UTEP Tennis Wins Thriller Against UNT, 4-3

Feb. 24, 2008

EL PASO, Texas - The UTEP tennis team pulled out a dramatic, hard-fought victory against regional-rival North Texas, 4-3, at the El Paso Tennis Club Sunday afternoon. The Miners are now an impressive 7-2 on the campaign.

Amber Brightly was the hero on the day for the Orange and Blue, rallying from a 3-1 deficit in the third set to post a come-from-behind 7-5 triumph in the final match of the day. The junior had dropped the first set, 4-6, before bouncing back to stake the second set, 7-6 (7-5). Her effort in the press

"I'm just really proud of the team's effort," head coach Jamie Campbell said. "We had a good start in doubles and then gutted out the win. North Texas is a good team, and it was just a real tough battle."

UTEP started the match strong, claiming the doubles point. Although the Miners' top tandem (Weronika Bloczynska and Harmonie Chatagner) were defeated, UTEP bounced back with victories at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to secure the all important point.

The point proved to be crucial, as UTEP went 3-3 in singles play.

The aforementioned Brightly was crucial, but the team triumph would not have happened were it not for the efforts of her teammates. Bloczynska cruised in straight sets at No. 1 singles, as did Ximena Fuentes at No. 4 singles.

DeLuca was tripped up at No. 2 singles. Megan Pritchard, who missed the match on Saturday due to an illness, returned Sunday and nearly pulled out a miraculous victory. The junior started strong by winning the first set, but then dropped the final two sets, as her opponent wore her down.

Michaud ran into a buzzsaw at No. 5 singles, falling in straight sets.



Making the performance even more impressive is the fact that UTEP was without one of its leaders, Megan Pritchard.

"We're really proud of how everyone stepped up today with Megan being out sick," head coach Jamie Campbell said. "We just played focused tennis today. I'm really pleased with not only their effort, but their focus as well."

UTEP started the day off strong, making a clean sweep of the doubles matches to take an early lead in the match. Marina Deluca and Ximena Fuentes doubled up Erika Shortridge and Lauren Wilson, 8-4, at No. 2 doubles to get things going.

Amber Brightly and Vicky Michaud secured the team point with an 8-5 triumph against Eryln Rudico and Samantha Sarkis, at No. 3 doubles.

In No. 1 doubles, Weronika Bloczynska and Harmonie Chatagner- who replaced Megan Pritchard in the lineup due to an injury- dug deep and pulled out a 9-7 victory against the Falcons' top duo of Christine Abayan and Meghan Kiser.

After the brief break, UTEP continued to sizzle in singles action. The Miners emerged victorious at five of the six matches, with the lone setback coming in a super tiebreaker.

Bloczynska rolled past Abayan in straight sets, posting a 6-2, 6-1, triumph, at No. 1 singles. Deluca also emerged victorious in dominating fashion, trouncing Wilson, 6-0, 6-4, at No. 2 singles.

Brightly, playing No. 5 singles due to the injury to Pritchard, showed no ill effects from moving up the ladder with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 win over Cassman.

Fuentes joined in on the winning ways, but she had to work extremely hard to do so. Kiser looked to be well on her way to a triumph, claiming the opening set at No. 3 singles by a score of 6-1. Fuentes did not rattle, though, bouncing back to secure the second set by the identical score. In the deciding set, Fuentes put it in cruise control on the way to a 6-3 triumph.

Michaud had a hard-fought match against Sarkis in No. 4 singles play. After falling behind a set, the junior struck back to claim the second set. In the super tiebreaker, Michaud posted an impressive 10-6 triumph.

Chatagner was the lone Miner to come up short, but it was not due to a lack of effort. The sophomore started strong, snagging the opening set by a score of 6-3. Her opponent at No. 6 singles, Monreal, took the second set 6-4. In the super tiebreaker, Monreal picked up the win by a final count of 10-5.

UTEP will look to make it a perfect weekend when it battles North Texas on Sunday.

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