(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – The Montana State women’s tennis team played one of its best Big Sky Conference matches of the season, but it wasn’t enough as Weber State handed MSU a 5-2 setback on Friday afternoon at the Bobcat-Anderson Tennis Center.
“Overall, it was a very exciting match,” said MSU head coach Jon Reeves. “I was proud of the girls for the way they came out. We made some changes in how we prepared before the match and the energy and enthusiasm carried over right away.”
Montana State (3-14, 1-7) dropped the first point of the match as Weber State (13-7, 6-2) captured victories at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles.
The Bobcats regrouped heading into singles play and held a one set advantage at the Nos. 1, 2 and 4 spots on the ladder to get back into the match.
“We came out and won three first sets and had one we lost in a breaker and were really in control of things,” Reeves said. “Overall, we won four first sets.”
Sophomore Enni Zander, who missed the last two weeks of action, evened the match with a straight set win at No. 4 singles defeating Megan Lombardi 6-3, 6-1. Junior Laura Mary followed at No. 1 with a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Pei-Hsuan Kuo to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead. The victory was the sixth straight for the product of Eaubonne, France, whose last lost came to Wyoming on March 1.
“Laura played very well,” Reeves said. “She’s finally calmed down a little bit and is letting the game come to her a little bit more and she’s doing a great job. It was also important to have Enni back in the line-up and she played her classic little game and gave her opponent nothing she would like.”
Weber State reclaimed the lead with victories at Nos. 2 and 3 singles. The No. 2 slot was a pivotal point in the match as MSU’s Annie Walker and WSU’s Yuuna Ukita went shot-for-shot before Ukita came out on top in a third-set tiebreaker 7-2.
The Wildcats clinched the match at No. 6 singles where McKenna Lloyd held off Sara Iverson 6-3, 7-6(2).
MSU will host Northern Arizona on Saturday at 10 a.m. in the BATC.
“I think Northern Arizona is the best team in the conference,” Reeves said. “I think they’ve been the best team the last three years. We’ve got to take what we did today and build on it and literally just go for it, we have nothing to lose.”
Weber State 5, Montana State 2
1. MARY, Laura (MSU) def. KUO, Pei-Hsuan (WSU) 6-3, 6-2
2. UKITA, Yuuna (WSU) def. WALKER, Annie (MSU) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
3. FULLER, Cali (WSU) def. FRISTAM, Linnea (MSU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
4. ZANDER, Enni (MSU) def. LOMBARDI, Megan (WSU) 6-3, 6-1
5. DICKASON, Morgan (WSU) def. VINK, Linda (MSU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
6. LLOYD, McKenna (WSU) def. IVERSON, Sara (MSU) 6-3, 7-6 (7-2)
1. MARY, Laura/FRISTAM, Linnea (MSU) vs. KUO, Pei-Hsuan/PARKER, Sara (WSU) 5-3, unfinished
2. UKITA, Yuuna/LOMBARDI, Megan (WSU) def. WALKER, Annie/VINK, Linda (MSU) 6-2
3. DICKASON, Morgan/FULLER, Cali (WSU) def. ZANDER, Enni/IVERSON, Sara (MSU) 6-3