On a gray and cloudy day outside on Saturday, April 4, the mood inside wasn’t much better after the Montana State women’s tennis team fell 6-1 to their rival University of Montana Grizzlies. The Bobcats were done in by their own streaky play as well as a relentless Grizzly offensive. The day started off with a tough set of doubles matches with losses in the top two teams and the rest of the day followed suit for the Bobcats.
The Grizzlies, who are 5-1 in Big Sky Conference play, swept all but the No. 3 doubles and the No. 6 singles and for the most part won their matchups comfortably. Sophomore Molly Crum was the lone MSU winner, grabbing a three set victory, while sophomore Naomi Holopainen lost in a marathon match 4-6, 7-6, 10-8. The Bobcats played well most of the time, but too often committed unforced errors that the Grizzlies capitalized on. Montana State fell to 9-10 on the season after the loss and 2-4 in conference play. The Cats look to get back on the right track with a pair of road matches against the Eastern Washington University Eagles and the University of Idaho Vandals this weekend.
“We did not underestimate the Grizzlies and expected them to come out with immense fight. Although we were playing with a home crowd, unfortunately we came up short,” sophomore Jess Brycki said after the match. “It’s always tough losing to Montana in the Brawl of the Wild, however more is learned from a loss than a win, and with five conference matches still to be played in the next two weeks, the team is focused on what’s ahead and we’re well prepared to finish the season with some great tennis.”
The Bobcat men, on the other hand, enjoyed a bit of a break and some fun over the holiday weekend. On Friday, April 3, the team held their annual alumni match where current players compete against recent program grads in a lighthearted fundraiser. The Bobcats, sitting well within striking distance of a Big Sky Conference regular season championship, will get back to business this week, traveling to Idaho State and then finish out the season with the archrival Grizzlies on April 18.