point thanks to the efforts of Marina DeLuca/Ximena Fuentes, who downed Eleonora Kuruc/Paty Manzur 8-4 at No. 3 doubles.
For the icing on the cake, Weronika Bloczynska/Megan Pritchard dug deep to pull out a thrilling 9-8 (7-5) win at No. 1 doubles, with Peta Taylor/Irina Sotnikova forced to accept a moral victory.
Action then switched to singles play, where the Orange and Blue continued to have their way with SHSU. Marina DeLuca bounced Kuruc at No. 4 singles in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3, while Pritchard pounded Manzur, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 5 singles. Fuentes also joined in on the straight-set victory fun, playing a close to flawless match en route to drilling Vujosevic, 6-2, 6-0.
For the second time in as many days, Bloczynska’s perfect record was put to a test, but as she did against UNC the senior found a way to will herself to the win. The Poland native dropped the initial set, 6-3, but fought back to stake the second set by a count of 7-5. In a back-and-forth final set of the No. 1 singles match, which ultimately went to a tiebreaker, Bloczynska emerged victorious 7-6 (7-3).
Trierweiler also had to put some work into winning, but the freshman did ultimately enjoy a straight-set triumph. Taking on Pozzan at No. 2 singles, the native of Brazil claimed a 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) match.
The lone point in favor of the Bearkats came at the expense of freshman Carolina DeLuca, who was edged by Taylor 6-7 (2-7), 7-5, 1-0 (11-9). It marks the initial defeat of her collegiate career, as the native of Brazil had burst out of the gates at 5-0.
In the lone exhibition match of the day, senior Vicky Michaud cruised past Lilit Mastirosyan, 6-3, 6-3.
UTEP 6, Sam Houston State 1
1. Weronika Bloczynska (UTEP) def. Irina Sotnikova (SHSU) 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3)
2. Martina Trieweiler (UTEP) def. Giorgia Pozzan (SHSU) 7-5, 7-6 (8-6)
3. Peta Taylor (SHSU) def. Carolina DeLuca (UTEP) 6-7 (2-7), 7-5, 1-0 (11-9)
4. Marina DeLuca (UTEP) def. Eleonora Kuruc (SHSU) 7-5, 6-3
5. Megan Pritchard (UTEP) def. Paty Manzur (SHSU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Ximena Fuentes (UTEP) def. Stasa Vujosevic (SHSU) 6-2, 6-0
1. Weronika Bloczynska/Megan Pritchard (UTEP) def. Peta Taylor/Irina Sotnikova (SHSU) 9-8 (7-5)
2. Martina Trieweiler/Carolina DeLuca (UTEP) def. Stasa Vujosevic/Giorgia Pozzan (SHSU) 8-2
3. Marina DeLuca/Ximena Fuentes (UTEP) def. Eleonora Kuruc/Paty Manzur (SHSU) 8-4