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3 Montana Grizzlies’ women’s tennis players awarded with all-Big Sky honors

Posted at 1:21 PM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 09:38:45-04

(EDITOR’S NOTE: INFORMATION FROM UNIVERSITY RELEASE)

MISSOULA – The Montana women’s tennis team took home two All-Big Sky awards the league announced Friday, highlighting year one of a rebuilding process designed to return UM to conference championship contention.

A major part of that process is freshman Julia Ronney, who worked her way to the top of Montana’s lineup and won the first college tournament she ever played in to earn an all-conference singles honorable mention with a 5-4 Big Sky record.

Also earning a nod from coaches around the Big Sky were the senior/freshman duo of Cam Kincaid and Bianca Bostrom, named second team all-conference, signifying a promising future for UM in doubles as well.

The pair of honors from the league are the first for the Griz since 2015 when Sasha Carter and Precious Gbadamosi were first-team selections.

Less than a month after taking her first college class, Ronney, a four-star high school prospect from San Diego, Calif., won the Orange Draw at the Idaho State Invitational in September.

She also won the consolation draw at the Barb Chandler Classic in Boise and advanced to the final of the Long Beach State Invitational during the fall tournament season.

During the Big Sky season, her .556 winning percentage on court one was the fifth-best in the league, the only freshman to rank in the top five at the position in the conference.

“As a freshman with a winning record at No. 1 you gain a lot of experience with handling pressure and different situations,” said head coach Steve Ascher. “She’s grown a lot, and will continue to grow, and this award will encourage her to reach for future accolades.”

Ronney finished her inaugural season at UM with a 17-10 overall record. She posted a notable performance against Iowa’s Elise Van Heuvelen, a pair of wins over Montana State’s Laura Mary – this year named second-team All-Big Sky, and a pair of wins over the Botes sisters from Idaho State who both earned all-conference recognition as well.

Bostrom, Montana’s other freshman standout, is also positioned to be a future leader for the Griz after a year of senior tutelage from Kincaid on the doubles court.

Kincaid, a native of Portland, Ore., and Bostrom, a Swede, played all but one of their doubles matches on court one this season, running out to an 8-8 overall record, with the potential for six more wins left unfinished when the doubles point was clinched.

That .500 winning percentage in the first position was the sixth overall best of any court one duo in the Big Sky, and at 6-3 in conference play (.667) they hold the fifth best winning percentage in the league.

“They showed a lot of moxie, a lot of determination, and a lot of chemistry on the court. They get along as friends, which helps them perform,” said Ascher. “A senior and freshman getting recognized by the other coaches is special, so I’m happy for them.”

With the Griz losing Kincaid and Catherine Orfanos to Graduation, the Griz will return just two seniors in the 2018-19 season but boast an experienced sophomore core in Ronney, Bostrom and Eimear Maher, who all played a big role in UM’s 8-15 season.

Ascher’s lineup will be buoyed by one of the most decorated recruiting classes in program history, with three freshmen added to the roster in the fall.

2017-18 All-Big Sky Honorees

Women’s Most Valuable Player
Marianna Petrei, Idaho

Women’s Co-Freshman of the Year
Zoey Nelson, Eastern Washington
Eira Tobrand, Southern Utah

Women’s Singles First Team All-Conference
Marianna Petrei, Idaho
Hanneke Lodewijks, Northern Arizona
Maria Tavares, Idaho
Chiara Tomasetti, Northern Arizona
Ana Loaiza Esquivias, Sacramento State
Eira Tobrand, Southern Utah

Women’s Singles Second Team All-Conference
Laura Spataro, Idaho
Zoey Nelson, Eastern Washington
Louise-Mare Botes, Idaho State
Lucia Badillos, Idaho
Laura Mary, Montana State
Ellie Millard, Northern Arizona

Women’s Singles Honorable Mention
Huibre-Mare Botes, Idaho State
Ghita Nassik, Southern Utah
Stephanie Broussard, Eastern Washington
Angelina Philippova, Montana State
Julia Ronney, Montana

Women’s Doubles First Team All-Conference
Hanneke Lodewijks/Ellie Millard, Northern Arizona
Janaya Smith/Rylee Braeden, Eastern Washington
Marianna Petrei/Maria Tavares, Idaho

Women’s Doubles Second Team All-Conference
Chiara Tomasetti/Madi Moore, Northern Arizona
Pei_Hsuan Kuo/Caitlin Herb, Weber State
Cam Kincaid/Bianca Bostrom, Montana

Women’s Doubles Honorable Mention
Lucia Badillos/Laura Spataro, Idaho