Falcons Fall to UTEP, 6-1
El Paso, Texas -
The UTEP women's tennis team defeated Air Force, 6-1, Friday at the El Paso Tennis Club in a match marred by rain. UTEP improves to 1-2 while Air Force drops to 1-2.
UTEP took an early 1-0 lead by winning two of the three doubles matches. The lone Air Force triumph came at the No. 1 position, where junior Kat Bushey and sophomore Karissa Walker defeated Weronika Bloczynska and Kendall Exelby 8-6. At No. 3, UTEP's Danielle King and Tea Spirta turned a 2-1 deficit into an 8-3 win against Liza Vaccaro and Miclynn Crail. The Miners clinched the doubles point at the No. 2 spot when Samantha Attard and Teri Wilkerson won six of the first seven games en route to a 8-3 victory over Lauren Wilson and Katie Tomkie.
"Although we lost the doubles point, we played extremely well at No.1 and No. 3," said Air Force head coach Kim Gidley. "Kat and Karissa came away with an excellent win at No. 1."
After most of the singles matches had played one set, a light rain started to fall, forcing the first suspension at 4:07 p.m. Following a 12 minute stoppage, UTEP got its second point when Bloczynska recorded a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Wilson at the No. 3 spot. The Miners made it 3-0 when Spirta defeated Walker, 6-2, 6-0 at the No. 2 position.
Then the skies over El Paso opened up and play was halted at 4:37 p.m. After consulting with the USTA referees, both coaches agreed to get dinner before returning to the EPTC and resuming play at 7:30 p.m.
When play resumed, the Miners clinched the match rather quickly as King beat Crail 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 5 position. Moments later, Attard defeated Erika Shortridge 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 6 slot.
Bushey claimed the only singles victory for Air Force, outlasting Exelby, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) to record the Falcons' lone point of the match. UTEP's Wilkerson won the only three-setter of the day, downing Vaccaro, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 10-3 at the No. 4 spot.
"Kat had one of her best singles wins to date today," Gidley said. "Exelby was a Top 40 player in her native Australia and has already had nationally ranked singles wins this season. This was one of the best matches I have seen Kat play from start to finish. Also, Liza Vaccaro and Miclynn Crail also put up strong performances in singles and improvement was evident."
The match officially lasted three hours, 28 minutes, but from the first serve to the final point, it took six hours and 33 minutes to complete.
Air Force returns to action on Saturday with a match at New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M., at 10 a.m.
UTEP 6, Air Force 1
Singles 1. Kat Bushey (AF) def. Kendall Exelby (UTEP), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) 2. Tea Spirta (UTEP) def. Karissa Walker (AF), 6-2, 6-0 3. Weronika Bloczynska (UTEP) def. Lauren Wilson (AF), 6-0, 6-1 4. Teri Wilkerson (UTEP) def. Liza Vaccaro (AF), 6-3, 6-7 (4), 10-3 5. Danielle King (UTEP) def. Miclynn Crail (AF), 6-1, 6-3 6. Samantha Attard (UTEP) def. Erika Shortridge (AF), 6-4, 6-3 Order of Finish: 3, 2, 5, 6, 4, 1
Doubles 1. Bushey/Walker (AF) def. Bloczynska/Exelby (UTEP), 8-6 2. Attard/Wilkerson (UTEP) def. Wilson/Katie Tomkie (AF), 8-3 3. King/Spirta (UTEP) def. Crail/Vaccaro (AF), 8-3 Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1