WTEN Season Ends in WCC Finals
April 29, 2017
CLAREMONT, Calif.--The Gonzaga women's tennis team played for its first-ever West Coast Conference title Saturday, playing well but falling 4-0 to 11th-ranked and top-seeded Pepperdine at Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont, Calif.
"I think at the moment it hurts a little because we know we can hang with anyone in the country," said Gonzaga head coach D.J. Gurule of the loss. "That being said, we also know our future is bright, and we will use this to fuel us. I am incredibly proud of this team and the hard work they put in this year. I know we will not be satisfied with it, either."
Saturday's WCC Championships final pit the conference's top two teams against each other for a berth to the NCAA Tournament. Pepperdine entered the Championships as the top seed after going a perfect 9-0 in WCC play, and the Zags were No. 2 with a 7-2 record against conference foes.
After starting the match by claiming the doubles point, the Waves won all three singles contests that finished, but the Bulldogs provided tough competition regardless. At No. 6 singles, Domonique Garley rebounded from a 6-0 loss in the first set to claim three games in the second, but she ultimately fell in the first match to finish.
On court four, Alex Bourguignon squared off against No. 86 Laura Gulbe, falling in straight 6-1 sets to her first ranked foe of the season. Pepperdine clinched the championship on court three, where Graciela Rosas took five games from No. 36 Mayar Sherif Ahmed but lost 6-2, 6-3.
Three individual matches were left unfinished. Atop the singles lineup, Nevada Apollo once again held a set lead on No. 12 Luisa Stefani when that match was stopped, winning the first set in a tiebreak at 7-6 (7). On court two, Sophie Whittle dropped the first set but was leading No. 17 Ashley Lahey 4-3 in the second, and Kate Ketels was a game away from splitting sets with Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai on court five.
After the match, two GU individuals and one doubles pair earned spots in the Championships' All-Tournament team. Apollo was the No. 1 Singles player of the tournament, and Whittle was best at No. 2 Singles. In doubles, Whittle and Rosas earned the honor for No. 2 doubles. Both Apollo and Whittle picked up singles victories in the semifinals against BYU, as did the pair of Whittle and Rosas. They were down 4-5 at the time Pepperdine clinched Saturday's double point.
Gonzaga wrapped up the 2017 dual season with a 17-4 record, setting a program high with 17 victories this spring. All eight Zags on the roster return for next year, and they also welcome one incoming freshman - Ashleigh Jacobs of Calgary, Alberta, Canada - to the team as well.
April 29, 2017 at Claremont, Calif.
Biszantz Family Tennis Center
1. #12 Stefani, Luisa (PEP) vs. Apollo, Nevada (GON) 6-7 (7-9), 3-0, unfinished
2. #17 Lahey, Ashley (PEP) vs. Whittle, Sophie (GON) 6-3, 3-4, unfinished
3. #36 Sherif Ahmed, Mayar (PEP) def. Rosas, Graciela (GON) 6-2, 6-3
4. #86 Gulbe, Laura (PEP) def. Bourguignon, Alex (GON) 6-1, 6-1
5. Runglerdkriangkrai,A (PEP) vs. Ketels, Kate (GON) 6-4, 2-5, unfinished
6. Milovanovic, Dzina (PEP) def. Garley, Domonique (GON) 6-0, 6-3
1. #7 Sherif Ahmed, Mayar/Maddox, Christine (PEP) def. APOLLO, Nevada/GARLEY, Domonique (GON) 6-1
2. #45 Runglerdkriangkrai,A/Stefani, Luisa (PEP) vs. ROSAS, Graciela/WHITTLE, Sophie (GON) 5-4, unfinished
3. Milovanovic, Dzina/Lahey, Ashley (PEP) def. BOURGUIGNON, Alex/KETELS, Kate (GON) 6-3
Gonzaga 17-4, 7-2 WCC
Pepperdine 21-4, 9-0 WCC; National ranking #11
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (6,4,3)
WCC Championship Final
Pepperdine #1 seed
Gonzaga #2 seed
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