PROVO -- Conditioning played a key factor for the 20th ranked BYU women's tennis team as it came from behind to beat the University of Denver 5-2 late Saturday afternoon in Provo. With the win, the Cougars move to 7-2 on the season.
The Pioneers jumped out to an early lead by winning the doubles point for Denver. Posting an 8-1 win for the Cougars, was the undefeated Australian duo Rebecca Pike and Nicole Schneider.
BYU struggled at the doubles spot as Sofia Holden and Lauren Jones were down 5-2 in the match but battled back to gain the advantage at 6-5. The duo then gave up the next two games as Denver took the lead 7-6. Holden and Jones eventually lost 8-6
At the No. 1 spot, senior Barbora Zahnova and teammate Hadley Macfarlane were up 2-1 at the beginning of their doubles match, but lost the lead to Denver's Yanick Dullens and Suzana Maksovic, who gained a 6-3 advantage before beating the Cougar duo 8-6.
"I felt like they [Denver] were a very competitive team," head coach Craig Manning said. "Our girls have conditioned well this season. I think that really paid off today."
Gaining the first point for the BYU was Zahnova from Slovakia. As the Cougar's top singles seed, Zahnova defeated Dullens in two sets. The win gave Zahnova a 2-0 advantage over Dullens, since defeating her in the regional tournament last October at the Eccles Tennis Center.
Owning the second point for the Cougars was Macfarlane at the fourth seed. However, No. 2 seed Jones fell to Denver's Jenny Trettin, evening the match at two a piece.
With a win by Pike, the Cougars regained the lead at 3-2. Olga Boulytcheva defeated Barbara Kourim in three sets and clinching the win for the Cougars was Holden who came from behind in the first and third sets to post a big win over Suzana Maksovic of Denver.
"It's so tough to win five out of six singles matches," Manning said. "The girls came out and executed their game plan well today."They all played so well."
The Cougars will compete on the road next week as they take on Notre Dame Friday February 20.
BYU 5, DENVER 2
Dullens/Maksovic (DU) def. Macfarlane/Zahnova (BYU) 8-6
Trettin/Kourim (DU) def. Jones/Holden (BYU) 8-6
Pike/Schneider (BYU) def. Messaros/Ginsburg (DU) 8-1
Denver wins the doubles point
Barbora Zahnova (BYU) vs. Yanick Dullens (DU) 6-0, 6-1
Sofia Holden (BYU) def. Suzana Maksovic (DU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Jenny Trettin (DU) def. Lauren Jones (BYU) 6-1, 7-5
Olga Boulytcheva (BYU) def. Barbara Kourim (DU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Rebecca Pike (BYU) def. Rachel Sackmaster (DU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Hadley Macfarlane (BYU) def. Beth Messaros (DU) 6-3, 6-4