MISSOULA — It wasn't the result the Griz were looking for, but the Montana women's tennis team drew plenty of positives out of a 5-2 loss to the Portland Pilots in Missoula on Friday.
The Pilots, a member of the competitive West Coast Conference, built momentum with a tight win in the doubles round before holding off a late charge by the Griz in the singles to drop UM to 5-6 on the season.
With the bulk of the Big Sky season right around the corner and the ever-important Brawl of the Wild on deck for Sunday, Grizzly head coach Steve Ascher liked the grit he saw from his squad against the Pilots.
"That was a good UP team. I thought we competed well. Overall it was a really competitive college match," said Ascher.
In the singles round, Nathalie Joanlanne powered her way to her sixth-straight win on court three with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Raphaelle Leblanc.
Joanlanne's win gave the Griz a glimmer of hope in the match, cutting the Pilot lead to 3-1 while Cam Kincaid was making a third-set push over on court two.
Kincaid took the first set 6-3 against Radina Dimitrova but wound up dropping the match with a pair of 6-2 decisions for the visitor. The win for UP on court two sealed the victory for the Pilots.