EL PASO – Carolina DeLuca, Marina DeLuca and Megan Pritchard all cruised to straight set wins but it wasn’t quite enough as Tulane edged out the UTEP tennis team, 4-3, at the El Paso Tennis Club Sunday afternoon.
The Miners (13-6) were saddled with their initial home loss in 2009 after being unable to overcoming dropping the doubles point for just the third time this year. Weronika Bloczynska/Pritchard rolled to a convincing 8-4 defeat of the Green Wave’s top tandem of Anna Bartenstein/Elizabeth Hamlin but Tulane (10-10) secured the point with closely-contested triumphs at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles.
Mariam Kurdadze/Lindsay Dvorak squared off against Carolina DeLuca/Martina Trieweiler at No. 2 doubles. The Green Wave raced out to leads of 4-1 and 7-4 but UTEP’s tandem stormed back to even the match and eventually force a tie breaker. In the breaker, however, TU’s pairing held off DeLuca/Trierweiler, 7-5.
Jessica Lange/Marcela Fonseca and Marina DeLuca/Vicky Michaud were locked up in a quality match that went down to the wire. When it mattered most, however, the ball bounced in favor of the Green Wave duo which posted the narrow 9-7 victory.
When it was all said and done, Tulane enjoyed not only the early advantage but also the security of only having to split in singles action in order to escape with the team win. It did just that, as the Green Wave mustered victories at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 6 singles.
“The biggest thing we wanted to do today was have 100 percent in our footwork and effort,” head coach Jamie Campbell said. “We did that, and we were in all of the matches but we made too many simple mistakes. We just needed a little more mental toughness.”
The Miners regrouped in the reprieve before the start of singles action, and returned to the courts with aspirations of staging the comeback. Things looked promising as UTEP was dominant at No. 3, No. 4 and No.5, but the Orange and Blue wouldn’t be able to pull it off.
Carolina DeLuca crushed Dvorak, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 3 singles. Her elder sister also emerged victorious by that final score, derailing Gerber at No. 4 singles. To cap off the highlights for the Miners, Pritchard demolished Fonseca, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 5 singles.
The Green Wave were able to take care of business on the other courts, though. Bloczynska played very well at the top spot against Bartenstein, but was edged out by a final count of 6-4, 6-4. Hamlin dispatched Ximena Fuentes, 6-2, 6-1 at No. 6 singles while Kurdadze took care of Trierweiler at No. 2.
The first sent went to a breaker, where Kurdadze snuck past the freshman 10-8. The defeat took quite a bit out of the sails of Trierweiler, who fell by a score of 6-1 in the final set.
The Miners will look to regain their winning ways when they battle Abilene Christian at 2 p.m. on Friday.