Cougars advance to ITA National Indoor Championship

The women's tennis team defeated Denver and Oklahoma in the ITA Regional Championship tournament to advance to the National Indoor Championship to be played in February. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE -- The BYU women's tennis team will travel to Madison, Wis. to compete in the ITA National Indoor Championship after defeating Denver and Oklahoma in the Regional Championships Saturday 6-1 and 4-2.

After winning the ITA Central Region Tournament Oct 22-26, BYU played host to Denver, Oklahoma and New Mexico in the championship, played in the Eccles Indoor Tennis Center in Salt Lake City. Although the event was hosted by Brigham Young, it was held in Salt Lake City because the ITA does not allow tournaments to be hosted in four-court facilities.

In the final doubles matches, BYU's Hadley MacFarlane and Nicole Schneider blasted Oklahoma's Irina Lykina and Jessica Braver 8-3. And, Cougar Lu Oswald and Rebecca Pike squeaked past the Oklahoma duo 8-6, earning the Cougars their first point of the dual.

In an 8-2 battle, BYU's Barbora Zahnova and Sofia Holden were upset by Oklahoma's top-seeded duo, Anda Perianu and Heather Saluri.

"Today was just a total team effort," Manning said. "I'm especially pleased with our freshman. Everybody did great."

In singles play of the final match BYU earned its final three points when Olga Boulytcheva, Pike and Lauren Jones defeated their opponents in two-set matches. Jones came from behind in a nail-biter to defeat Jessica Braver 6-1, 7-6 to seal the tournament.

BYU got off to a good start by defeating Denver 6-1 early Saturday morning. After winning two of its three doubles matches, the tide appeared to be turning on BYU as four of the six Cougars lost their first singles sets against a tough Denver team. But, the Cougars held their composure and battled back to win five of the six singles matches.

BYU's MacFarlane and Pike were the only two Cougars to win their first sets against Denver. Pike finished in two sets by defeating Marisa Marchen of Denver 6-2, 6-2 while MacFarlane posted a 2-1 win over Denver's Rachel Sackmaster 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.

"I'm just really proud of how the girls played all day," head coach Craig Manning said. "Both of these teams were really tough but the girls all stayed so focused and just did so well."

The Cougars will play in the National Indoor Championship in Wisconsin in February.

BYU v. OKLAHOMA

Doubles:

Perianu & Saluri (OU) def Zahnova & Holden (BYU) 8-3

MacFarlane & Schneider (BYU) def Lykina & Braver (OU) 8-3

Pike & Oswald (BYU) def Griffin & Pratzel (OU) 8-6

Singles:

Anda Perianu (OU) def Barbora Zahnova (BYU) 6-3, 6-3

Irina Lykina (OU) def Sofia Holden (BYU) 6-1, 6-0

Olga Boulytcheva (BYU) def Heather Saluri (OU) 6-3, 6-4

Lauren Jones (BYU) def Jessica Braver (OU) 6-1, 7-6

Rebecca Pike (BYU) def Amanda Pratzel (OU) 6-1, 6-4

BYU v. DENVER

Doubles:

MacFarlane & Schneider (BYU) def Trettin & Kourim (DU) 8-5

Pike & Oswald def Messaros & Sackmaster (DU) 8-3

Singles:

Zahnova (BYU) def Dullens (DU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-0

Holden (BYU) def Maksovic (DU) 1-6, 7-5, 6-1

Trettin (DU) def Boulytcheva (BYU) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2

Jones (BYU) def Kourim (DU) 5-7, 6-1, 6-1

MacFarlane (BYU def Sackmaster (DU) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4

Pike (BYU) def Mechen (DU) 6-2, 6-2

OKLAHOMA v. NEW MEXICO

Doubles:

Perianu & Saluri (OU) def Kovacek & Lukowski (UNM) 8-4

Lykina & Braver (OU) def Gersic & Ruiz-Fabrega (UNM) 8-3

Singles:

Lykina (OU) def Lukowski (UNM) 6-1, 7-5

Kovacek (UNM) def Saluri (OU) 6-2, 6-3

Griffin (OU) def Suvak (UNM) 6-3, 6-2

Pratzel (OU) def Ruiz-Fabrega (UNM) 6-2, 6-0

Tags: Results