Anastasia Surkova won her singles and doubles matches against nationally ranked teams from Notre Dame in Saturday's match. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- No. 2 Notre Dame came to Provo Saturday and defeated No. 29 BYU in women's tennis. Despite the loss, the Cougars still proved they deserve their national ranking with two doubles wins against nationally ranked duos and a singles win over another nationally ranked player.
"Notre Dame is a good team," BYU head coach Craig Manning said. "They know what they are trying to do and they do not deviate from their game plan. We're literally one step away from pushing the best teams in the country, though. We need to take one physical step forward on the court and take the ball earlier against these tougher teams. We hung with them for four hours and the match was not decided until the last 15 minutes. We really are getting better every match."
In doubles competition, Anastasia Surkova and Jenny Miccoli faced off against the No. 5 doubles team in the nation, Catrina and Christian Thompson. The Thompson twins broke Miccoli in the first game of the match, but BYU was able to break back the next point, hold serve and break again to go up 3-1. Miccoli then had a chance to redeem herself and held serve to give duo a three-game lead. Later in the match, up 6-3, Surkova and Miccoli broke again and tooka a four-game lead at 7-3 with a chance to serve for the match and the upset of the No. 5 doubles team in the nation. The Thompson twins' fate was sealed on a Miccoli over-head smash to the middle of the court and BYU took court no. 1 8-3.
Lauren Jones and Sofia Holden gave the No. 24 doubles team in the country a run for its money as well on court no. 2, but were not able to remain consistent and dropped the match to Notre Dame. Court no. 3 was the decisive match in the doubles point and BYU's Kristina Doerr and Dolly Chang were able to upset the No. 52 doubles team in the nation, 8-4, and clinch the doubles point victory for the blue and white.
The doubles victory will have to stand alone as a moral victory, though, as the Fighting Irish' singles play proved to be too solid to allow a Cougar victory. Surkova did upset No. 89 Christian Thompson on court no. 2 with a straight-set victory, her seventh win in a row, but she was the only Cougar to have any luck against the Irish.
Even though the match ended in Notre Dame's favor, Manning said he felt the match was closer than the score portrayed and he is delighted with his team.
"I just like my team an awful lot," Manning said. "Please quote me on that. They sure do fight hard."
BYU's next match will be at home Friday against in-state rival Utah at 4 p.m. Admission to the match is free and BYU "Y Lot" parking will be available for all visitors.
No. 29 BYU vs. No.2 Notre Dame
Notre Dame wins, 5-2
1. Anastasia Surkova/Jenny Miccoli (BYU) def. No. 5 Catrina Thompson/Christian Thompson (ND) 8-3
2. No. 24 Brook Buck/Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Lauren Jones/Sofia Holden (BYU) 8-4
3. Kristina Doerr/Dolly Chang (BYU) def. No. 52 Cosmina Ciobanu/Kali Krisik (ND) 8-4
Order of finish
1, 2, 3*
(*clinches doubles point)
BYU wins doubles point
1. No. 27 Ca. Thompson (ND) def. Jones (BYU) 6-2, 6-1
2. Surkova (BYU) def. No. 89 Ch. Thompson (ND) 6-3, 6-3
3. Colleen Rielley (ND) def. Doerr (BYU) 6-4, 6-3
4. Tefft (ND) def. Chie Hayasaka (BYU) 6-0, 6-1
5. No. 31 Ciobanu (ND ) def. Holden (BYU) 6-4, 7-5
6. Buck (ND) def. Chang (BYU) 6-4, 6-1
Order of finish:
4, 1, 3, 2, 6*, 5
(* clinches win)