Senior Barbora Zahnova led the Cougars past the Tigers of Clemson by coming from behind to defeat No. 6-ranked Julie Coin 6-7, 7-6, 6-0. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Led by senior Barbora Zahnova, the No. 21-ranked BYU women's tennis team rallied from being down 3-0 to push past No. 13 Clemson in a 4-3 decision. The win gives the Cougars a 12-4 record on the season.
"I am so proud of the girls' effort today," head coach Craig Manning said. "Three of our girls won their matches with come-from-behind wins. It was a great team effort."
In doubles play it was a battle to the bitter end for the doubles point as Cougar duo Barbora Zahnova and Sofia Holden came from behind to overpower Clemson's Julie Coin and Maria Brito in an 8-6 decision at the No. 1 doubles spot. However, teammates Hadley Macfarlane and Olga Boulytcheva fell 9-7 (7-2) in the tiebreaker, giving Clemson the early lead.
At the No. 3 doubles spot the usual dominant Australian team of Rebecca Pike and Nicole Schneider suffered only its second loss of the season, falling prey to Tiger duo Richele LeSaldo and Karen Rombouts 8-5.
Scoring the next two points for the Tigers in singles play, Clemson's Maria Brito and Daniella Alvarez beat Cougars Lauren Jones and Sofia Holden in two sets a piece. At the No. 3 spot, Holden nearly pushed her match to three sets with solid serves and tough net play.
Claiming the first point for the Cougars was sophomore Boulytcheva as she defeated Clemson's fourth seed Rombouts in a three-set dual 5-7, 6-1, 7-5. Boulytcheva battled from behind in each set to push past her opponent.
Wearing her opponent down at the No. 1 singles spot, Zahnova lost her first set to No. 6-ranked Coin of Clemson before rallying from behind to take the second in the tiebreaker. In the third set, Zahnova blanked Coin giving the Cougars their second point of the match.
Finishing her opponent off in two straight, Macfarlane posted a huge win over Ioana Paun to tie the dual at three a piece.
It was Australian Rebecca Pike that clinched the match for BYU coming from behind in the second set to trounce Clemson's Richele LeSaldo of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-4. Pike moves to 9-4 on the season in singles action. The win gives the Cougars a 12-4 record on the season.
"It was the awesome team effort in cheering that helped us win," Manning said. "The two that lost their matches [Holden and Jones] were so energetic. They led the rest of the team not playing in cheering Barbora and Olga through their wins."
The Cougars will have a ten-day break before taking on No. 57 San Diego State and No. 42 UNLV in Las Vegas March 26th and 27th respectively.
No. 21 BYU 4, No. 13 Clemson 3
Zahnova/Holden (BYU) def. Brito/Coin (Clem) 8-6
Alvarez/Paun (Clem) def. Macfarlane/Boulytcheva (BYU) 9-7 (7-2)
LeSaldo/Rombouts (Clem) def. Pike/Schneider (BYU) 8-5
Clemson wins doubles point
No. 45 Barbora Zahnova (BYU) def. No. 6 Julie Coin (Clem) 6-7, 7-6, 6-0
No. 68 Daniella Alvarez (Clem) def. Sofia Holden (BYU) 6-1, 7-5
No. 91 Maria Brito (Clem) def. Lauren Jones (BYU) 6-4, 6-2
Olga Boulytcheva (BYU) def. Karen Rombouts (Clem) 5-7, 6-1, 7-5
Rebecca Pike (BYU) vs. Richele LeSaldo (Clem) 7-5, 6-4
Hadley Macfarlane (BYU) def. Ioana Paun (Clem) 6-3, 6-2