April 8, 2012

Women's tennis gets first-ever victory over Montana State

Fighting back from a tough 7-0 loss to Montana in Missoula on Saturday, the Northern Colorado women's tennis team earned an historic win beating conference rival Montana State for the first time since entering the Big Sky Conference. The Bears knocked off the Bobcats 5-2 on Sunday at the Anderson Tennis Center in Bozeman.

"Today was an amazing day, and I am extremely proud of our heart, fire and determination in every match," said Head Coach Brenda Vlasak.

The No. 1 doubles team of Stephanie Catlin and Elizabeth Tapia earned the only doubles win for the Bears which gave them a 1-0 deficit going into singles play. The duo beat Char Hjalmarsson and Paulina Lopez 8-4 keeping them undefeated in Big Sky action.

Bouncing back from doubles, the Bears picked up singles wins at the Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 positions with three of the matches going to a third set. At No. 2 singles, Adriana Nieto defeated Wena Tsan 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 while No.3 singles player Tapia knocked off Paulina Lopez 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

"We have been working hard from day one on buying into our team philosophies and believing in our foundation," Vlasak said. "Today they showed just how important that is."

At the No. 4 position, Catlin came back after losing the second set 6-0 to defeat Ellie Crum in a tiebreaker 6-2, 0-6, 7-6 (7-4).

The final two singles wins came from Jennifer Buchanan and Chrissie Hoolahan at the Nos. 5 and 6 positions with Buchanan beating Andrea De La Torre 6-2, 6-2 and Hoolahan beating Liana Bates 6-2, 6-3.

"Every single member of the team showed up today with passion and competed at a high level," Vlasak said.

The win against the Bobcats puts Vlasak and the Bears in good contention to be a part of the Big Sky Championships on April 21 and 22 in Sacramento.

The Bears return to action at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 13 to take on Colorado State at the Rams tennis courts in Ft. Collins.