(Photo by BYU Photo)
MORAGA, Calif. – Despite a strong performance by senior Natella Nabieva at first singles, BYU women’s tennis fell 4-2 to Saint Mary’s on Monday in Moraga, Calif.
Due to threatening weather conditions, play between BYU (8-13, 3-6 West Coast Conference) and Saint Mary’s (12-7, 7-2 WCC) was limited to singles competition in the Cougars’ final dual match of the regular season. Despite the loss, the Cougars secured a No. 6 seed in the West Coast Conference Tournament.
The Gaels got off to an early lead after Parminder Kaur defeated BYU’s Samantha Smith 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4 singles. Freshman Kate Cusick evened the score with a 6-2, 6-1 victory at third singles against SMC's Kareena Manji.
Saint Mary’s took the No. 6 singles matchup next to retake the lead. Nabieva won big at first singles, defeating Jacqueline Pelletier 6-3, 6-2 to tie the match score for BYU at two points apiece. The Gaels answered by picking up a pair of three-set victories at the No. 5 and No. 2 slots to win the match 4-2.
The Cougars will again face Saint Mary’s, the No. 3 seed, later this week in the opening round of the West Coast Conference Tournament. The match will be played on Thursday, April 27 at 10 a.m. PST at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont, Calif.
Saint Mary's 4, BYU 2
1. Natella Nabieva (BYU) def. Jacqueline Pelletier (SMC) 6-3, 6-2
2. Clementine Clement (SMC) def. Savannah Ware-Avina (BYU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
3. Kate Cusick (BYU) def. Kareena Manji (SMC) 6-2, 6-1
4. Parminder Kaur (SMC) def. Samantha Smith (BYU) 6-2, 6-1
5. Danielle McIntyre (SMC) def. Taylah Beckman (BYU) 0-6, 7-5, 6-2
6. Vanessa Nommensen (SMC) def. Demi Perkinson (BYU) 6-3, 6-1
Order of finish: Singles (4,3,6,1,5,2)