Women Netters Split Pair of MWC Games

This was supposed to be a weekend where the U women’s tennis team could finally gain some ground in the conference race, as it was facing two teams in the cellar of the conference.

Utah came in at 1-3 in conference play?good enough for a fourth-place tie with BYU. But facing Wyoming and Colorado State would not be an easy task, since the matches were in Laramie, Wyo.

However, the Utes were able to split the matches and were a hair away from a weekend sweep. Utah lost to Wyoming 4-3, but came back to handily defeat Colorado State 5-2.

The Utes are now 2-4 in conference play (and 8-11 overall), which places them fifth in the league, as BYU was able to sweep its weekend series.

The loss to Wyoming was a heartbreaker, since two doubles matchups that gave the Utes losses went to tiebreakers.

Irini Kotoglou and Allison Hansen were defeated by Jenny Bowman and Jen Hancock 9-7, while Linn Ronnberg and Sheri Esrock were defeated by Yullani Santi and Paulina Del Monte, 9-8.

The two losses were the decisive factor in the Utes’ loss, even though the Utes did well in singles play.

Esrock easily defeated Santi 6-2, 6-2, while Kotoglou defeated Toni Terhaar 6-2, 6 4. Freshman Ellen Svensson was able to defeat Monte, 6-4, 6-1. Ronnberg lost two very close sets in the No. 1 singles match, as she was downed 6-4, 6-4 against Bowman.

The loss extended the Utes’ losing streak to five matches, and another loss would have sent them in a tailspin, but the Utes came back to triumph against the Rams.

The contest was filled with many close matchups, both in the singles and in the doubles competition.

Once again, the Utes lost the No. 1 singles match, when Esrock was defeated by Sanja Hansson, 6-1, 7-5.

Ronnberg defeated Amanda Barz in a tough three-set match, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4. Svensson continued her breakout weekend when she defeated Catherine Sullivan 6 1, 2-6, 6-2.

Cassie Kasteler defeated Bobbe Vasos 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, while Kotoglou finished her singles play with a tough win over Dasha Zhurin 6-4, 4-6, 6 1.

The doubles play was even tougher, but this time, the Utes actually pulled out one of the close matches.

Ronnberg and Esrock defeated Alexandra Paganetti and Zhurin by the slimmest of margins, 9-8.

Winning all the tough matches was enough for the Utes to break out of their five-match losing streak, and now they will wait for Friday, when the BYU Cougars come up from Provo in a critical conference match.

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