(Jonathan Sanchez) The No. 66 men's tennis team will face No. 19 Boise State in Idaho on Thursday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The No. 66 men's tennis team (8-7) will play at No. 19 Boise State (16-5) on Thursday to face their second top-20 team in a row. The No. 33 BYU women's tennis team (11-5) beat No. 48 Oklahoma State (9-2) 6-1 in Provo Wednesday in what BYU head coach Craig Manning said was the best performance from his team this year.
In men's competition, Boise State has beaten 11 teams in the top 75 this season and its only five losses have come against teams ranked in the top 20. In the regional competition in the fall, BYU finished a close second to Boise State in the Mountain Region. The Cougars are coming off of 10 days rest and are heading into their last three matches before conference play begins, all on the road. In BYU's last match, the team lost to No. 13 Texas in Provo, but the squad had many chances to swing the pendulum in its direction and is confident that it can compete with the best teams in the country.
The match will likely feature No. 105 James Ludlow against No. 13 Luke Shields in no. 1 singles competition. Ludlow has already defeated the No. 19 player in the country this season and will look to get another upset against Shields. Other ranked players for BSU include Clancy Shields at No. 70 singles and the duo of Luke Shields and Piotr Dilaj at No. 33 doubles.
The men's next home match will be against The University of Utah on April 14 in the teams' last match before the conference tournament.
In women's competition, BYU swept the doubles matches with the tenth win in a row from Anastasia Surkova and Jenny Miccoli on court no. 1 and lineup changes on the next two courts with Lauren Jones and Dolly Chang winning on court no. 2 and Sofia Holden and Kristina Doerr winning on court no. 3.
"I just wanted to play well today, I never thought we would have beat this team 6-1," Manning said. "I think that's the best we've played this year. We definitely had the best attitude. I just wanted everyone to come out positive today and have fun, that's all I cared about. When we have that sort of attitude, look at the results. That was a good team and our positive attitude helped us to win."
The early stages of the singles competition showcased OSU's players winning on almost every court, but the tables would turn and BYU ended up only one singles match away from its second sweep of the season. Surkova was first off the courts with a straight-set victory on court no. 1 in which she only gave up three games total in two sets. Chang was the next off with a tough loss to Jennifer Poskitt of OSU, which closed the gap in BYU's lead, but only for a moment. BYU's Chie Hayasaka won next on court no. 3 and Holden clinched the team win for the second match in a row with a win on court no. 5. Doerr split her first two sets but won 6-3 in the third on court no. 4 and Jones was the last off with a come-from-behind victory on court no. 2.
The match was the last before conference play begins against Colorado State on March 29. The team will have one more home match on April 4 against Boise State in a non-conference match.
No. 33 BYU vs. No 48 Oklahoma State
BYU 6, OSU 1
1. Surkova/Miccoli (BYU) def. Allen/Shatkovskaya (OSU) 8-4
2. Jones/Chang (BYU) def. Simmons/Tkachenko (OSU) 8-3
3. Doerr/Holden (BYU) def. Zuzanna Osinska/ Tsvika (OSU) 8-6
Order of finish:
2, 1*, 3
* clinches doubles point
BYU wins doubles point
1. Anastasia Surkova (BYU) def. Iryna Tkachenko (OSU) 6-1, 6-2
2. Lauren Jones (BYU) def. Yawna Allen (OSU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
3. Chie Hayasaka (BYU) def. Nataliya Shatkovskaya (OSU) 6-3, 6-4
4. Kristina Doerr (BYU) def. Marta Tsvika (OSU) 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-2
5. Sofia Holden (BYU) def. Lauren Simmons (OSU) 7-6 (6), 6-3
6. Jennifer Poskitt (OSU) def. Dolly Chang (BYU) 6-0, 6-2
Order of finish:
1, 6, 3, 5*, 4, 2
* clinches match
BYU wins 6-1