Gonzaga University women’s tennis won both of its matches on Saturday.
The Zags (6-5) defeated the Fresno State Bulldogs 4-2 before crushing the Seattle University Redhawks 4-0 later in the day.
The Bulldogs came into the doubleheader after splitting last weekend’s series in East Lansing, Michigan. After a disappointing finish against Michigan State, the Zags recovered with a nail-biting victory over Xavier University. After losing the doubles point, GU completed its comeback after freshman Cate Broerman won the tiebreaker in her singles set.
GU looked to build off of its last victory as it played host to FSU (7-4)and Seattle (4-8) hours within each other in the Stevens Center.
The start of the day began with a thriller in doubles play. After both teams split victories, it all came down to court one, where GU’s Kate Ketels and Vlada Medvedcova were in a heated battle. The lead was 5-4 in favor of the Bulldogs when Medvedcova sealed the win and the point with an unreturnable backhand shot.
“Getting the doubles point and having that confidence going into singles is really important,” Ketels said.
Both teams continued to battle it out as play shifted to singles matches.
Senior Haruna Tsuruta outlasted FSU’s Georgia Lawson 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3 singles. Using her ball placement skills, the senior from Japan scored the last three points of the match and gave GU a 2-0 lead.
On the neighboring court, it was Broerman that earned GU its third victory of the day after defeating FSU’s Deniza Marcinkevica. After winning the first set and leading the second 5-2, Broerman dopped the next five points, forcing a deciding third set. The freshman regained focus and recreated her performance from the first set, as she won the match 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
Finally, it was Ketels that delivered GU the match victory.
“I started off kind of slow,” Ketels said. “But as I started feeling out [Marcinkevica], I just told myself I needed to compete as hard as I could and let the chips fall where they may.”
Despite losing the first set, Ketels roared back to take the second set 6-1. The freshman trailed yet again 2-0 in the final set before she completed her comeback as she won the last set and the match, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.
The latter part of the doubleheader kicked off a few hours later against Seattle University, where the Zags gained the early advantage in doubles play.
After Broerman and Tsuruta took care of business by a score of 6-1, Gruber and Sloan followed suit after a 6-3 victory on No. 3 doubles. With the score 5-3, the Zags got the point they needed after a fierce serve from Gruber, forcing SU to return the ball into the net.
The Bulldogs didn’t let up heading into singles play, with dominant performances all around.
Leading off was Tsuruta sweeping Seattle’s Kyra Jung 6-0, 6-0. On the court next to her was Medvedcova, who defeated Alisa Sabotic 6-1, 6-2.
As GU led 3-0, needing one more victory to secure back-to-back wins for the day, it was freshman Maria Frampton who delivered. After narrowly winning her first set 7-5, Frampton closed out an injured Michelle Bader with a score of 6-1 in the second set.
“Once I decided what the game plan was, I became comfortable,” Frampton said. “From then on I just kind of had my groove.”
Bader was seen favoring her shoulder after serves, yet she continued to play.
Regardless, GU has now won three consecutive matches heading into next week’s matchup against Portland State on Saturday.
“I think it’s the momentum we need,” Frampton said. “With wins like these it just keeps us motivated.”