Conference Tennis Tournament Begins

(No. 89 Anastasia Surkova) The Mountain West Conference Tennis Tournament will be held this week at the Air Force Academy. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

USAFA -- The Air Force Academy will host the 2007 Mountain West Conference Tennis Championships Wednesday through Friday, where the BYU women's and men's teams are seeded nos. 1 and 5, respectively.

The No. 31 women's team finished the conference season 7-1, tied with TCU. The Cougars received the top seed due to a 4-3 win over the Horned Frogs earlier in the season. BYU will face the winner of Colorado State and Air Force, the 8 and 9 seeds, on Thursday in the quarterfinal round.

"Our whole team has battled all season, and we are looking forward to making another run at a conference title," BYU head women's coach Craig Manning said. "We've had some injuries and illness this year, but we're rested and our girls are in a groove."

Junior Anastasia Surkova, ranked No. 89 in the nation, will lead the way for BYU after a 7-1 conference singles record and an overall record of 19-5 on the season. She will also pair up with Jenny Miccoli as the No. 48 duo in the country at no. 1 doubles.

The No. 74 men's team finished the conference schedule at 2-4 and will face off against No. 55 New Mexico in the first round of the tournament on Thursday. The Lobos have topped the Cougars twice this season including 4-3 win in the last meeting.

The three seniors on the Cougar squad will look to end their careers on high notes in the conference tournament with the top three spots in the lineup. Chip Hand has the best singles record on the team this year at 17-7. James Ludlow (No. 109) and Dominik Kaufhold have records of 12-11 and 11-11, respectively.

"We are excited to play at altitude," BYU head men's coach Brad Pearce said. "Our conference is tough and the teams are strong, but our skills are suited for the faster courts and lighter air of Colorado Springs. We're confident we can make an impact."