Griz close out the regular season with a win over the Cats
April 15, 2012
The brawl of the wild took place on the hard court as the University of Montana women's tennis team claimed a 6-1 victory over archrival Montana State Sunday at the Peak Health and Wellness Center Racquet Club in Missoula. The win was for more than just bragging rights as the Grizzlies clinched the third seed in the Big Sky Conference Championships with the win.
Montana (13-7, 6-2 BSC) took an early 4-0 lead on Montana State (6-11, 4-4 BSC) with a doubles sweep and three straight singles wins to clinch the dual.
"It's always an emotional experience when you play Montana State," said coach Steve Ascher. "There is so much tradition with this rivalry.
"We are always excited when we get a win over the Cats."
Montana swept the doubles point for the second time this week and the third match in a row with Heather Davidson and Laurence Pelchat pacing the Grizzly attack claiming the No. 1 match by a score of 8-2. Sophomore Maddy Murray and partner Sasha Carter followed with an 8-2 win of their own at No. 2.
At No.3 doubles senior Lauren Gibson paired with freshman Precious Gbadamosi in her final match at home. The Grizzly duo won 8-4 and Gibson closed out the match with a forehand volley to seal the victory and complete the Grizzly sweep.
In singles Davidson won at No.1 over Charlotte Hjalmarsson 6-4, 6-4 and Carter bested Ellie Crum at No. 4 6-3, 6-2. Pelchat won her opening set 6-3 then had to overcome a 4-1 deficit to take the second set 7-5 solidifying the team win.
The Bobcats were bound not to be shut out though. Paulina Lopez after being beaten in the opening set 6-3 by sophomore Ashley Mackey came back to win the second set 6-3 and push Mackey to a third set. Mackey went up 5-2 but Lopez won five straight games to overcome her Grizzly foe at No. 3.
Gbadamosi and Murray won in straight sets at Nos. 6 and 5. Gbadamosi marked her 10th singles victory in a row with a 6-4, 6-0, win over Gabi Villegas. Murray rounded out the Grizzly triumph with a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 5 over Andrea De La Torre.
Montana will play Northern Arizona in the semifinals of the BSC tournament Apr. 21 in Gold River, Calif. Sacramento State and Northern Colorado will face off in the other semifinal dual which will be played concurrently. The finals will be held Apr. 22.
"NAU always plays with a lot of emotion," said Ascher. "Energy is a big component in their game.
"I think this match was great preparation for us heading into the NAU match next Saturday."
Montana was eliminated by Northern Arizona in the semifinal last year and lost a 4-3 decision to the Lumberjacks in Flagstaff earlier this season.
Montana 6, Montana State 1
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