UTEP Downs Lamar, 4-3, To Pick Up Fourth Straight Win

Feb. 19, 2010

Photo gallery by Ivan Pierre Aguirre 

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EL PASO, TEXAS- The UTEP tennis team ran its winning streak to four on the strength of an exciting 4-3 victory against Lamar at the El Paso Tennis Club Friday afternoon.


The Miners (4-4) led 1-0 after the doubles points, and did just enough in singles play, to hold off a very game Cardinal (4-3) squad. Marina DeLuca and Ximena Fuentes picked up straight-set triumphs, but it was Alexandra Glebova’s three-set thriller which ultimately decided the match.


The junior cruised past Natalia Mayagoitia, 6-1, in the opening-set of their contest at No. 3 singles. The LU player struck back in the second set, though, with a 6-4 triumph. With the balance of the tilt hanging in the air, Glebova dug deep and prevailed, 6-3.


“We knew we were going to have our hands full,” UTEP head coach Jamie Campbell said.  “Lamar is always a very tough and feisty team. It came down to the three-set match with Alex (Glebova). Both of the ladies wanted it but Alex wanted it a little bit more. It was a great win for her and for our team.”


The Miners were in top form during doubles play, where they secured the point thanks to a clean sweep. It was a dominant performance at No. 3 doubles, with Marina DeLuca/Austin Lavallii drilling Manami Kuroda/Alessandra Pennesi, 8-2.


The action was much more competitive at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, but the end result did not waver. In the top slot, it was the Orange and Blue tandem of Carolina DeLuca/Dariya Abdrakhmanova which showed the will to win in toppling Manijee Ashrafi/Mariaryeni Gutierrez, 9-7.


Glebova/Fuentes worked extremely hard vs. Kaltrina Harbuzi/Natalia Mayagoitia, and the pairing was rewarded handsomely. The match went to a tiebreaker, and UTEP took care of business for the 9-8 (8-5) triumph.


Following a bid reprieve, singles play started where the Cardinals made things a bit interesting.


Fuentes cruised past Kuroda, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 5 singles, and the Miners looked to be in good shape after Marina DeLuca derailed Ashraf, 6-0, 6-4. LU struck back, though, with triumphs at No. 1, No.2, and No. 6, before Glebova locked up the match for the homestanding squad.


Abdrakhmanova was out of rhythm from the initial point against Gutierrez, and was stricken with a 6-0, 6-1, setback in the battle at the top position.


Carolina DeLuca played hard and stayed with Harbuzi early on at No. 2 singles, but dropped the first set 6-3. She ran out of steam in the final set, falling 6-0.


Pennesi gave Makashov fits, and the freshman came up short by a final count of 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6 singles.


The Miners, who are in the midst of playing  a school-record 13 consecutive contests at home, will take on Colorado State at 12 p.m. MT on Saturday.


UTEP 4, Lamar 3

Singles competition

1. Mariaryeni Gutierrez (LU) def. Dariya Abdrakhmanova (UTEP) 6-0, 6-1

2. Kaltrina Harbuzi (LU) def. Carolina DeLuca (UTEP) 6-3, 6-0

3. Marina DeLuca (UTEP) def. Manijee Ashrafi (LU) 6-0, 6-4

4. Alexandra Glebova (UTEP) def. Natalia Mayagoitia (LU) 6-1, 4-6, 6-3

5. Ximena Fuentes (UTEP) def. Manami Kuroda (LU) 6-4, 6-3

6. Alessandra Pennesi (LU) def. Veronika Makashov (UTEP) 6-2, 6-3


Doubles competition

1. Carolina DeLuca/Dariya Abdrakhmanova (UTEP) def. Manijee Ashrafi/Mariaryeni Gutierrez (LU) 9-7

2. Alexandra Glebova/Ximena Fuentes (UTEP) def. Kaltrina Harbuzi/Natalia Mayagoitia (LU) 9-8 (8-5)

3. Marina DeLuca/Austin Lavallii (UTEP) def. Manami Kuroda/Alessandra Pennesi (LU) 8-2



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