Kantenwein Caps Epic Comeback Win
April 15, 2016
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Hanna Kantenwein’s thrilling third-set rally completed a heroic comeback by Boise State women’s tennis Friday, at Wyoming. The Broncos trailed 3-0 before rattling off four straight wins to stun the Cowgirls on their home turf. Kantenwein capped the effort with a come-from-behind win in the third set against Magdalena Stencel at No. 1 singles.
“This is one of the best comebacks I’ve ever been a part of,” said head coach Beck Roghaar. “Playing in this environment is just tough. Not only the altitude, but Wyoming is a very good, very disciplined team.”
Wyoming (8-11) quickly took the lead with a pair of wins in doubles play. The Cowgirls pushed the Broncos (10-9) to the brink of defeat with straight-set victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions in singles.
“It looked like they were going to close the door on our face,” Roghaar said.
But a match between these teams would not be complete without an added layer of intrigue. Four of the past five meetings have now finished 4-3.
“We always have unbelievably tight matches with Wyoming,” said Roghaar. “I’m really proud of the girls coming into such a tough environment and coming out with a win. I have a lot of respect for Wyoming.”
Kantenwein won her first set 7-5, before dropping a tiebreaker in the second set.
Meanwhile, Megan LaLone was working on a rally of her own. LaLone dropped the first set on court four but forced a third set to keep the Broncos alive.
The UW Indoor Tennis Courts play four matches at a time, meaning No. 5 and No. 6 singles did not start until the Broncos trailed 3-0. Arianna Paules Aldrey slid into the fifth position while Nancy Menjivar took the court at the sixth spot, well aware of the task at hand.
Back on court one, Stencel jumped out to a 4-2 advantage in the third set. The Wyoming sophomore, a reigning all-conference selection, led 5-4 and had quadruple match point. Kantenwein fended off all four to tie the set at five games apiece.
LaLone made quick work of her third set with a 6-1 win, getting Boise State on the board.
Paules Aldrey and Menjivar both claimed their first sets with ease to breathe more life into the Broncos’ chances. The importance of their second sets, however, hinged on Kantenwein’s performance in the third set on court one.
The freshman came all the way back to lead 6-5 and have a match point of her own. Stencel returned the favor by forcing the match to its second tiebreaker.
Menjivar dispatched of Miranda Talbert at the No. 6 position with a tidy 6-1, 6-1 victory and inched the Broncos’ closer to their ambitious goal. Paules Aldrey quickly tied the team score with a 6-3, 6-3 win and left all eyes on the top court.
“I’m so proud of Arianna and Nancy,” said Roghaar. “They put on their blinders and did their job. That was really cool to see from two sophomores.”
With momentum firmly on the side of the Blue and Orange, Kantenwein took over in the tiebreaker. She rolled to a 7-3 win to claim a courageous 7-5, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3) victory and set off a celebration for the Broncos.
“Hanna fighting off four match points and coming back to win 7-6 was so big,” Roghaar said. “She kept her head clear at end of that match. The win is obviously a big deal for her, but this team performance is such a big deal for the program.”
“I’m so happy for this group,” said Roghaar. “That’s four matches in a row now where we really competed. It was important to get a win like this to really prove that. When we do what we’re capable of, good things happen.”
Boise State will face Colorado State Sunday, in the final road match of the regular season. The Broncos return home April 23, to take on Utah State on Senior Day.
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