W. Tennis: Cowgirls wrangle Vandals

After a promising fall season, the Idaho women’s tennis team got off to a bumpy start against Wyoming. The Cowgirls defeated the Vandals 6-1 Saturday afternoon.

Wyoming (2-0) gained the advantage right out of the gate. Wyoming’s Elisa Koonik and Tessa van Der Ploeg defeated freshman Jessica Brzozowska and junior Lucia Badillos 6-4.

Not long after, Wyoming clinched a point on the doubles court when Magdalena Stencel and Miranda Talbert overcame senior Claire Yang and freshman Shion Watabe 6-4.

Leading 1-0, Wyoming took its momentum to singles play.

Yang, who made her first spring appearance in over a year for the Vandals, suffered her second loss of the day at the hands of Ana Tkachenko. Yang dropped the first set 6-3 and failed to recover in the second.

Koonik gave the Cowgirls a 3-1 edge after defeating Watabe. Koonik performed well in the first set, winning 6-2. However, Watabe fought back to tie the second set at 6-6, but could not hold on in the tie breaker.

Batiri met a similar fate. When facing off against Dorottya Jones, she lost the first set 6-1. Batiri fought back in the next set, but Jones proved to be too tough an opponent and won 7-6.

Idaho’s last chance at a comeback rested on the shoulders of its No. 1 player. Badillos did her best to lift the team up during her match against Magdalena Stencel. Things seemed to be looking up for the Vandals when Badillos won the first set handedly 6-1. However, Stencel recovered from the early upset to win the second set 6-3. The Wyoming sophomore did not give up the lead after that, and won the third tie breaking set 6-2.

Despite the Cowgirls officially clinching the win, play continued on the No. 3 and No. 4 courts.

At No. 4, Wyoming Der Ploeg defeated Tavares in a close 3-set match. Tavares took the first 6-3, but dropped the next two 6-4, 6-1.

In the final match of the day, Idaho finally notched a win. Brzozowska faced off against Milka Genkova, and looked like she might also suffer a loss. After a tough 6-2 loss in the first set, Brzozowska rallied back to win the next set 6-2. She hung on to win the third set 6-3.

The Vandals look to put the tough loss behind them when they travel to Portland State for their first Big Sky Conference matchup. The Vikings also started the season off with a loss, falling to Portland 6-1.

Idaho squares off against Portland State 10 a.m. Feb. 5 in Vancouver, Washington.

Brandon Hill can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @brandonmtnhill


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