February 22, 2010

Women's tennis gets strong individual performances in three-match trip

2009 women's tennis schedule

On a long weekend road trip, the University of Northern Colorado women's tennis team dropped three straight matches to Gonzaga (6-1), Eastern Washington (4-3) and Idaho (6-1).

Although UNC struggled on the road, there were several highlights on the weekend.

Bears' senior Tabatha Knop got her third win of the season against Gonzaga's Rika Mehndritta, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, on Friday, and she got her fourth win Saturday, defeating Caitlin Bampton of Eastern Washington 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Two three-set matches took their toll on Knop come Sunday, though, as she lost her first singles match of the season in straight sets to Idaho's Gabriela Niculescu.

The Bears also got singles wins from senior Tiffany Knop at the No. 2 spot and sophomore Jill Kappel at No. 6. Tiffany Knop defeated Eastern Washington's Marie Demerath 6-4, 7-5, while Kappel won 6-1, 6-2 over the Eagles' Marta Tosic.

"I was very proud of our performance today," head coach Brenda Vlasak said Saturday. "The girls really stepped up and battled their hearts out in singles."

In the weekend's doubles action, the Knop sisters won two out of three matches. They defeated Gonzaga's Danielle Farmer and Mehndritta 8-6 on Friday. After losing their match Saturday to Eastern Washington's Kelsey Knight and Bampton, 8-2, the sisters rallied Sunday to win against Idaho's Alexandra Ulesanu and Niculescu, 8-6.

At the No. 2 doubles spot, freshman Sydney Bell and sophomore Jennifer Whateley defeated Idaho's Silvia Irimescu and Maria Perevoshchikova 8-6. Senior Hannah LaForest and Kappel got their first win of the season at the No. 3 doubles spot, beating the Eagles' Chelsea Patton and Ryann Warner 8-3.

"I felt like No. 3 doubles had an outstanding match and had amazing energy on the court," Vlasak said.

The Bears will look for their second win of the season this weekend when they head to Laramie, Wyo., on Saturday, Feb. 27, to face the Cowgirls.