Women's Tennis drops 4-3 heartbreaker to Rams
By HEATHER KENNEDY
GREELEY -- In its final regular-season match of the year the Northern Colorado women's tennis team lost a 4-3 heartbreaker to instate-rival Colorado State on Monday at Work Out West.
The Bears (12-8), who celebrated Senior Day at the match by honoring veterans Jennifer Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif.) and Elizabeth Tapia (Panama City, Panama), will now prepare for the 2013 Big Sky Conference Women's Tennis Championship at Sacramento State.
Northern Colorado is the No. 4 seed in this year's Championship and will face Southern Utah in the first round at 3 p.m. MT Friday.
"I wanted this win badly for our two seniors, who have had a close match with CSU every year," Northern Colorado coach Brenda Vlasak said. "I thought today was going to be the day we won. It looks like we will have to wait until next year to make that happen."
Northern Colorado jumped out to an early lead, winning two of the three doubles matches to claim the doubles point.
Sophomore Chrissie Hoolahan (Richmond, Surrey, England) and freshman Claire Uhle (Blue Bell, Pa.) won 8-5 at No. 2 doubles, defeating Natalie Heffron and Adrian Wojakowska, while the Bears' tandem of Buchanan and freshman Hilary Walters-West (Simi Valley, Calif.) won by the same score at No. 3 against CSU's Kendall Heitzner and Jennifer Weissmann.
Colorado State won the top four ladder positions in singles play, while the Bears won at Nos. 5 and 6.
"We really came out on fire in doubles today at the [Nos. 2 and 3] positions," Vlasak said. "We were in control of those two matches the entire time, and it's nice to see things finally falling into place after such hard work this season in doubles play."
Walters-West continued to shine in her first season at Northern Colorado, winning her 11th consecutive singles match with a dominating 6-1, 6-1 victory over Weissmann at No. 6.
Hoolahan also won her fifth straight match, doing so in straight sets with a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 5 over Mollie Cooper.
Uhle had a tough three-set loss to Wojakowska at No. 4 , in a match that was the last to finish and ultimately decided Monday's result.
Uhle won the first set 6-4 but dropped the last two sets 7-5, 6-3.
"I am slightly disappointed in our singles play at [Nos. 2 and 3] and am not quite sure what to say about No. 4," Vlasak said. "We had more than a big opportunity to win this match, and let it slip away before our very eyes."