UTSA women’s tennis continued their 2019 fall season with the H-E-B Invitational hosted by Baylor in Waco, Texas this past weekend.
Representatives from 12 schools competed in a three-day singles and doubles tournament that lasted from Friday, Oct. 4, to Sunday, Oct. 6. UTSA saw various opponents from the Big 12 and SEC, as well as Houston. The Roadrunners were represented by Senior Diya Menon, Sophomore Jasmin Starr, and Freshmen Keegan McCain and Laura Munoz-Baroja.
Friday morning proved to be a promising start for the Roadrunners when Starr won her first two singles matches, progressing to the quarterfinals of the Gold Draw. In her first match against LSU’s Maggie Cubbitt, Starr came away with 7-6 1-0, causing Cubbitt to retire from the first round of the tournament. Confident from her first win, Starr went on to defeat Mississippi State’s Megan Falceto 7-5 6-1, securing another win for the Roadrunners. Munoz-Baroja gained a victory for UTSA on day one as well, placing her in the quarterfinals of the Green Main Draw with a sweeping 6-1 6-1 win over Auburn’s Myrna Olaya. McCain, also in the singles Green Draw, competed against Illinois’ Shivani Swarup Ingle and fell short 0-6 2-6. Menon challenged Texas’ Gabby Cusano in a singles performance and played a close match, where she lost 6-7 and proceeded to play a tiebreaker where she lost, 3-7. In Menon’s second set, she finished a closely contested 4-6. In doubles, Starr and McCain excelled with a well-deserving victory against Houston’s Azul Pedemonti and Ndindi Ndunda, winning 6-3 in the first round of the Green and Gold Doubles Draw. In a tough match against Kentucky’s Lesedi Jacobs and Akville Parazinskaite, Starr and McCain were bested, 3-6.
The Roadrunners continued dominating the court on Saturday morning. McCain lead the Roadrunners with a singles win against Iowa State’s Karan Alvarez, 6-4 6-1. Advancing to the semifinals, McCain lost her first set against TCU’s Addy Guevara, 3-6. McCain bounced back the second set with an impressive 7-6(7) comeback and an unfortunate 4/10 drop in the super tiebreaker that resulted in her loss. Meanwhile, Munoz-Baroja played Houston’s Ndindi Ndunda in a three-set match where Munoz-Baroja fell short the first set, 3-6. However, Munoz-Baroja rallied for a victory in the second set, and came out 7-6(5). Short by a two-point margin, Munoz-Baroja lost the final deciding tiebreaker, 8-10. At the end of the tournament, UTSA faced tight losses against Auburn and Iowa State. Starr played formidable opponent Yu Chen of Auburn and lost, 2-6 0-2 in the Gold Main Draw quarterfinals, while Menon battled hard against Iowa State’s Margarita Timakova, losing 1-6 4-6.
The Roadrunners will be back in action on Friday, Oct.11, for the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma.