ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington had a battle in its season opener, but were able to pull out a 4-1 result against UT Rio Grande Valley in a close match at the UTA Tennis Center on Friday.
Opening the season with a victory in a busy weekend that sees the Mavericks travel to Wichita, Kan. for matches Saturday and Sunday, opened with a positive with a back-and-forth double point that was on edge. UTA used the momentum to pull out singles and clinch the win over UTRGV (2-3).
"It was a very good test for us today, I thought UTRGV played very well against us today and they are very deep in their lineup," UTA coach Diego Benitez said. "They played us very hard and didn't hold anything back. Our girls did an amazing job in dealing with the pressure. We have a lot of young girls on the team and the fact that they came out and played under the pressure says a lot of the character that hopefully we can build from. They were led by Agustina as the captain, she did a great job today and played a very good match. I was very proud of Anna in clinching the match. I am overall proud of the fact that we have a lot of young girls on the team but they were able to be very professional today."
Lucia Natal and Almudena Boza got things started in doubles, taking a 6-4 win at No. 3. Matches at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles were tied up at 5-5 with both team breaking each other. Agustina Serio and Nanaka Takeuchi were able to win three consecutive games to steal the result and earn the opening point.
UTRGV tied things up as Takeuchi was unable to win her singles match at No. 3, but three consecutive points fell the Maverick's way to take the match.
Natal made quick work at No. 5 with a 6-1, 6-1 win, while Mrcela followed things up at No. 6 in a 6-2, 6-4 final. Anna Wichert provided the clinching point at No. 4, winning 6-4, 6-4.
UTA will take on UMKC on Saturday and Wichita State on Sunday, both matches taking place in Wichita, Kan.