Lady Cats clean up the competition at the tennis center

One could clearly see that the stakes were high and the pressure was on at the Bobcat-Anderson Tennis Center last Friday, April 15, when junior Naomi Holopainen threw her racket on the ground in frustration after a few botched serves during the No. 1 doubles match against Eastern Washington. The match opened up with a pair of wins from Nos. 2 and 3 doubles teams consisting of juniors Jessica Brycki and Wanda Holopainen and sophomore Angelina Philippova and junior Shelby Cerkovnik, respectively, to give MSU the first point of the contest. However, the undefeated doubles duo of Naomi Holopainen and fellow junior Laura Middel found themselves fighting back from a 4-1 deficit. The pair remained poised though, and mounted a dramatic comeback to seal up a third victory for the Cats and become the first No. 1 doubles team in MSU history to complete an undefeated record (11-0) in conference competition.

After dominating the Eagles in doubles, the ladies followed up with another commanding performance in singles. They quickly sealed up the competition with a series of impressive and gutsy efforts from all players. Middel, the Holopainen sisters, Brycki, Philippova and Cerkovnik all won their singles matches to close the sweep 7-0. With this crucial win, the MSU women’s tennis team punched their ticket to the Big Sky Conference tournament at the end of the month in Sacramento, California where they hope to continue their success.

Angelina Philippova intently watches the ball as it races towards her. Photos by Chris Sandison
Angelina Philippova intently watches the ball as it races towards her. Photos by Chris Sandison
Laura Middel starts her swing to return the ball to the awaiting Eagle.
Laura Middel starts her swing to return the ball to the awaiting Eagle.
Wanda Holopainen returns the ball right over the net stopping the ball short.
Wanda Holopainen returns the ball right over the net stopping the ball short.