After a slow start to the season, the women’s tennis team defeated Portland State to get their second conference win with a 6-1 victory on Feb. 20 at the Bobcat-Anderson Tennis Center in Bozeman. The Cats won two of their three doubles matches with their number two and three teams defeating the Vikings’ number two and three teams. MSU’s number two team of juniors Laura Middel and Naomi Holopainen beat PSU’s Dané Vorster and Taylor Rees with a 6-2 win. The number three team of junior Shelby Cerkovnik and freshman Linda Vink defeated PSU’s number three team of Kelsey Frey and Alana Chaplin 6-2, to earn MSU the doubles point.
“The entire team came out on the court ready to play and hungry for a win,” junior Jessica Brycki said, “this definitely showed when everyone took care of business on their own court, and I am extremely proud of how everyone performed.”
Montana State won five of the six singles matches of the night, helping them gain the victory. Holopainen beat Portland State’s Vorster in a 6-1, 7-5 match. Middle won 6-4 and 6-0 against Siena Peri. Brycki won in an exciting ten-point tie break match against Tracy Dong, 6-3, 5-7 and 11-9 (in the tie break match). When asked about her win, Brycki said, “When my score became close … I focused on staying positive and remembered that the hours of training we put in each day is to help us come out on top in moments like this.” Sophomore Angelina Philippova and Vink each won their singles matches in two sets, defeating Sabina-Elena Preda 6-3, 6-0 and Frey 6-2, 6-4, respectively. Cerkovnik was defeated by Rees in a ten-point tie break, 0-6, 7-5 and 10-5 (in the tie break).
“I am proud of the way the team competed. In a match, you always have physical and mental lapses, but we recognized them early and did a great job of refocusing and executing the positives,” said MSU Head Coach Jon Reeves. The team heads to Missoula next weekend, Feb. 27, to face University of Montana at 9 a.m. and Lewis-Clark State at 2 p.m.