03 Dec 2021 | 07:16 | Tennis
The Montana Men’s tennis team took care of business Saturday afternoon at the PEAK Racquet Club in Missoula, cruising to a 6-1 victory over conference opponent Eastern Washington.
This victory improves Montana’s win streak to two and puts their record at 8-10 overall and 2-1 in Big Sky play. Eastern Washington continues to be winless this season at 0-12 and 0-3 in conference games.
The Grizzlies rested their No. 1 player Ed Pudney in singles action against EWU, opting to get more reps down the lineup.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how the team came out focused and have a truly professional effort from the first point,” said head coach Jason Brown.
“Whenever you sit out your No. 1 player, it can create some tricky matchups lower in the lineup, but everyone responded well and focused on their own games. I think this team is truly starting to fulfill their preseason expectations at the perfect time.”
Montana started the doubles round strong and was able to win the opening point.
On court one, juniors Pudney and Oisin Shaffrey were the first to finish with a 6-1 win over EWU’s Sarlvik/Doumen pair.
Clinching the first point, Montana’s Guillermo Martin and Moritz Stoeger picked up a 6-2 win over EWU’s Grimes/Balce duo on court three, with the match on court two going unfinished after the clinch.
In singles, Milo Benn got things started for UM by winning the Grizzlies’ first singles match of the day on court four, defeating Eastern Washington’s Bruno Ortega in straight-sets 6-1, 6-0.
Shaffrey extended the UM lead to 3-0 with a close 6-5, 6-2 win over Manuel Balce.
Senior Chase Barlett beat Wout Doumen in straight sets of 6-4, 6-3 to clinch the win for the Grizzlies on the day, extending the team lead to 4-0.
Eastern Washington was able to get on the scoreboard after Erik Sarlvik defeated Moritz Stoeger in a very close match that went to a tiebreaker (6-4, 6-7, 11-9) to cut into Montana’s lead at 4-1.
Montana kept their foot on the gas, though, as Pontus Hallgren was able to win straight sets against Erik grimes (6-3, 6-0), and Martin defeating Jeremy Mueller in straight sets as well (6-4, 6-1).
Montana men’s tennis resumes its homestand next Saturday when they take on Montana State at 2 p.m. with a Brawl of the Wild point on offer to cap the regular season.
“I love the momentum of extending our home-court winning streak going into Griz-Cat weekend,” said coach Brown.
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