The UTEP tennis team picked up its school-record-tying 16th win of the season by toppling Memphis, 4-1 to cruise into the quarterfinals of the 2009 Conference USA Championships. The Miners (16-6) will take on top-seeded and No. 23 SMU at 9 a.m. MT at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium from the campus of Rice University on Friday.
The appearance in the quarterfinals is the second in the past three years and the third overall under head coach Jamie Campbell’s direction. The Miners managed four such showings from 1991-2003.
As has been the case all season, the Orange and Blue came out focused en route to staking an early lead thanks to triumphs at No. 2 and No. 3 double. Since the onset of dual play, UTEP is now 40-13 in doubles matches.
Martina Trierweiler/Carolina DeLuca drilled the Lady Tigers’ Amanda Brown/Lindsey Wiseman, 8-4, at No. 2 doubles to set the tone. Ximena Fuentes/Marina DeLuca derailed Kristin Chamberlain/Sarah Irvin, 8-5, at No. 3 doubles, securing the aforementioned 1-0 edge in the process.
Megan Pritchard/Weronika Bloczynska were locked up in a good match against Ashley Murdock/Marjorie Ondeck at the top spot, but the match was halted at 8-7 since the team point had already been decided.
Following the brief reprieve, the players retook the court for singles action. The Miners continued to maul the Lady Tigers, with triumphs at No. 4, 5 and 6 singles officially putting them in the win column.
Marina DeLuca dominated Chamberlain at the fourth slot, 6-1, 6-0, en route to staking her eighth straight victory. Overall, she moves to 24-11 on the campaign, and checks in tied for seventh all time at the school for most single-season wins.
Pritchard picked up her fourth successive triumph by dispatching Irvin, 6-2, 7-5, at No. 5 singles. She now stands at 16-11 on the year, with a career-best 15 of those occurring during dual-match play.
Fuentes capped the day for the Orange and Blue by emerging victorious in a three-set match against Wiseman at No. 6 singes. The sophomore took home the first set, 6-3, but Wiseman struck back by a count of 6-3 in the second. Fuentes refocused and edged out Wiseman, 6-4, in the decisive set.
Memphis’ lone point on the day was at No. 2 singles, where Ondeck held off Trierweiler, 6-3, 6-4.
Bloczynska led, 7-5, 2-6, 3-3, against Murdock at No. 1 singles at the time the match was halted. Carolina DeLuca was still on the court as well, with the score from No. 3 singles standing at 6-7, 6-1, 3-3.