Griz sweep short road trip with 5-2 victory
April 3, 2013
The Montana women's tennis team defeated Gonzaga Wednesday evening 5-2 at the Spokane Racquet Club in the Grizzlies' final regular-season road match and final nonconference match. The road trip opened Tuesday with a 6-1 win at Eastern Washington.
Montana (10-7) will close out its regular season with four home Big Sky Conference matches, starting this weekend against Weber State and Northern Arizona at the Peak Racquet Club Saturday and Sunday. Matches begin at 9 a.m. each day.
The key to Wednesday's victory was picking up the early doubles point and some early momentum behind a 9-8 win at No. 1 behind Heather Davidson and Laurence Pelchat and a 9-7 victory for Haley Driver and Precious Gbadamosi at No. 3, their 11th straight win together.
"We came out and our doubles were great," UM coach Steve Ascher said. "Sweeping the doubles really set the tone on how we played throughout the match."
When singles play started, Pelchat and Driver made quick work of their opponents at Nos. 2 and 3, with Pelchat winning 6-3, 6-2 and Driver rolling 6-1, 6-1.
"The concentrated effort we had in doubles kind of took over, and when Laurence and Haley posted quick wins, all of a sudden we were up 3-0," Ascher said.
Davidson lost at No. 1, 7-6 (4), 6-3, but Gbadamosi and Ashley Mackey won at Nos. 5 and 6 to give the Grizzlies all the wins they needed. Her win was Gbadamosi's 11th straight singles victory.
"Heather really battled, then Ashley and Precious came out and won their first sets," Ascher said.
"I felt from the first point of doubles to four and a half hours later we were controlling momentum the whole time. We never really gave them any hope of defeating us."
And so Montana's 17-match away-from-home start to the season comes to an end with an impressive 10-7 record. The Grizzlies won't leave Missoula again until they travel to Sacramento, Calif., later this month for the Big Sky Conference tournament.
"We've done a really good job considering the strength of our schedule and that it's all been done on the road," Ascher said. "It's going to be really nice to come home and play before a home crowd and on our home courts and have a little bit of the home environment for a while.
"I think the team is looking forward to it. We're playing well, but I think we'll be able to find another couple of gears at home."
Montana 5, Gonzaga 2
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