|Vandals narrowly miss finals|
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Idaho women's tennis team had its bid for a Western Athletic Conference championship appearance fall just short Friday, as it fell 4-3 to No. 61 Hawai'i in the semifinals.
"It's a devastating loss for the girls," Idaho coach Dan Pollock said. "They tried their butts off out there. They gave it everything they could give and I couldn't be more proud of them. They did everything I asked of them and more."
The Vandals lost the doubles point after Hawai'i's Martina Kostalova and Aglae Van den Berg beat Alejandra Lozano and Beatriz Flores 8-2 at No. 3 doubles, and Barbara Pinterova and Jamie Pawid won 8-5 at No. 1 doubles over Victoria Lozano and Almudena Sanz.
Idaho mounted a comeback in singles play, getting wins at the top two spots as Victoria Lozano won 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 over Pinterova and Sanz won 6-2, 6-4 over Katarina Poljakova. Idaho's Beatriz Flores won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 6 singles, but after Molly Knox fell to Pawid at No. 3 and Alejandra Lozano lost to Xenia Suworowa at No. 5, Sophie Vickers came up short at No. 4, falling 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to Kostalova, as Hawai'i clinched a berth in Saturday's championship match.
"It's tough when you run into one of the toughest teams in the nation as Hawaii is," Pollock said. "It's a tough loss but it's also a valuable learning experience. It just makes them want to come back next year and advance even further and see what they can do."
The Vandals finish the season with a 19-8 overall record, while Hawai'i improves to 13-6. Idaho had won three straight matches heading into Friday.