Griz pick up 6-1 victory at Eastern Washington
April 2, 2013
The Montana women's tennis team snapped a two-match losing streak with a commanding 6-1 victory over Eastern Washington Tuesday afternoon on EWU's on-campus outdoor courts at Cheney, Wash.
The outcome was a critical result for both teams in regard to their positions within the Big Sky Conference standings.
Montana (9-7, 5-1 BSC) moved into a second-place tie with Northern Arizona (13-8, 5-1 BSC) as both teams aim for the No. 2 spot behind Sacramento State and a bye into the semifinal round at this month's Big Sky Conference tournament.
The Grizzlies will host the Lumberjacks, who play at Montana State Saturday, Sunday morning in Missoula.
Eastern Washington (6-13, 3-5 BSC) entered Tuesday's match in sixth place in the Big Sky but dropped behind Montana State in the standings. The Eagles are one of five teams who are battling for the final three spots to the six-team tournament.
Tuesday was Montana's second outdoor match of the spring season, and the winds challenged both teams to adapt. According to fifth-year Griz coach Steve Ascher, his team was quicker to adjust.
"It was a windy day, and we did a really good job of dealing with it," he said. "We adjusted to the conditions quicker than Eastern did.
"Whether the wind is at your back or in your face, it forces you to change the way you play. To work through those moments like we did was a good sign."
Ascher stuck with a doubles lineup of Heather Davidson and Laurence Pelchat at No. 1, Sasha Carter and Maddy Murray at No. 2 and Haley Driver and Precious Gbadamosi at No. 3 for the 10th consecutive match, and it produced the Grizzlies' eighth doubles point in those 10 matches.
Montana won 8-3 at No. 2 and 8-4 at No. 3 to take the early 1-0 lead. Driver and Gbadamosi improved to 10-0 this spring when playing together at No. 3.
The Grizzlies collected singles victories at Nos. 2-6, with Driver at No. 2, Pelchat at No. 3, Gbadamosi at No. 5 and Ashley Mackey at No. 6 all winning in straight sets. Carter won in three sets at No. 4.
Moira Hedberg, who improved to 7-1 in Big Sky matches at the top of the Eagles' lineup, gave Eastern Washington its lone point with a victory over Davidson at No. 1. The players split their first two sets, and Hedberg pulled out a 10-8 victory in the super-tiebreaker to keep EWU from being shut out.
Gbadamsoi moved up to play at No. 5 for the first time in six matches and still won to extend her singles winning streak to 10.
Driver and Pelchat both moved one spot up the lineup, from Nos. 3 and 4, while Carter played at No. 4 after playing most of the spring season at No. 2.
Montana will face Gonzaga (9-5) Wednesday afternoon at the Spokane Racquet Club.
Montana at Eastern Washington
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