The UTEP tennis team’s school-record-seven match winning streak came to a close with a 5-2 loss vs. Tulane in its Conference USA opener but the Miners bounced back to knock off Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 4-1, in an action-packed Friday.
The 1-1 mark at the Islander Invite propels the Orange and Blue to 9-2 on the campaign, which already equals the triumph tally achieved by last year’s team. The Miners are now 2-0 on the year in matches following a loss, showing off their ability to bounce back from adversity in a big way.
Marina DeLuca continued her incredible campaign, picking up two wins in as many tries to stay unbeaten in the spring (11-0). It would be an up and down day for the rest of the squad though, with the Miners challenged early and often against Tulane.
For the first time on the season, UTEP faced a deficit upon the conclusion of doubles play after the Green Wave claimed all three matches. The Miners’ top tandem of Weronika Bloczysnka/Megan Pritchard was saddled with its first setback on the dual campaign (9-1), with Anna Bartenstein/Elizabeth Hamlin edging them by a count of 8-5.
The fantastic freshman combination of Carolina DeLuca/Martina Trieweiler was derailed by Mariam Kurdadze/Lindsay Dvorak, 8-4, at No. 2 doubles, while Marina DeLuca/Vicky Michaud battled hard but were tripped up, 8-6, vs. Marcela Fonseca/Jessica Lange.
UTEP aspired to rally in singles play, but it was not to be. Bartenstein snuck past Bloczynska, 6-1, 6-4, at No. 1 singles. The loss was the senior’s first of the dual-match season, as she had been 9-0 to that point. Trierweiler was tripped up at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 6-2, while Carolina DeLuca fell to Dvorak, 7-6, 6-1, at No. 3 singles. Fuentes also came up short, falling to Fonseca 6-0, 6-0.
Not all was lost, though, with Pritchard (6-4, 6-4) sending Gerber packing at No. 5 singles while Marina DeLuca held off Hamlin, 7-5, 6-4.
Facing the unfamiliar situation of coming off a loss, the Miners dug deep and found redemption vs. TAMUCC. Squaring off with the homestanding, not to mention talented Islanders’ squad, head coach Jamie Campbell’s unit asserted itself in a big way.
With doubles play scratched due to time constraints, the Miners set out to take care of business individually.
Bloczynska, determined to make the loss earlier in the day a distant memory, did just that on the strength of a thrilling three-set triumph vs. Mirna Cicak. It would not be easy, though, with Bloczynska digging an early hole (lost 6-3 in the initial set. Rather than pack it in, though, the native of Poland countered with a dominating stretch by claiming the final two sets (6-3-6-2).
Carolina DeLuca didn’t have to work nearly as hard vs. Nadia Filmater at No. 2 singles, with the freshman waxing her foe by a final count of 6-1, 6-3.
Marina DeLuca followed in the footsteps of her younger sister by drilling Nina Ciric, 6-4, 7-6 (12-10) at No. 3 singles.
Michaud capped the strong bounce-back effort by handling Pernelle Soulie, 6-4, 7-6, at No. 6 singles.
The Islanders took home their loan match of the day at No. 4 singles (Erika Iriarte over Pritchard 7-6, 7-5). Fuentes’ tilt was halted early on a mutual agreement.
Tulane Green Wave 5, UTEP 2
1. Anna Bartenstein (TLN) def. Weronika Bloczynska (UTEP) 6-1, 6-4
2. Mariam Kurdadze (TLN) def. Martina Trieweiler (UTEP) 6-2, 6-2
3. Lindsay Dvorak (TLN) def. Carolina DeLuca (UTEP) 7-6 (3-0), 6-1
4. Marina DeLuca (UTEP) def. Elizabeth Hamlin (TLN) 7-5, 6-4
5. Megan Pritchard (UTEP) def. Caroline Gerber (TLN) 6-4, 6-4
6. Marcela Fonseca (TLN) def. Ximena Fuentes (UTEP) 6-0, 6-0
1. Anna Bartenstein/Elizabeth Hamlin (TLN) def. Weronika Bloczynska/Megan Pritchard (UTEP) 8-5
2. Mariam Kurdadze/Lindsay Dvorak (TLN) def. Carolina DeLuca/Martina Trieweiler (UTEP) 8-4
3. Marcela Fonseca/Jessica Lange (TLN) def. Marina DeLuca/Vicky Michaud (UTEP) 8-6
UTEP 4, TXAMUCC 1
1. Weronika Bloczynska (UTEP) def. Mirna Cicak (TXAMUCC) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
2. Carolina DeLuca (UTEP) def. Nadia Filmalter (TXAMUCC) 6-1, 6-3
3. Marina DeLuca (UTEP) def. Nina Ciric (TXAMUCC) 6-4, 7-6 (12-10)
4. Erika Iriarte (TXAMUCC) def. Megan Pritchard (UTEP) 7-6, 7-5
5. Alexandra Dyckman (TXAMUCC) vs. Ximena Fuentes (UTEP) unfinished
6. Vicky Michaud (UTEP) def. Pernelle Soulie (TXAMUCC) 6-4, 7-6