(Editor’s note: information from university release.)
MISSOULA – Griz fall to Eagles on Senior Day to cap season.
The emotions of senior day and a win in the doubles round couldn’t provide enough momentum to carry the Montana women’s tennis team through to victory over Eastern Washington, as the Eagles spoiled UM’s season finale with a 5-2 win in Missoula.
The loss concludes an 8-15 (4-7 BSC) rebuilding season for the freshmen-led Griz, who nearly tripled the number of wins they posted in a disappointing 2017 season.
“I think we’re heading in the right direction and we’re going to keep improving,” said tenth-year head coach Steve Ascher. “Our trajectory is definitely heading in the right direction, so I’m excited to see what we can do next year.”
Seniors Catherine Orfanos and Cam Kincaid each capped their final match in maroon and silver with a win.
Kincaid, a native of Portland, Ore., clinched the doubles round for the Griz with her partner Bianca Bostrom with a 7-6 (8-6) tiebreaker win over EWU’s Smith/Braeden pair on court one. The pair finishes the year as UM’s top doubles partnership on the year at 6-3 in Big Sky play.
Playing on the No. 5 singles court, Orfanos, who will take a job with the NASDAQ exchange in her native Chicago after graduation, picked up her eighth singles win of the year with a clean 6-4, 6-4 over Faye Worrall. Worrall is one of EWU’s most experienced players who spent most of last season at No. 2 for the Eagles.
Montana started the match with an electric win in the doubles round, highlighted by Kincaid and Bostrom’s tiebreaker thriller to clinch the point.
Lidia Dukic and Julia Ronney blew past EWU’s Broussard/Swindell pair 6-1 to get the round moving in the right direction for the Griz. But on court two, The Eagles’ Worrall/Nelson pair returned the favor with a 6-2 win for the visitors.
In a back-and-forth tiebreaker, Kincaid and Bostrom clinched the round but needed an extra point to do it, taking the 8-6 win in the breaker to win 7-6 and put UM out to a 1-0 lead.
“The doubles was just lights out,” said Ascher. “Lidia and Julia just crushed it, and the way Cam and Bianca played was great. They really handled the pressure well. It was exciting.”
Things didn’t go the way of the Griz in the singles round, however, as the Eagles used the loss in doubles as fuel to rebound.
Ronney, Kincaid, and Bostrom each took quick losses on courts one, two, and four respectively to put the Griz behind the eight ball.
Nathalie Joanlanne held the chance to right the ship for UM on court three, bouncing back from a 6-1 loss in the first set to force a breaker set with a 6-3 win in the second. The junior couldn’t hold on in the decider, however, falling 6-3 to put EWU up 4-1 and seal the win for the Eagles.
Eastern Washington 5, Montana 2
4/15/2018 at Missoula, Mont. (Peak Racquet Club)
1. SMITH, Janaya (EWU) def. RONNEY, Julia (UM) 6-2, 6-2
2. NELSON, Zoey (EWU) def. KINCAID, Cam (UM) 6-2, 6-4
3. BRAEDEN, Rylee (EWU) def. JOANLANNE, Nathalie (UM) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
4. BROUSSARD, Stephanie (EWU) def. BOSTROM, Bianca (UM) 6-4, 6-2
5. ORFANOS, Catherine (UM) def. WORRALL, Faye (EWU) 6-4, 6-4
6. SWINDELL, Rachel (EWU) def. MAHER, Eimear (UM) 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 1-0 (10-6)
1. KINCAID, Cam/BOSTROM, Bianca (UM) def. SMITH, Janaya/BRAEDEN, Rylee (EWU) 7-6 (8-6)
2. NELSON, Zoey/WORRALL, Faye (EWU) def. JOANLANNE, Nathalie/ORFANOS, Catherine (UM) 6-2
3. DUKIC, Lidia/RONNEY, Julia (UM) def. BROUSSARD, Stephanie/SWINDELL, Rachel (EWU) 6-1
Eastern Washington 8-11 (5-4 BSC)
Montana 8-15 (4-7 BSC)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,2,4,3,5,6)