SEMIFINALS SET OF BIG SKY TOURNAMENT AFTER WILD FIRST DAY
GOLD RIVER, Calif. — In a day of ups and downs both on the court and in the skies, the men’s draw of the Big Sky Conference Tennis Championships were turned upside down while the top seeds prevailed on the women’s side.
The tournament got under way two hours later than planned due to a rare April rain storm that hit Northern California over night. Once the courts were dried the fifth and sixth-seeded teams pulled off upsets in the men’s tournament.
Fifth-seeded Montana State knocked off fourth-seeded Weber State, 4-1, for the first win of the day. The Bobcats struck first with a pair of doubles victories to take a 1-0 lead. Weber State tied the match with a win at No. 5 from Travis Covington, 6-1, 6-1. Victories from Fletcher Keyes at No. 4 (6-4, 6-2) and Corey Smith at No. 1 (6-2, 6-2) gave MSU a 3-1 lead before Pawel Turzanki outlasted Henning Hipp, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, at No. 3 to seal the victory.
Montana, who was the sixth and final seed in the field, overcame a doubles setback to win four singles matches. The Grizzlies were in a 2-0 deficit following doubles play and a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 1 from Andrew Reiff. Montana then rolled off four straight-set wins from Carl Kuschke (6-2, 6-4) at No. 5, David Cysneiros (6-2, 6-2) at No. 6, Raydner Ramos (6-3, 7-5) at No. 3, and Mikolaj Borkowski (7-5, 6-1) at No. 2.
Due to the fact that Montana is the lowest seed remaining, the Griz will face top-ranked Sacramento State in the men’s semifinal. MSU will take on second-seeded Eastern Washington. Both matches will start at 10 a.m.
In women’s action, Northern Arizona downed Montana, 4-0, and will take on Montana State in Saturday’s semifinal at 2 p.m. The Lumberjacks won two of three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead. Yumi Hasegawa put the team ahead 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 6. NAU also took advantage of a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 3 from Kim Van Ginkel and a 6-4, 6-0 victory by Stacey Pinchbeck at No. 5.
The second match was a spirited contest that was eventually claimed by Northern Colorado, 4-1, over Eastern Washington. The Bears led 1-0 after doubles play and took a quick 2-0 advantage when EWU’s Marie Demerath was forced to retire at No. 1 due to illness. The Eagles bounced back behind Rachel Berger’s 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 3 only to have NC answer with a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 5 from Luiza Xavier at No. 5. The Nos. 2 and 6 matches both went to three sets and the match was finally decided when Jennifer Whatley won, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 6.
The Bears will take on Sacramento State in the semifinal on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Complete results can be accessed by selecting the link at the top of the page.