Carter, Gbadamosi, Pelchat leave UM three winningest players
No. 3 Montana defeated No. 6 Portland State 5-2 in Portland earlier this season
Griz clinch the No. 3 seed in the Big Sky tournament
Catherine Orfanos clinches match with 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 6 singles
Carter, Gbadamosi, Pelchat all playing final home matches of careers
Meet the Griz :: 2014-15 women's tennis photo day
Montana vs. Lewis-Clark State (2/15/14)
Montana vs. Washington State (1/31/14)
Women's tennis photo gallery :: Southern Utah, Idaho State
Montana vs. Weber State (4/6/13)
The 2014-15 season is Steve Ascher's seventh year as head women's tennis coach at the University of Montana. The two-time Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year was hired in the summer of 2008.
Ascher was asked to take a team that had had limited success over the years and build a Big Sky Conference champion. Ascher and the Grizzlies accomplished that goal in 2014 when they won the first regular-season Big Sky title in program history.
The championship capped a steady rise up the Big Sky standings, from a tie for fourth in Ascher's first year to third-place finishes in 2010, '11 and '12.
Montana finished second behind powerhouse Sacramento State in 2013, then ended the Hornet's 112-match league winning streak in 2014 on its way to a perfect 9-0 conference record.
It marked the first time since the Big Sky began a round-robin schedule in 2004 that a team other than Sac State won the regular-season title.
The Grizzlies have faced Sacramento State in the Big Sky Conference tournament championship match each of the last three seasons.
Montana earned a No. 10 ranking in the ITA Mountain Region following the 2013 season, and Ascher has coached seven different players to either a January or June ITA region ranking.
Haley Driver was voted the 2014 Big Sky MVP, the first non-Sacramento State player since 2002 to win the award. Nine different players have earned first-team All-Big Sky honors under Ascher.
The team's success on the court has been matched its success in the classroom. Montana has posted a semester GPA of 3.0 or better 11 times in 12 semesters with Ascher as coach and has six times had a 3.0 GPA or better.
The Grizzlies have earned the ITA All-Academic team award four times under Ascher, in 2009, '11, '13 and '14, and have had 18 ITA Scholar Athlete and 20 Academic All-Big Sky Conference selections.
Prior to taking the job at Montana, Ascher spent two years at Portland State, where he coached both the men's and women's teams. Ascher was hired by PSU in the summer of 2006 to rebuild a Viking tennis program that had been eliminated for budget purposes in 2002.
Born and raised in Portland, Ascher played collegiately at the University of Portland, from which he graduated with a degree in psychology in 1996.
After starting his coaching career as an assistant with the Pilots in 1997-98, Ascher moved on to assistant coaching positions at Millersville (Pa.) (1998-2000) and Davidson (N.C.) (2000-01).
The women's program at Millersville advanced to the round of 16 at both the 1999 and 2000 NCAA Division II national tournaments.
Ascher returned to the Pacific Northwest after one season at Davidson, once again taking an assistant position at Portland.
Ascher, who earned a master's degree in clinical psychology from Millersville in 2003, worked as a school psychologist for the Portland Public School District for two years (2004-06) before restarting the Portland State program.
Ascher and his wife, Shelbi, have two daughters, Adalynn and Eliza. Shelbi played collegiate soccer for UC San Diego from 1995 to 1998 and was part of three NCAA Division III national championship teams.
Ascher's Coaching Resume
1997-98 ... Assistant, University of Portland
1998-2000 ... Assistant, Millersville University
2000-01 ... Assistant, Davidson College
2001-04 ... Assistant, University of Portland
2006-08 ... Head coach, Portland State University
2008-present ... Head coach, University of Montana
Ascher at Montana
2008-09 ... 8-13 (4-4 Big Sky, t-fourth)
2009-10 ... 10-12 (6-2 Big Sky, third)
2010-11 ... 11-12 (6-2 Big Sky, third)
2011-12 ... 14-8 (6-2 Big Sky, third)
2012-13 ... 15-8 (9-1 Big Sky, second)
2013-14 ... 16-8 (9-0 Big Sky, first)
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