Hedberg, Uriarte and Warner each force a third set in singles against BSU, but Eastern ends up falling, 7-0
The Eastern Washington University women’s tennis team played two non-conference matches in Boise, Idaho this weekend, but unfortunately, the Eagles failed to come away with a win. Eastern fell to Boise State, 7-0, before suffering a 6-1 defeat to the Lobos of New Mexico.
The Eagles are now 4-10 in the 2013 campaign, and will return home on Tuesday (March 12) to face Big Sky newcomer North Dakota at 4 p.m. at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney, Wash. Eastern is 2-2 in conference play.
On Friday against the Broncos, EWU had an encouraging start, as sophomore Moira Hedberg and senior Chelsea Patton played an incredibly close match with BSU’s nationally-ranked pair of Marlena and Manuela Pietzuch, who currently rank 39th in the country. With a 40-15 advantage, the Eagle duo was in position to break BSU’s serve to go up 7-6 in the match. But the Pietzuch sisters managed to hold off EWU and then won the next two games for an 8-6 victory.
“I was happy with the way we competed against Boise State,” said EWU interim head coach Dustin Hinson. “We had a really great chance in doubles and probably could have won at No. 1 against a team that is nationally-ranked, but we just couldn’t pull it out. It was exciting though for Moira and Chelsea.”
The Broncos ended up sweeping the doubles matches with an 8-1 win at No. 2 and 8-3 decision at No. 3.
In singles, after dropping their opening sets, three different Eagles were able to fight back to force three-setters. But in each one, the Broncos proved to have the edge on their home courts.
At No. 1, Hedberg was again pitted against Marlena Pietzuch, who came away with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 decision.
Sophomore Chrissy Uriarte battled BSU’s Teal Vosburgh in a tight one at No. 2, but Vosburgh prevailed in the marathon match, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.
Playing in her fourth three-setter of the season, senior Ryann Warner lost to The Broncos’ Sammie Watson at No. 5, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
Patton dropped her match at No. 3, 6-3, 6-0, while senior Kelsey Knight and sophomore Alexis Filliol also fell in straight sets at No. 4 and 6, respectively.
“Boise State is just good from top to bottom,” said Hinson. “It was great to see us get three split sets, but I wish we could have pulled out one two of them. I felt good about the attitude and fight we had in the match though.”
Eastern did have one day to recuperate from the sweep by the Broncos before facing New Mexico on Sunday, but the Eagles did not bring that same level of competitiveness to the match against the Lobos.
“I thought we were a little flat against New Mexico today,” said Hinson. “It was pretty disappointing, because I think we were the better team. The players got caught up in worrying about the conditions and couldn’t concentrate on the task at hand. It was a bit frustrating as a coach to see a kind of lack of focus.”
There were a few bright spots of the day at No. 2 doubles and No. 6 singles.
Playing for the first time together this year, Patton and Knight defeated New Mexico’s Kristin Eggleston and Nikolina Grbac, 8-4.
In the top doubles spot, Hedberg and Uriarte had an impressive start in their first match as partners in the 2013 campaign. The duo jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but let it slip away, as New Mexico rallied to take the match, 8-6. The Lobos also won at No. 3 by a score of 8-2 to secure the doubles point.
In singles, Filliol had an impressive performance at No. 6, as she made quick work of UNM’s Katie Wookey with a 6-2, 6-2 decision.
For the third-straight match, Uriarte forced three sets in her dual at No. 2, but she was edged by Grbac, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Hedberg lost in straight sets at No. 1, as did Patton and Warner at No. 3 and 5, respectively.