FARGO, ND (KWSN): The University of Sioux Falls women’s tennis team battled to the final point, but came up short on Saturday, falling to the University of Minnesota Moorhead 5-4, at Courts Plus in Fargo, N.D.
With the match tied at 4-4, sophomore Stacey Beard fell in a super third-set tiebreaker on court two 2-6, 7-6 (9-7), 10-4 to Moorhead’s Cortnei Chance in a thriller, sealing the comeback win for the Dragons (5-9, 4-5 NSIC) and putting the Cougars’ (5-9, 2-6 NSIC) postseason hopes in peril.
“Obviously, it was a very tough match and we had our chances,” said USF head coach Kevin Grebin. “We could have swept the doubles point and we were just a point or two away in three very close singles matches.
“We had some match point opportunities but it was tough battle, and a tough match all the way around,” Grebin added. “We’re definitely in crunch time if the team wants to stay in the postseason picture.”
Doubles play would set the tone for the match, as each went down to the wire. USF’s freshman phenoms Kara Bunkers and Abby Seigenthaler were the first pair off the court, posting an 8-6 win on court three for the Cougars to extend their winning streak to seven in a row. Moorhead made it 1-1 when Jessamy Jones/Morgan Smith (MSUM) edged USF sophomores Joey Bosch and Stacey Beard in top flight doubles, 8-6. Emily Erickson and Karlee Sieve came out on the winning end of a dogfight on court two with a 9-8 win over MSUM’s Cortnei Chance and Cassie Smith.
Tiebreakers were a theme against the Dragons, as four of the six singles matches went to at least one extra session. Dragon Jessamy Jones defeated Joey Bosch in straight sets (6-3, 6-1) to tie the match at 2-all. Kara Bunkers continued her outstanding play at the bottom of the Cougar lineup, winning 7-5, 6-3 versus Smith to put the Cougars in the lead 3-2 over the Dragons.
Morgan DeLange followed up at No. 5, winning 6-4, 1-6, 10-4 against Ashley Wood.
But the Dragons tied the match once again, this time at 4-4, with Morgan Smith defeating USF’s Emily Erickson 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 10-5 on court three and senior Molly Seigenthaler fell to the Dragons’ Rebecca Lukes 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) at the No. 4 spot in the lineup.
The match came down to the second flight singles. Stacey Beard dropped the first set 6-2, but battled back to knock off her Dragon opponent in a second set tiebreak (7-6, 9-7). Both players battled in a back-and-forth third set, with the match decided in a tiebreaker with Chance constructing multiple point skeins in the end to earn the hard-fought victory for the Dragons.
USF will close out the weekend against Southwest Minnesota State.
MSU Moorhead 5, Sioux Falls 4 Singles competition1. Jones, Jessamy (MSUM) def. Bosch, Joey (SF) 6-3, 6-12. Chance, Cortnei (MSUM) def. Beard, Stacey (SF) 2-6, 7-6 (9-7), 10-43. Smith, Morgan (MSUM) def. Erickson, Emily (SF) 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 10-54. Lukes, Rebecca (MSUM) def. Seigenthaler, Molly (SF) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)5. DeLange, Morgan (SF) def. Wood, Ashley (MSUM) 6-4, 1-6, 10-46. Bunkers, Kara (SF) def. Smith, Cassie (MSUM) 7-5, 6-3 Doubles competition1. Jones, Jessamy/Smith, Morgan (MSUM) def. Bosch, Joey/Beard, Stacey (SF) 8-62. Erickson, Emily/Sieve, Karlee (SF) def. Chance, Cortnei/Smith, Cassie (MSUM) 9-83. Bunkers, Kara/Seigenthaler, Abby (SF) def. Lukes, Rebecca/Wood, Ashley (MSUM) 8-6Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls