In doubleheader action, Gonzaga women’s tennis picked up two wins on Saturday against Idaho University and Eastern Washington University. Zags fans in attendance at the Stevens Center were treated to a 4-1 victory over IU and a 4-0 sweep of EWU.
The day started out on a rough patch when IU beat the Zags in two out of the three doubles sets to go up 1-0. GU freshman Maria Frampton and sophomore Vlada Medvedcova were able to snag a 6-2 victory on court three, but the other two other pairs both dropped their matchups to the Vandals 6-4.
“We’re still so new and working out the kinks with some of our matchups,” head coach DJ Dujule said. “I think some of our kids were trying to do too much with the doubles instead of being basic and just trusting the process.
"We’re forcing things a little bit instead of letting the game come to us.”
The Zags came back in a big way for singles play — every one of GU’s six players in action on the court won their first set.
Senior Kate Ketels on court two and Medvedcova on court four both made short work of their opponents, winning 2 straight sets handedly to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage. Ketels held her opponent to three points throughout the entire match, and Medvedcova only allowed for one point to be scored against her.
“We fight for every single point,” Medvedcova said. “That was how we were taught to play and it doesn’t matter whether you’re down or you’re up in the score, just go for that next point and show the tennis we worked on in the fall.”
With the Zags needing two more match wins to clinch a team victory, they looked to junior Taylor Gruber on court five and senior Haruna Tsuruta on court three to close out.
Gruber won her second set 6-3, managing to use a mixture of solid returns and good ball placement to keep her opponent off balance and bring the Zags within one point of winning.
Tsuruta secured the clinching point in her second set which she won 6-1, despite facing an opponent who was able to consistently draw out hard fought rallies to make the match exhausting for Tsuruta.
“I haven’t been playing my best since the beginning of the season, but I just saw my teammates competing and so I knew that I had to fight and focus on every point for them no matter what,” Tsuruta said.
Sending the Vandals home after beating them 4-1, the Zags looked to recuperate and strike again against EWU a few hours later
“We knew this was going to be a tough day with two good matches, but our ability to control our energy and be able to take ourselves back down to a base level is good during time off,” Coach Dujule said after beating IU. “We can’t get too hyped on what we just did, we need to go back to the basics.”
Against the Eagles, GU made some adjustments in their doubles lineups and won two out of three sets, as the Medvedcova and Ketels pair along with the Cate Broerman and Gruber pair were victorious in their matchups.
The Zags were up 1-0, and now needed three singles victories to grab a second win on the day. Five of the six Zags won their first set of singles action, with Broerman securing her point first with a 6-0 win on the second set.
“I thought that Cate came back really solid today, fighting strong in her first set to get the win and continuing that momentum, which is super impressive to see from a younger player,” Tsuruta said.
Medvedcova followed suite, winning her second set 6-2 to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. Throughout the day Medvedcova didn’t lose a single set in either doubles or singles play, and allowed a total of four points to be scored against her in four sets of singles.
“[Vlada’s] baseline game is really good, and I think that’s ideally what she should take pride in,” Coach Dujule said. “She doesn’t have to do anything crazy or off the charts to be solid, because her ball is gonna give a lot of people problems.”
Gruber closed out the match by following up her 6-4 first set win with a 7-5 second set victory. Her and her opponent attacked each point with aggressiveness and precision, but it was Gruber who captured that last set to put the Zags on top 4-0.
The two wins Saturday tie up the Zags season record at 3-3 as they look ahead to an away matchup against Washington State University on Saturday, Feb. 8th.