Eagles Pull Out Marathon, Beat Montana 4-3

Feb. 27, 2009

After 356 minutes of hard-fought action, the Eastern Washington University women's tennis team outlasted Big Sky Conference rival Montana 4-3 on Friday evening (Feb. 27). The evening's play finally came to end when Judy Liening finished off a dramatic comeback three-set win at 10:56 p.m.

The night's dramatics was put into motion when the doubles point came down to a 90-minute No. 3 match, which saw Caitlin Bampton and Kasie King pull out an exciting 9-8 (7-2) victory. With that 1-0 advantage, the Eagles (4-4, 2-1 BSC) split the six singles matches with their Montana counterparts for their 4-3 win.

After the Grizzlies (3-2, 1-1 BSC) tied the score 1-1, Amanda Mankovits finished off a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 win on court three to earn Eastern the advantage right back at 2-1. However, a pair of Montana players proceeded to complete their respective victories to place the Grizzlies within the brink of a big road win, up 3-2.

But the Eagles were not done.

King found herself right in the middle of the drama once again, and she responded to a tough loss in the second set to impressively claim a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win at court five. Then, Liening rallied from behind for her comeback 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory at No. 6.

The rivals have ended each other's seasons the past two seasons. Last year, Eastern Washington snapped a 29-match postseason losing streak with a 4-0 win over Montana in the Big Sky quarterfinals. The year before, the Grizzlies rallied from a 3-2 deficit to eliminate Eastern in the same round, 4-3.

Eastern Washington does not have much time to rest before playing another pivotal Big Sky match, at 11 a.m. on Saturday (Feb. 28) versus Montana State (4-6, 1-0 BSC).

The match will serve as the last time to see the Eagles play at home until April 11, as the team will play its following 10 matches away from campus. The contest is also EWU's final home Big Sky match of 2009.

Montana vs Eastern Washington
Feb 27, 2009 at Cheney, Wash.
Eastern Washington 4, Montana 3

Singles competition

1. WALKER, Liz (UM) def. Demerath, Marie (EWU-W) 6-3, 6-4
2. BRAN, Rebecca (UM) def. Berger, Rachel (EWU-W) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
3. Mankovits, Amanda (EWU-W) def. BRAN, Amanda (UM) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
4. NOWAK, Martyna (UM) def. Bampton, Caitlin (EWU-W) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
5. King, Kasie (EWU-W) def. MOYSE, Kayla (UM) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
6. Liening, Judy (EWU-W) def. GIBSON, Lauren (UM) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. MANKOVITS, Amanda/DEMERATH, Marie (EWU-W) def. WALKER, Liz/NOWAK, Martyna (UM) 8-5
2. BRAN, Amanda/BRAN, Rebecca (UM) def. BERGER, Rachel/LIENING, Judy (EWU-W) 8-3
3. BAMPTON, Caitlin/KING, Kasie (EWU-W) def. MOYSE, Kayla/GIBSON, Lauren (UM) 9-8 (7-2)

Montana 3-2, 1-1 BSC
Eastern Washington 4-4, 2-1 BSC
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,3,2,4,5,6)

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