April 21, 2012
The Grizzly men's tennis team fell behind 3-1 before coming back for the 4-3 win over Weber State to advance to Sunday's Big Sky Conference Championship match against Sacramento State.
The Grizzlies started the match with a loss in the No. 1 doubles but countered with an 8-3 win by Michael Facey and Ethan Vaughn at No. 2 doubles. With the score knotted at 1-1 it came down to the No. 3 position, Carl Kuschke and Ben DeMarois lost the match 9-7 to give Weber the point.
"It seemed like the pressure was on us because of our seed," Coach Kris Nord said. "That may not be the whole reason but we didn't play as well as we are capable of playing in doubles."
The wildcats rode the doubles momentum into the singles matches and gained a quick win when Dave Hintze defeated Michael Facey 6-1, 6-3 giving WSU a 2-0 overall lead. Ethan Vaughn continued his stellar play with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Caio Poitena ath No. 5, that win cut the deficit to one, 2-1.
Simon Unger finished off Kuschke 6-1, 6-4 at the No. 1 spot to give the wildcats a 3-1 lead.
Weber State needed just one more win to advance but the Grizzlies would not be denied a trip to the championship match.
Reigning Big Sky Player of the Week Mikolaj Caruk finished off a 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 2 to again cut the Weber lead to one.
Andrew Warren easily won his first set 6-3 but the second set came to tiebreaker. Warren won the tiebreaker 7-5 to knot the score at 3-3.
"Andrew has lost some very tough matches late in the season," Nord said. "I was glad to see him break through and get another win. It was his biggest win of the season."
With the score tied the pressure was on freshman Andreas Luczak at the No. 6.
Luczak is not a stranger to these situations and for the fourth time this season he won his match to break a 3-3 tie and give the Grizzlies the victory.
"Andreas is such a steady force," Nord said. "He doesn't let himself get out of the moment. He plays the same whether he is in a pressure situation or in a pickup game in practice."
The Grizzlies will face Sacramento State Sunday at 3 p.m. mtn. The Hornets defeated Eastern Washington 4-0 Saturday to advance to the championship match.
The Grizzlies beat Sacramento State 4-3 in Missoula on April, 8. The Grizzlies will look to again defeat the Hornets but they also have to deal with another opponent, the heat.
During Saturday's match the temperature reached over 100 degrees on the court and that is something the Griz have not seen a lot of this season.
"We had only one match in the heat (3/24 at Grand Canyon) before coming down here," Nord said. "We have to be careful and stay hydrated or we'll suffer, our guys are in great shape but this is totally different."
Tennis Match Results
Weber State University vs The University of Montana
Apr 21, 2012 at Sacramento, Calif.
(Gold River Racquet Club)
The University of Montana 4, Weber State University 3
1. UNGER, Simon (WSU) def. Kuschke, Carl (UM) 6-1, 6-4
2. Caruk, Mikolaj (UM) def. GOOD, Oliver (WSU) 6-2, 6-4
3. Warren, Andrew (UM) def. RAMSTROMER PELLO, P. (WSU) 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)
4. HINTZE, Dave (WSU) def. Facey, Michael (UM) 6-1, 6-3
5. Vaughn, Ethan (UM) def. POITENA, Caio (WSU) 6-3, 6-1
6. Luczak, Andreas (UM) def. GARNER, Ryan (WSU) 6-2, 7-5
1. UNGER, Simon/GOOD, Oliver (WSU) def. CARUK, Mikolaj/WARREN, Andrew (UM) 8-3
2. FACEY, Michael/VAUGHN, Ethan (UM) def. POITENA, Caio/RAMSTROMER PELLO, P. (WSU) 8-3
3. GARNER, Ryan/HINTZE, Dave (WSU) def. DEMAROIS, Ben/KUSCHKE, Carl (UM) 9-7
Weber State University 9-13
The University of Montana 16-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,1,4,2,3,6)
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