(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, UTAH – Freshman Kate Cusick earned a victory at third singles to help BYU women's tennis defeat the University of Houston 4-1 on Saturday at the BYU indoor tennis courts.
"The girls came out in singles and played hard and with lots of energy and we were able to hold strong and pull out the victory," BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. "Today's win was a great momentum builder for us as we head into conference play."
Houston (9-9, 1-2 American Athletic Conference) gave BYU (5-8, 0-0 West Coast Conference) tough competition in doubles play, winning at first and second doubles to score the match's first point. The Houston Cougars were short one player and forfeited the No. 6 singles match, giving BYU a point as the teams moved to singles.
Freshman Samantha Smith was first off the courts in singles with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Houston's Constanden Nicolaou at the No. 4 slot to give BYU a 2-1 advantage. Playing on the top court for the Cougars, senior Savannah Ware-Avina continued her winning streak with a 6-3, 6-1 win against Houston's Sveva Mazzari. With the Cougars' leading 3-1, Cusick clinched the match at No. 3 singles with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory against Houston's Cristina Rovira.
Next weekend, BYU will remain at home for two matches. The Cougars will host Portland on Friday, March 31 at noon MDT before facing Gonzaga on Saturday, April 1 at noon.
BYU 4, Houston 1
1. Savannah Ware-Avina (BYU) def. MAZZARI, Sveva (HOU) 6-3, 6-1
2. Natella Nabieva (BYU) vs. ALTER, Lauren (HOU) 7-5, 5-5, unfinished
3. Kate Cusick (BYU) def. ROVIRA, Cristina (HOU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
4. Samantha Smith (BYU) def. NICOLAOU, Constanden (HOU) 6-2, 6-0
5. Taylah Beckman (BYU) vs. GLUMAC, Ana (HOU) 5-1, unfinished
6. Demi Perkinson (BYU) def. No player (HOU), by default
1. MAZZARI, Sveva/ALTER, Lauren (HOU) def. Savannah Ware-Avina/Samantha Smith (BYU) 6-2
2. GLUMAC, Ana/NICOLAOU, Constanden (HOU) def. Kate Cusick/Natella Nabieva (BYU) 6-3
3. Taylah Beckman/Demi Perkinson (BYU) def. No player/No player (HOU), by default
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,4,1,3)