Cougars Beat Aggies in Season Opener

Dolly Chang helped BYU to its first victory with a 6-0, 6-0 win. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah (Jan.13, 2006) -- The No. 22 BYU women's tennis team started their season off strong Friday night, beating Utah State 6-1 at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts. The win puts the Cougars at 1-0 on the season.

Coach Craig Manning said early season matches like this one are important because they allow the team to see what it needs to do to improve. He said now his team must focus on perfecting its play.

"We need to work on our fundamentals," Manning said. "Now it's just a matter of doing what we do better."

The Cougars started the match playing very well. In doubles, Anastasia Sourkova and Lauren Jones coasted to an 8-1 win with Dolly Chang and Olga Boulytcheva following suit, and winning their match 8-2 to seal the doubles point for BYU.

It was more of the same for BYU in singles, as five Cougars finished their opponents off in straight sets.

The longest match of the day came down to a three-set tiebreaker played by BYU's Breanna Williamson and Utah State's Andrea Barker. Barker came out strong in the first set, taking control early and winning 6-3. Williamson, however, came back quickly in the second set and played her way to a 6-2 win. The two battled point-for-point in the third set and took it to a tiebreaker. They continued exchanging points back-and-forth until Barker was able to pull away and win 11-9.

Manning said he was happy with the way his team performed, and even though they started off a little tight they seemed to loosen up as they played.

"Everyone got better as the match went on," Manning said. "That's what we need."

The Cougars now prepare for a tough part of their schedule, as they will be on the road for their following four matches. They next play Washington State on Jan. 20 at 11 a.m.

Singles

BYU USU Winner Score

Boulytcheva Bennion BYU 6-1, 6-0

Jones Smith BYU 6-3, 6-3

Sourkova Anderson BYU 6-1, 6-0

Chang Nelson BYU 6-0, 6-0

Williamson Barker USU 6-3, 2-6, 11-9

El Derwy Monson BYU 6-1, 6-4

Doubles

BYU USU Winner Score

Sourkova/Jones Bennion/Barker BYU 8-1

Chang/Boulytcheva Monson/Smith BYU 8-2

Williamson/Deters Anderson/Nelson USU 8-1

Tags: Results