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UTEP Tennis destroys competition in spring opener

Iziah Moreno
Senior Elena Dibattista serves the ball to her opponents on Jan. 20.

As UTEP Basketball continues to sprint its way along the season of college sports, there is one that’s already making a huge racket. UTEP Tennis won its spring season opener against Western New Mexico University in a big blow-out at the El Paso Tennis Club.   

In a 7-0 total and now overall team score 1-0, the Miners won every contested match against the Mustangs. With a shaky start toward the beginning of the matches, the Miners soon found their footing with both of their doubles and singles matches. 

Head UTEP Tennis Coach, Ivan Fernandez, spoke to Miner Athletics praising the team’s excellence in their spring opener.  

“We played a solid match today,” Fernandez said. “We had some nerves to get under control but managed to win all our matches against a much-improved Western New Mexico team. We are glad to get this match done, and we are ready to keep improving this spring.” 

While starting the afternoon off strong with doubles, were Miners seniors, Elena Dibattistat and Junior Zuzanna Szczepanska, dominating their set with a score 6-0 against the Mustang Juniors Ana Montero and Caini (Emily) Wang.  

Freshman DeCora Antoine and Sophomore Paloma Hennicaux won their set 6-1 against the Mustang’s Junior Andreea Arnautu and Freshman Gabriella Blumberg. Then there were the Miner’s Freshman Hanna Telzynska and Junior Carlotta Merncaglia who held up a good fight with a winning score of 6-4, against the Mustangs Junior Livia Leite and Senior Mann-Ning Li. After double sets, the Miners struck gold with each of their single sets, with each player winning every game.  

Antoine set the stage for how the Miners would perform the rest of the afternoon with a double bagel score of 6-0, 6-0 at No. 6 singles. Szczepanska rolled through No. 2 singles against Wang at 6-2, 6-1. Mencaglia then followed through with the same energy beating Leite during No.1 Singles at 6-0, 6-3. At No. 4 singles Miners Miners Dibattista beat Montero 6-4, 6-1. Soon Hennicaux knocked Arnauta at 6-4, 6-2, at No. 5 singles. Telzynsk soon won the tiebreaker for the team, dropping her first set 6-3 and equaling her second with a final push of 6-0.  

UTEP Junior, Carlotta Mencaglia, from Italy, who won her sets in quick succession, says she is excited to be a part of the UTEP team. 

“It was a good match,” Mencaglia said. “I was super focused and super focused on winning because it’s important to the team. So, we practice from 1:30 (p.m.) to 4 (p.m.) with Tennis and then 4:30 or 5:30 (p.m.) with weights and conditioning. As long as you have fun, everything else comes naturally.”  

UTEP will continue its four-match home slate to commence dual play with upcoming contests against Tarleton State (10 a.m., Jan. 26), Weber State (10 a.m., Jan. 27) and UT Arlington (12 p.m., Feb. 7). Each match will be at the El Paso Tennis Club, and admission will be free. 

All statistics provided by Miner Athletics 

Catching Marginot is a contributor and can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
H. Catching Marginot
H. Catching Marginot, Contributor/Writer
Henry Catching Marginot is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in English: rhetorical studies. He is a contributor at The Prospector and freelances. He plans to pursue writing in the future.
Iziah Moreno
Iziah Moreno, Photo Editor
Iziah Moreno is the photo editor for The Prospector. He is a freshman majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in marketing. After graduation, he hopes to work in the world of photojournalism and media.
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