The South Dakota State women's tennis team split two meets on Friday, but lost the weekend finale on Saturday in Grand Forks, N.D.
On Friday, SDSU edged cluster-host North Dakota 4-3, but Montana State won its season opener. In the weekend finale on Saturday, Montana was too much throughout the lineup and won 7-0.
Montana State 4 - SDSU 2
In its first dual of the day, SDSU had its opportunities, but was unable to overcome
SDSU sandwiched its doubles win, however, as the Bobcats won 8-5 at the top spot and 8-3 at No. 3 to win the team point.
In singles, Jenny Blackburne and Ffion Davies led the way with wins at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Blackburne needed only two sets to defeat Charlott Hjalarrson, 6-3, 6-2. Davies remained undefeated this season with a three-set, super tiebreaker win versus Parpunova, 3-6, 6-3, 10-3.
Montana State won at No. 3, in a super tiebreaker, No. 4 and No. 6 to reach a team decision.
"The meet versus Montana State was another match that could have gone either way," head coach Michael Engdahl said. "The next step for our program is to win matches like those against teams like MSU. We need to keep working and we will get there."
Due to time restraints, the meet concluded once a team decision was reached.
SDSU 4 - North Dakota 2
In its second dual of the day, SDSU won four singles matches to edge UND.
The Jacks faced North Dakota for the second time this school year. SDSU defeated UND 6-1 in Brookings on Sep. 28. The rematch was a bit closer, however.
North Dakota captured the team doubles point with wins at No. 1 (8-6) and No. 3 (8-5). Florencia Magni and Brooke Henry led 6-5 at the middle spot versus Sarah Stejskal and Stephanie Biehn, but the match was unfinished due to time constraints and a reached decision.
In singles, SDSU looked for wins from all over the lineup and found enough to win.
Ffion Davies, who was undefeated in singles entering the weekend, remained undefeated with her first win at No. 1. Davies once again needed a third-set super tiebreaker, but once again came out on top, defeating Stephanie Petsis 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.
Magni dominated the No. 3 match with a straight-set, 6-1, 6-1 win versus Stejskal. The two games were the least surrendered by a winner in the meet. Brooke Henry was also a straight-set winner at No. 6, defeating Mindy Lawrence 6-4, 6-1.
Beatriz Souza was the other Jackrabbit winner and, like Davies, needed a super tiebreaker to outlast Biehn 6-3, 3-6, 10-7.
The four singles wins were enough to overcome the doubles decision and edge North Dakota 4-3.
"Both matches this evening were battles," said Engdahl. "We had a longer meet versus Montana State and only 30 minutes to get ready for North Dakota. With that quick of a turnaround, it can be tough to find energy in doubles and we came out very flat. The girls should be proud of the way they bounced back and clawed their way to a win. It was a gut-check moment and it was nice to win a close meet."
Montana 7 - SDSU 0
In its third and final meet of the weekend, Montana was too much up and down the lineup in a 7-0 win.
Contrary to the scoreboard, SDSU won at No. 1 doubles. Jenny Blackburne and Ffion Davies proved to be a formidable opponent with an 8-6 win versus Heather Davidson and Laurence Pelchat. The Grizzlies won the other two doubles matches, however, and scored the team point.
In singles, Montana won in straight sets at each position. Beatriz Souza pushed Pelchat to the limit in the first set at No. 4, but lost 7-5, 6-1.
"We played 11 hours of tennis in 20 hours this weekend and the girls handled it well," head coach Michael Engdahl said. "Montana has a real solid program and for the amount of tennis the girls played, we hung tough. Jenny and Ffion played clutch in doubles and we are starting to see the close matches fall our way. The girls earned a few days off and will be ready to get back to work on Tuesday."
The weekend results set the Jacks record at 1-4. SDSU takes two weeks off from competition before traveling to Colorado for a weekend of meets.
SDSU visits Metro State in Denver on Saturday, Feb. 16, and Northern Colorado in Greeley on Sunday, Feb. 17. Meet times are set for 7 p.m. and 9 a.m., respectively.
Complete results are available at the beginning of this article.