Bobcats battle two conference teams

Charlotta Hjalmarsson goes for a forehand. Photo by Kate Juedes.
Charlotta Hjalmarsson goes for a forehand. Photo by Kate Juedes.

Montana State’s men’s and women’s team both left the Bobcat/Anderson Tennis Center with the taste of victory this weekend after beating conference opponents Weber State and Northern Arizona University (NAU).

The MSU men, (11-7) defeated NAU 5-2. Bobcat Diego Campos posted a 6-4, 6-3 win to tie it after the Lumberjacks won the doubles match, but MSU’s Markus Schleuter and Niklas Brandes both followed with wins to seal it for the Bobcats.

On Saturday, the Bobcat Women (4-10) gave a valiant effort, but fell to the Lady Lumberjacks 1-6. NAU won the opening doubles match, before winning five of six singles matches. Montana State’s Ellie Crum posted the only victory for the Bobcat singles with a 6-4, 6-3 win over NAU’s Malia Wahinepio.

MSU’s Charlotta Hjalmarsson went three sets, before losing a 7-6, 3-6, 3-6 decision to Hannah Stone. At No. 2 singles, Paulina Lopez was close to forcing a third set, but a 5-4 lead turned into a 6-2, 7-5 loss to Northern Arizona’s Ghizelene Doballah.

Sunday’s match brought Montana State up against the Weber State Wildcats.

The men, under the direction of Head Coach Jared Burnham, who was with the Weber State program for eight seasons, posted a 5-2 victory over the Wildcats.

Campos had a stellar performance, not losing a single set and teaming up with Brandes to win both doubles matches. He is leading the conference with 13 wins. With their victories this weekend, the Montana State Men secured a spot in the Big Sky tournament.

“Making the Big Sky tourney is big,” Burnham said. “We need to stay focused on our upcoming matches. We see the hard work paying off, but there is still work to be done. We have two really tough teams coming up.”

Markus Schleuter follows through on a shot. Photo by Kate Juedes.
Markus Schleuter follows through on a shot. Photo by Kate Juedes.

The women also won against Weber State 6-1, with Lopez and Hjalmarsson winning the opening doubles point and Lopez, playing at No. 2 singles, rallied for a 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-1 win to clinch the match for the Bobcats. MSU also picked up victories at No. 5 and 6 singles, where Tsan had a 6-3, 6-1 win over Michelle Warwick, and Liana Bates clinched a 2-6, 6-0, 10-4 decision over Annika Karlsen.

“We needed to mix things up to get our doubles play jump-started,” Head Women’s Coach Denise Albrecht said. “Getting the opening doubles point is critical, because it often sets the tone for the rest of the match.”

The men close their regular season next week, hosting Montana on Saturday at 1 p.m. and league-leading Idaho State Saturday at 10 a.m., while the women travel to Eastern Wash. on April 12.