JONESBORO, Ark.– Rebeca Calvillo, Dariya Abdrakhmanova and Marie LeBlond all notched victories but it wasn’t enough, as the UTEP tennis team was edged at Arkansas State, 4-3, Friday afternoon.
The Miners (2-16) were saddled with some bad luck on this Friday the 13th in losing the doubles point to the homestanding Red Wolves (10-8) to fall behind in the match, 1-0. UTEP played better in singles action but it fell one match short of completing what would have been an impressive come-from-behind victory.
It marks the sixth time this season that the Orange and Blue have been derailed by a final count of 4-3.
There were still some positives to take away though, starting with the play of all-conference candidate LeBlond at No. 6 singles. She dropped the first set to Ceara Howey, 1-6, before roaring back to claim the second and third sets by identical 6-4 margins. It marks the 21st singles victory on the year for the sophomore, which rates tied for 10th in the UTEP single-season record book.
Calvillo locked up with Mariana Rong at No. 2 singles, and she jumped out to the early lead after taking the first set 6-2. Her foe won the middle set, 3-6, but Calvillo crushed Rong, 6-2, in the decisive set.
Abdrakhmanova followed the blue print for success of LeBlond in her match at No. 5 singles against Ioana Teu. She dropped the first set, 2-6, but recovered nicely by staking both the second and third sets, 6-4.
At No. 1 singles Martina Trierweiler battled hard but came up shy to Tamara Slijepcevic, 6-2, 7-6 while Gabi Vazquez suffered a three-set setback to Janie Nowland, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 3 singles. Anastasiya Sylenko couldn’t get on track against Biljana Miloshevska at No. 4 singles, and it resulted in a 6-0, 6-1 defeat.
Earlier in doubles play the Miners’ tandem of Trierweiler/Calvillo claimed an 8-5 triumph against Teu/Rong at the No. 1 position. The home side took the key team point, however, with LeBlond/Vazquez coming up just shy to Slijepcevic/Miloshevska, 8-5, at No. 3 and Abdrakhmanova/Sylenko losing to Nowland/Howey, 8-2, at No. 2.
UTEP will look to gain some momentum for the upcoming 2012 C-USA Championship when it plays at fellow league member Southern Miss at 8 a.m. MT Saturday. It will mark the final match of the regular season, with the C-USA tournament slated for March 19-22.
1. Tamara Slijepcevic (AKST) def. Martina Trierweiler (UTEP) 6-2, 7-6
2. Rebeca Calvillo (UTEP) def. Mariana Rong (AKST) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
3. Janie Nowland (AKST) def. Gabi Vazquez (UTEP) 6-7, 6-3, 6-1
4. Biljana Miloshevska (AKST) def. Anastasiya Sylenko (UTEP) 6-0, 6-1
5. Dariya Abdrakhmanova (UTEP) def. Ioana Teu (AKST) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
6. Marie LeBlond (UTEP) def. Ceara Howey (AKST) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
1. Martina Trierweiler/Rebeca Calvillo (UTEP) def. Ioana Teu/Mariana Rong (AKST) 8-5
2. Janie Nowland/Ceara Howey (AKST) def. Dariya Abdrakhmanova/Anastasiya Sylenko (UTEP) 8-2
3. Tamara Slijepcevic/Biljana Miloshevska (AKST) def. Marie LeBlond/Gabi Vazquez (UTEP) 8-5