BYU to Compete for MWC Title after Win over New Mexico

LAS VEGAS -- BYU downed New Mexico 5-4 for the second time this season, and this time it landed the 47th-ranked Cougars in the finals of the inaugural Mountain West Conference Women's Tennis Championship.

In one of Friday's semifinals, third-seeded BYU won four singles matches and then held on in doubles play to oust the second-seeded Lobos to move to 19-0 all-time vs. UNM.

Winning for BYU were Jodi Richardson at No. 2, Tara Ferguson at No. 4, Dominique Reynolds at No. 5 and Lu Oswald at No. 6.

In doubles play, UNM won 8-2 at both the No. 1 and No. 3 spots to draw even. However, the Cougar team of Chiew and Oswald won 8-5 at No. 2 for the clincher.

"We played very well considering the conditions," BYU head coach Craig Manning said. "This is the most wind any of these girls has ever played in. New Mexico really scared us in doubles but this was a great effort overall."

BYU improved to 11-8 overall and 5-1 in the MWC while UNM dropped to 15-10 and 5-2.

"We are extremely disappointed to lose to BYU 5-4 again," Lobo head coach Dr. Karol Kolankiewicz said. "We have to give them credit, though, they played well under these circumstances."

New Mexico will face San Diego State in Saturday's third-place match while BYU will go on to face host UNLV in the championship at 2 p.m. The Rebels downed the top-seeded Aztecs 5-3.

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE WOMEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP

Second Round -- Fertitta Tennis Complex, Las Vegas -- April 28, 2000

(3) BYU 5, (2) NEW MEXICO 4

SINGLES--

1 Ana Friganovic (UNM) def. Eline Chiew (BYU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

2. Jodi Richardson (BYU) def. Natalia Alekhova (UNM) 6-2, 6-2

3. Ashley Hedberg (UNM) def. Kim Kelly (BYU) 6-0, 6-3

4. Tara Ferguson (BYU) def. Dominika Gerwin (UNM) 6-4, 7-6

5. Dominique Reynolds (BYU) def. Neza Kurnik (UNM) 2-6, 6-1, 6-2

6. Lu Oswald (BYU) def. Nicoleta Spilca (UNM) 7-5, 6-4

DOUBLES--

1. Friganovic/Hedberg (UNM) def. Richardson/Kelly (BYU) 8-2

2. Chiew/Oswald (BYU) def. Gerwin/Caroline Pollock (UNM) 8-5

3. Alekhova/Kurnik (UNM) def. Reynolds/Lisa Khoudoiarova (BYU) 8-2