BYU will host its last two home matches of the season this week. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Mountain West Conference play will continue for the BYU women’s tennis team this week at home. The Cougars will host No. 74 San Diego State Thursday and No. 29 UNLV Friday.
In the match against UNLV, the team will honor its two seniors, Kristina Doerr and Chie Hayasaka. This will be the last home match for both players.
“This is an opportunity for our seniors to go out playing their best tennis,” BYU coach Joey Johnson said. “It’s surreal for them to realize that this experience is coming to an end.”
The 4-10 Cougars will look to improve their 0-1 conference record after falling to No. 46 Utah last week. McCall Jones remains the only ranked player for BYU coming in at No. 52. She and Megan Price fell two spots to No. 28 in doubles after not competing together in the last three matches.
“Any time a team goes through a difficult year, the challenge is always in being able to press forward and use it to lift your level of play,” Johnson said.
San Diego State is the first challenger for the Cougars. The Aztecs (7-7, 0-1) dropped their first conference match of the season last week to UNLV. SDSU has two singles players ranked in No. 50 Julia Trunk and No. 78 Alicia Aguilar. Last year, the Aztecs defeated BYU 5-2 in Las Vegas, but the Cougars lead the all-time series 21-17.
Friday brings a talented UNLV squad. The Rebels are 14-2 on the season and 1-0 against MWC opponents after beating SDSU 4-3. Since that match, UNLV earned two more wins, beating UC Irvine and Boise State over the weekend. In the last meeting between the Cougars and Rebels, BYU fell 6-0. Kristina Nedeltcheva and Jana Albers are UNLV’s two ranked players, taking the No. 37 and No. 111 spots, respectively.
“Our goal is to dig as deep as we can as a team,” Johnson said.
Both matches this week will be held at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts, south of the Smith Fieldhouse. First serve is set for noon Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday and admission is free.