Olga Boulytcheva beat No. 59 Ekaterina Burduli in BYU's win over Washington State. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
LEWISTON -- In their first road match of the season the No. 21 BYU women's tennis team weathered the home crowd and beat Washington State 4-3 on Friday. The win pulls BYU to 2-0 and drops Washington State to 2-1 on the season.
"The home crowd is the great equalizer," Coach Craig Manning said. "We were in control early, but had to fight through their team being cheered on by their fans to pull out the win."
BYU started out hot, playing great in doubles and taking the point quickly. They were partly motivated by the return of Jenni Miccoli, who made her first appearance of the season after sitting out the fall with an injury.
"It was great to get Jenni back after going without her for so long," Manning said. "Getting healthy and having the team back together definitely helped today."
After taking the doubles point, BYU looked like it would run away with the match as it pulled away to an impressive 3-0 lead on Washington State behind the play of Senior Olga Boulytcheva and sophomore Anastasia Sourkova. Boulytcheva, who is ranked No. 33 in the nation, faced No. 59 Ekaterina Burduli on court one, and although Burduli played good tennis, Boulytcheva was able to take control early and rolled to a two-set victory 6-4, 6-2. At the same time, Sourkova wrapped up her match in a quick two sets as well, 6-2, 6-1.
From there things got rough for BYU, as they dropped a match and allowed Washington State to claw its way back. The Cougars from Washington had another teammate at that point, as the home-court became their ally and they used it to their advantage. BYU bent but refused to break, and finally came out with the victory when Dolly Chang beat Aleksandra Cekic in an exciting two-set tiebreaker 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).
"It was exciting to see how the girls were able to focus and play through during the match, especially since it's so early in the season." Manning said. "Now that we're starting to feel things out and see how good we are we can start working on getting better."
The BYU Cougars travel to Seattle, Wash. Saturday for a date with the No. 25 Washington Huskies at 12 p.m.
BYU v.s. Washington State
BYU 4 WSU 3
1.Jones/Chang (BYU) def. Ring/Toth (WSU), 8-4
2.Boulytcheva/Holden (BYU) def. Burduli/Stefanova (WSU), 8-3
3.Sourkova/Miccoli (BYU) def. Cekic/van de Ven (WSU), 8-2
1.No.33 Olga Boulytcheva (BYU) def. No.59 Ekaterina Burduli (WSU), 6-4, 6-2
2.Amy Toth (WSU) def. No. 95 Lauren Jones (BYU), 6-4, 6-1
3.Anastasia Sourkova (BYU) def. Maria Ring (WSU), 6-2, 6-1
4.Marjolein van de Ven (WSU) def. Sofia Holden (BYU), 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6)
5.Dolly Change (BYU) def. Aleksandra Cekic (WSU), 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
6.Aleksandra Stefanova (WSU) def. Rana El Derwy (BYU) 7-6, 6-2