Gators Await at Qualifying Tourney

Junior Liza Ezhova

PROVO -- For the second consecutive week, the No. 67 BYU women’s team will take to the road. The Cougars will compete at the ITA Indoor Qualifying Tournament hosted by the University of Florida. Play will also feature No. 31 Florida International University and No. 22 Southern Methodist University.

“With the teams we are playing, we know there are going to be some tough matches,” BYU coach Joey Johnson said. “Continuing to get prepared for those tough matches will help us peak at the right time.”

BYU’s first match will come against No. 8 Florida on Friday. Overcoming the Gators will be no easy feat. The team has a tandem of talented freshmen, Allie Will and Lauren Embree, who are ranked No. 13 and No. 15 respectively. UF also boasts two other players ranked in the top 100 and three doubles teams in the top 35.

The Gators began the season with a 7-0 sweep of North Texas and a 6-1 win over UCF. Florida will also be looking to extend the program-best 67-match home win streak it currently enjoys.

“We know the match against UF is going to have a high level of tennis,” Johnson said. “We see it as an opportunity to step up and get a big win.”

FIU and SMU play Friday afternoon. The losers of the two matches will face off at 10 a.m. ET and the winners will play at 1 p.m. ET Saturday. The team that wins both of its matches will earn a place at the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championship held Feb. 12-15 at the Nielson Tennis Stadium in Madison, Wis.

First serve for BYU is set for 10 a.m. ET Friday at the Ring Tennis Complex