March 9, 2007

Eagle Women Move to 2-1 in Big Sky with 5-2 Win over Montana

March 9, 2007

The Eastern Washington University women's tennis team improved to 2-1 in Big Sky Conference play after toppling Montana on Friday afternoon, 5-2. With two league victories, the Eagles have matched their high-water mark in league wins over the past nine seasons. The 2002 (2-6) and 1999 (2-5) squads also hit two wins, while the last team to win three league contests was the 1998 squad (3-3).

The win also snapped a 24-match losing streak to the Grizzlies dating back to a 5-4 win accomplished on March 3, 1995.

Playing outside for the first time in 2007 in very comfortable 50-degree temperatures, the two teams saw the first pair of doubles matches split and the doubles point reside with the result of the No. 2 contest between EWU's Kasey Knox and Kerstyn Dolack and Montana's Martyna Nowak and Jessica Souza.

With the score tied, 6-6, the Eagle pair enacted a pair of memorable comebacks, first rallying from 40-15 down with Montana (1-7, 0-1 BSC) serving to secure four straight points and claim the game to go up, 7-6. Then, on serve, the Eagles (2-6) dropped the first three rallies to go down, 40-0, before storming back with three straight points to force deuce. Knox and Dolack would end up fighting off six game points before securing the final three rallies to win the match, 8-6.

After securing the doubles point for just the second time this season (the first came in a 4-3 win at Northern Colorado on Jan. 27), everybody's attention turned to singles play.

Wins in the first four contests to complete play quickly earned Eastern its important win. First off the court was Rachel Berger, who defeated Souza, 6-2, 6-1, in the fourth position. Making it 2-0 was Marie Demerath, who finished off Malena Rosen, 6-1, 6-4, on the sixth court.

Within a minute of Demerath's victory, Knox completed a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 1 over Liz Walker. With the score tied, 4-4, in the second set, Knox broke away to take the next game with four straight points. She then rallied from 30-15, 40-30 and Advantage-Montana deficits in the next game to prevail in the last trio of rallies and, in the process, clinch Eastern's win.

Making it 5-0 was Dolack, who topped Nowak in convincing fashion, 6-2, 6-4, to snap a personal four-match losing streak.

Montana got two points late by claiming the final two singles matches to complete play.

The Eagles now continue their busy weekend, taking on Montana State in another Big Sky Conference match at 1 p.m. on Saturday (March 10). The Bobcats (1-10, 0-1 BSC) take on Gonzaga in Spokane at 7 p.m. on Friday prior to meeting the Eagles the next day. The weekend concludes when Lewis-Clark State pays a visit to Cheney. The Lady Warriors (5-2) are ranked 17th nationally in the NAIA ranks. First serve for that contest is set for 2 p.m.

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Montana at Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington 5, Montana 2
March 9, 2007, at Cheney, Wash.

Singles competition
1. Kasey Knox (EWU) def. Liz Walker (UM), 6-4, 6-4
2. Danni Paulson (UM) def. Iliana Petrova (EWU), 6-0, 6-1
3. Kerstyn Dolack (EWU) def. Martyna Nowak (UM), 6-2, 6-4
4. Rachel Berger (EWU) def. Jessica Souza (UM), 6-2, 6-1
5. Kayla Moyse (UM) def. Amanda Mankovits (EWU), 7-6 (6), 6-4
6. Marie Demerath (EWU) def. Malena Rosen (UM), 6-1, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. Danni Paulson/Liz Walker (UM) def. Rachel Berger/Iliana Petrova (EWU), 8-4
2. Kerstyn Dolack/Kasey Knox (EWU) def. Martyna Nowak/Jessica Souza (UM), 8-6
3. Marie Demerath/Amanda Mankovits (EWU) def. Kayla Moyse/Malena Rosen (UM), 8-4

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,6,1,3,2,5)

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