UTEP Tennis Concludes Day One Of SFA Invite
Oct. 2, 2009
The UTEP tennis team gained some solid experience on day one of the Stephen F. Austin Invite Friday afternoon. Marina DeLuca shined in her season debut with a straight set singles win in Flight 2, while Ximena Fuentes and Veronika Makashov also secured triumphs.
The tournament is the second of four planned fall events for the Miners, who aspire to improve week by week while working toward the ultimate goal of being ready for dual-match play in the spring.
“The competition is really good here, and we learned a lot today,” UTEP head coach Jamie Campbell said. “We are looking forward to getting better tomorrow.”
Action commenced with doubles, where the DeLuca sisters downed Texas State’s Giraldo/Peele in the opening round of the first flight, 8-4. The duo was derailed in the quarterfinals, though, against Sam Houston State’s Denti/Pozzan by a final count of 8-3.
A UTEP pairing also picked up in a win in the initial round of Flight 3, courtesy of Fuentes/Austin Lavallii drilling Alice/Muntuenga of homestanding SFA, 8-2. The combo then aspired to secure a spot in the semifinals, but it would not come to fruition. Facing off against Tvrtkovic/Serchenko of McNeese State, Fuentes/Lavallii fought hard only to be edged out, 8-6.
In Flight 2, newcomers Makashov/Alexandra Glebova teamed up in an effort to take down a pairing from La. Tech. It was not to be, however, as the Miners’ tandem fell shy by a score of 8-3. The pair sought redemption in the back draw in a match vs. Tyler Junior College’s Caro/Zurek. In a back-and-forth contest, the Orange and Blue unit came up just shy, 8-6.
Following a quick reprieve, focus switched to singles. Marina DeLuca, who missed the season-opening Miner Fall Invite with an injury, showed no signs of rust in a dominating triumph vs. Martinez of McNeese State, 6-2, 6-2, in Flight 2.
Fuentes displayed tough mental toughness on day one of the tournament in Flight 4. After the junior was edged, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8) in the first tilt by Zurek of Tyler Junior College, she rallied for a decisive 6-2, 6-2, victory against SFA’s Kapur.
Makashov followed in the footsteps of the junior by finding redemption in the back draw after tasting defeat for the first time while with the Orange and Blue. She fell to Mendez of Lamar, 6-2, 6-4, but made the setback a distant memory on the strength of drilling Smolnikova of SFA, 6-1, 6-3.
In Flight 1, Glebova squared off against Lamar’s Binagia. The junior-college transfer played well in phrases but couldn’t quite get over the hump, falling 6-3, 6-4.
Lavallii represented the Miners in Flight 6, where she pushed Texas State’s Perez in the first set before being clipped, 7-5. The second set also went to Perez, by the score of 6-0.
In back-draw action, Lavallii locked up with SFA’s Enica in an entertaining match. The freshman struck first, taking the opening set 6-3. Enica bounced back to force a super tiebreaker after the second set went to her, 6-4. Lavallii was held off in the super breaker, 10-4.
Sophomore Carla Murguia took on Williams from SFA in Flight 7 singles, where she competed hard but could not emerge victorious. The match went the way of Williams, 6-3, 6-3. In the back draw, Murguia could not get things going and eventually fell to Bell from Tyler, 6-3, 6-1.
The final day of the tournament is slated to run all day on Saturday.