PROVO, UTAH - Strong doubles play helped BYU women’s tennis defeat Portland 4-2 to claim its first home West Coast Conference match on Friday at the BYU tennis courts.
“It was just a great team effort today and the girls fought hard and I am happy with the way we played," head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. "We started out really strong, and it is something that we have been working on in practice, so it was good to see the girls come out confident in doubles and start the match 1-0. In singles, it went back and forth a lot, so getting that doubles point helped us today."
The Cougars claimed the doubles point with wins from their No. 2 doubles duo of Samantha Smith and Kate Cusick, who defeated Grigoryan and Simitrova 6-2 and the No. 1 duo of Savannah Ware-Avina and Natella Nabieva, who took their set 6-3 over Likic and Lazarevic .
BYU (6-8, 1-1 West Coast Conference) dropped the first singles match to Portland (6-7, 2-1), with Nabieva falling in match No. 2 to Radina Dimitrova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. Cusick fought through a first-set tiebreaker to take the No. 3 singles match 7-6, 6-3, giving the Cougars a 2-1 lead. Smith and Tatiana Grigoryan also faced a tiebreaker in the match at the No. 4 slot, but the Cougars yielded another point to the Pilots, as Smith dropped her match in straight sets 7-6, 6-2 to square the competition at two points apiece.
With Savannah Ware-Avina taking the first set of the No.1 singles match but losing the second to Jelena Lukic, a third set was necessary and Ware-Avina battled back from down 2-1 and 5-4 to take the match 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, giving the Cougars a 3-2 lead. Sophomore Taylah Beckman and senior Demi Perkinson both took the courts to face their respective opponents at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions. Beckman would be off the court first, defeating Emily Soares 6-3, 6-3, clinching the 4-2 victory for BYU.
BYU will remain at home to take on Gonzaga on Saturday, April 1, at noon.
BYU 4, Portland 2
1. WARE-AVINA, Savannah/NABIEVA, Natella (BYU) def. LUKIC, Jelena/LAZAREVIC, Jelena (POR) 6-3
2. SMITH, Samantha/CUSICK, Kate (BYU) def. GRIGORYAN, Tatiana/DIMITROVA, Radina (POR) 6-2
3. BECKMAN, Taylah/PERKINSON, Demi (BYU) vs. SOARES, Emily/OBERG, Anna (POR) 4-4, unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 1); Singles (2, 3, 4, 1, 5)
1. WARE-AVINA, Savannah (BYU) def. LUKIC, Jelena (POR) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
2. DIMITROVA, Radina (POR) def. NABIEVA, Natella (BYU) 6-3, 6-1
3. CUSICK, Kate (BYU) def. LAZAREVIC, Jelena (POR) 7-6, 6-3
4. GRIGORYAN, Tatiana (POR) def. SMITH, Samantha (BYU) 7-6, 6-2
5. BECKMAN, Taylah (BYU) def. SOARES, Emily (POR) 6-3, 6-3
6. PERKINSON, Demi (BYU) vs. OBERG, Anna (BYU) 2-6, 4-4, unfinished