Zags Sweep into First WCC Title Match
April 28, 2017
CLAREMONT, Calif.—The second-seeded Gonzaga women’s tennis team earned a historic berth to the finals of the WCC Championships Friday, sweeping sixth-seed BYU at Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont.
The Zags began the semifinal by winning the doubles point with a pair of 6-2 doubles victories, but those matches started out closer than the score indicated. On court two, Sophie Whittle and Graciela Rosas traded the first four games with their BYU foes before winning the final four, and the Zags’ third pair of Alex Bourguignon and Kate Ketels fell behind 0-2 but won the last six games for their 6-2 victory.
“We started out a little slow in the first part of doubles,” said Gonzaga head coach D.J. Gurule, “but I think once we settled down, we were able to trust everything we have worked on. Once we clinched the doubles point, everyone was able to trust their own game.”
After doubles, Gonzaga controlled singles play and punched its ticket to the finals with the first three matches to finish. On court six, Garley gave the Zags a quick point after a dominant 6-1, 6-0 win, and Apollo put the Zags on the brink with a 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 1 singles. Down one court, Whittle capped of the dual with a 6-3, 6-3 win over the Cougars’ Savannah Ware-Avina.
With the win, the Zags (17-3) advance to the first WCC title match in program history. Their 17 wins on the season is also a program record, eclipsing last year’s tally of 16.
In that final, GU will line up against top-seeded Pepperdine, who downed #4 San Diego 4-0 Friday. The Waves entered the week ranked No. 11 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and have not dropped a point to WCC competition this season. Gonzaga and Pepperdine squared off a week ago in Malibu with the Waves winning 4-0 but the Zags leading on two courts that were left unfinished.
“We are excited to compete again against one of the best programs in the country,” Gurule said of the rematch. “We know we just have to continue to trust the hard work we have put in all year. It’s an exciting opportunity for us, but we are fully aware that we do not need to do anything special. We will just continue to trust our training and battle for every point.”
Apr 28, 2017 at Claremont, Calif.
Biszantz Family Tennis Center
1. Apollo, Nevada (GON) def. Natella Nabieva (BYU) 6-2, 6-2
2. Whittle, Sophie (GON) def. Savannah Ware-Avina (BYU) 6-3, 6-3
3. Rosas, Graciela (GON) vs. Kate Cusick (BYU) 4-6, 6-3, 1-1, unfinished
4. Tsuruta, Haruna (GON) vs. Samantha Smith (BYU) 7-6 (9-7), 0-1, unfinished
5. Ketels, Kate (GON) vs. Taylah Beckman (BYU) 7-5, 2-2, unfinished
6. Garley, Domonique (GON) def. Alana Bourgeois (BYU) 6-1, 6-0
1. APOLLO, Nevada/GARLEY, Domonique (GON) vs. Natella Nabieva/Savannah Ware-Avina (BYU) 4-3, unfinished
2. WHITTLE, Sophie/ROSAS, Graciela (GON) def. Kate Cusick/Taylah Beckman (BYU) 6-2
3. BOURGUIGNON, Alex/KETELS, Kate (GON) def. Samantha Smith/Demi Perkinson (BYU) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (6,1,2)
WCC Championships Semifinals
Gonzaga #2 seed
BYU #6 seed
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