April 5, 2007

Eagles Fall to Zags in Thriller

April 5, 2007

The Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga University women's tennis teams played a thriller in their first meeting of two over the next week, with the Bulldogs coming out victorious in Cheney on Thursday afternoon (April 5) by a 4-3 score.

The match of the day came at No. 1 singles, where EWU's Kasey Knox battled with Emily Anderson in an epic contest. Knox dramatically enacted a number of rallies in this contest, as she lost the first set and was down in the second, 4-1, before she stormed back for a 6-5 lead. At that point, Anderson responded by taking an eight-rally game to tie the score, 6-6, and force a tiebreaker.

Anderson got off to a strong start in the tiebreaker by taking 3-1 and 6-3 leads before Knox rallied to stave off three successive match points to tie it, 6-6. The two then battled for the next 10 rallies before Knox secured the final three points for a dramatic 12-10 win. In the tiebreaker, Knox rallied from match point five times, while Anderson responded to set point successfully once.

While that contest was going on, Eastern's Kerstyn Dolack and Kendall Bates were in a tight match on the third court. At that moment, the Eagles were down, 3-2, and needed to take both of these contests to secure the team win. But, unfortunately for Eastern, Bates was able to secure a clutch 7-5, 6-4 victory to clinch for Gonzaga its victory. This came immediately after Knox had secured her second-set win and while the competitors were resting for a third set.

Since the team result was now decided, Knox and Anderson battled in a supertiebreaker in lieu of a third set. This time it was the Eagle junior who went out to a strong lead, going up, 6-1 and 9-5, before Anderson rallied with two straight points to cut her deficit to 9-7 before Knox put away the victory, 10-7. Set scores of this scintillating contest were 3-6, 7-6 (12-10), (10-7). Knox has now won 6-of-7 matches, all at the No. 1 position.

Also earning singles wins for the Eagles (6-12) were Rachel Berger on the fourth court and Marie Demerath at No. 6. Berger won comfortably, 6-2, 6-3, over Sydney Lederhouse, while Demerath cruised in a 6-0, 6-2 defeat of Carrie Schofield, her fifth win in seven contests. Those two wins were clutch in that they allowed the Eagles to rally from a 2-0 deficit to tie the team score, 2-2.

In doubles play, Dolack and Knox prevailed in the first position, 8-3, over Erin Humphrey and Lederhouse, but the Bulldogs (5-14) were able to take the other doubles contests to earn an early 1-0 lead in the match.

Playing the final home match of her Eagle career was senior Sayaka Yoshimoto, who fell in No. 2 doubles with Berger, 8-3. The duo played Anderson and Kendall Bates.

The two rivals will play again in a week, with Gonzaga playing host this time. The contest will begin at 3 p.m. next Thursday (April 12).

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Gonzaga at Eastern Washington
Gonzaga 4, Eastern Washington 3
April 5, 2007, at Cheney, Wash.

Doubles competition
1. Kerstyn Dolack/Kasey Knox (EWU) def. Erin Humphrey/Sydney Lederhouse (GU), 8-3
2. Emily Anderson/Kendall Bates (GU) def. Rachel Berger/Sayaka Yoshimoto (EWU), 8-3
3. Aglaya Kokurina/Carrie Schofield (GU) def. Marie Demerath/Amanda Mankovits (EWU), 8-5

Singles competition
1. Kasey Knox (EWU) def. Emily Anderson (GU), 3-6, 7-6 (10), (10-7)
2. Aglaya Kokurina (GU) def. Iliana Petrova (EWU), 6-1, 6-0
3. Kendall Bates (GU) def. Kerstyn Dolack (EWU), 7-5, 6-4
4. Rachel Berger (EWU) def. Sydney Lederhouse (GU), 6-2, 6-3
5. Courtney Lau (GU) def. Amanda Mankovits (EWU), 6-4, 6-4
6. Marie Demerath (EWU) def. Carrie Schofield (GU), 6-0, 6-2

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

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