PROVO -- After five straight home matches, the No. 49 BYU women's tennis team will be on the road this weekend as they play No. 20 Washington on Friday (Feb. 28) and No. 44 Washington State (Mar. 1) in Pullman, Wash. On Monday (Mar. 3) the Cougars will be in California to take on No. 16 Fresno State.
"This is a big part of the season for us," said BYU head coach Craig Manning. "We are going to play three ranked teams this weekend and they will all be tough matches. We just need to focus on the present and take each match one at a time."
The Cougars come into this weekend after beating No. 33 Wisconsin 4-3 at home last weekend.
"Last week's win over Wisconsin has helped us build more confidence and it reinforced that what we're working on in practice is paying off on the court," said Manning. "Against the tough teams we're going to face this weekend, we just need to focus on the fundamentals and on getting the job done."
The Cougars will first face No. 20 Washington on Friday. Last year, BYU beat Washington 4-3 in a tough match in which the Cougars dropped the doubles point before coming back to capture four of the six singles matches.
On Saturday, BYU will play Washington State. WSU has won both of the previous meetings with BYU, including a 4-3 victory over BYU last season. WSU has won five of its last six matches with big wins over Penn State, Boise State and MWC opponent New Mexico.
After spending the weekend in Washington, the Cougars will be playing Fresno State on Monday. The Bulldogs (4-3) are currently ranked No. 16 in the nation, their best ranking of the year. It is the highest they have been ranked since March 19, 2002, when the Bulldogs were also No. 16.
"This is a big weekend for our team," said Manning. "If we play up to our potential and play great tennis, I know we can win. Hopefully we are peaking at the right time."
After this weekend's road trip, BYU will be home next weekend as the Cougars host No. 19 Notre Dame on Saturday (Mar. 8) at 3 p.m.