BOZEMAN — (EDITOR'S NOTE: MONTANA STATE ATHLETICS PRESS RELEASE)
For the third consecutive match, the Montana State women’s tennis team came up on the short end of a 4-3 decision, Friday afternoon at the Bobcat Anderson Tennis Center. Eastern Washington’s Renata Gabuzyan defeated MSU’s JJ Chen 6-4, 6-4 at No. 5 singles to keep the Eagles undefeated in Big Sky Conference North Division action, while eliminating the Bobcats from postseason play.
“It’s a real fine line,” said MSU head coach Jon Reeves, processing his squad’s third consecutive loss on its home court with the outcome decided by the last match. “We’ve been so close, but things just haven’t fallen our way. I’m proud of our kids for having great attitudes, working hard, and improving.”
Montana State (1-9, 0-3) looked to rid itself of late-season doubles woes early as it’s No. 1 tandem of Laura Mary and Mirte Van Baelen defeated Eastern Washington’s (7-8, 3-0) Rylee Braeden and Zoey Nelson 6-2 to open the match. However, the Eagles responded with wins at Nos. 2 and 3 to earn the first point of the contest.
“All season we’ve struggled in doubles,” Reeves said. “Today, we were right in the mix. Court 2 was 6-4, as a couple of points just got away from us.”
The Bobcats quickly grabbed the momentum in singles play as Van Baelen posted a 6-4, 6-4 win over Scout Matthews at the No. 2 spot, followed by a convincing victory at No. 1 as Mary took a straight set 6-2, 6-3 decision over Jennifer Kida.
Nelson held off MSU’s Enni Zander at No. 4 singles 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 to even the match at two-all, before Bobcat freshman Felicia Jayasaputra gave MSU a 3-2 lead, rallying for a 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-1 victory over Louise Waite at No. 3 singles.
“Our one, two and three have been killing it lately,” Reeves said. “It’s pretty amazing. They’ve stepped-up so much. They’re doing an incredible job. And Enni was in a full battle going three. It’s just been tough putting points together at four, five and six.”
Eastern Washington’s Yasmin Mansouri tied the match at three-all with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Jazmin Lerman at No. 6 singles, to setup the deciding match between Gabuzyan and Chen.
Montana State will host Idaho on Sunday at 10 a.m., in the Bobcat Anderson Tennis Center to close out its season.
Eastern Washington 4, Montana State 3
1. MARY, Laura (MSU) def. KIDA, Jennifer (EWU) 6-2, 6-3
2. VAN BAELEN, Mirte (MSU) def. MATHEWS, Scout (EWU) 6-4, 6-4
3. JAYASAPUTRA, Felicia (MSU) def. WAITE, Louise (EWU) 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-1
4. NELSON, Zoey (EWU) def. ZANDER, Enni (MSU-W) 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
5. GABUZYAN, Renata (EWU) def. CHEN, JJ (MSU) 6-4, 6-4
6. MANSOURI, Yasmin (EWU) def. LERMAN, Jazmin (MSU) 6-0, 6-2
1. MARY, Laura/VAN BAELEN, Mirte (MSU) def. BRAEDEN, Rylee/NELSON, Zoey (EWU) 6-2
2. MATHEWS, Scout/WAITE, Louise (EWU) def. ZANDER, Enni/JAYASAPUTRA, Felicia (MSU) 6-4
3. KIDA, Jennifer/GABUZYAN, Renata (EWU) def. CHEN, JJ/LERMAN, Jazmin (MSU) 6-3