UTEP Tennis Defeated By Lamar, 6-1

The UTEP tennis team battled hard but came up short against Lamar, falling 6-1 at the El Paso Tennis Club Saturday afternoon. The setback puts the Miners at 1-1 on the year, while the Cardinals improve to 3-1.


“We fought hard and played hard, but the bottom line is that Lamar did so a little more,” UTEP head coach Jamie Campbell said “Isabela (Kulaif) is our highlight for today. She played really well.”


Action commenced with doubles play, and it was a challenging start for the Orange and Blue as Lamar won two of the three matches to claim the doubles point.


At No. 1 doubles, Katherine Palider and Weronika Bloczynska squared off against Kaltrina Harbuzi and Tonya Roberts. In a back and forth match, the UTEP tandem came up just short. It fell, 8-6.


Lamar secured the point by emerging victorious at No. 3 doubles. Maria Gutierrez and Manami Kuroda crept by the Miner duo of Samantha Attard and Megan Pritchard, 8-6.


Although the Cardinals had already clinched the point, UTEP continued to battle hard. The effort would pay off, as the Orange and Blue duo of Marina Deluca and Isabela Kulaif refused to lose en route to knocking off Pamela Martinez and Manijee Ashrafi, 9-7.


Following a 10-minute break, focus then switched to singles action.


The Miners got off to a good start, courtesy of Kulaif. The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, made quick work of Roberts at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-0. It was her first collegiate triumph.


Sophomore Megan Pritchard, playing at No. 5 singles against Manijee Ashrafi, opened strong with a 6-4 win in the first set. She dropped the second set, 6-4. In the final set, Pritchard nearly came away victorious, but fell 7-5 to secure the match for Ashrafi.


Fellow classmate Vicky Michaud also was on top of her game early in her match against Kuroda at No. 6 singles. The Laval, Quebec, product notched a 7-5 win in the initial set. Kuroda responded, though, snaring the second set, 6-2. In the final set, Kuroda left the court as a winner following a 6-3 triumph.


The final match of the night to conclude was on court one for No. 1 singles. Bloczynska and Harbuzi squared off in what turned out to be a battle down to the wire. Harbuzi struck first, claiming the opening set, 6-4. The UTEP sophomore did not rattle, though, storming back to even the match with a 6-2 win in the second set. The deciding set went to a tiebreaker, where Haburzi held off a furious rally by Bloczynska to pick up the win.


Earlier, Deluca was unable to duplicate her winning efforts from Friday. The freshman ran into a buzz saw in the form of Maria Gutierrez, who dealt Deluca a 6-2, 7-5 loss. Katherine Palider, the lone senior on the squad, also was dispatched in straight sets. Palider fell to Martinez, 6-1, 6-4.


The Miners will look to bounce back against North Florida at 10 a.m. at the El Paso Tennis Club on Sunday. The facility is located off of Robinson Street, with admission free of charge.


Final Results


 Singles competition

1. Kaltrina Harbuzi (LU) def. Weronika Bloczynska (UTEP) 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3)

2. Isabela Kulaif (UTEP) def. Tanya Roberts (LU) 6-3, 6-0

3. Maria Gutierrez (LU) def. Marina Deluca (UTEP) 6-2, 7-5

4. Pamela Martinez (LU) def. Katherine Palider (UTEP) 6-1, 6-4

5. Manijee Ashrafi (LU) def. Megan Pritchard (UTEP) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5

6. Manami Kuroda (LU) def. Vicky Michaud (UTEP) 5-7, 6-2, 6-3


 Doubles competition

1. Kaltrina Harbuzi/Tanya Roberts (LU) def. Weronika Bloczynska/Katherine Palider (UTEP) 8-6

2. Isabela Kulaif/Marina Deluca (UTEP) def. Pamela Martinez/Manijee Ashrafi (LU) 9-7

3. Maria Gutierrez/Manami Kuroda (LU) def. Megan Pritchard/Samantha Attard (UTEP) 8-6



UTEP Women's Tennis
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