Anastasia Sourkova improved to 9-2 with a two-set victory over Brook Buck. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
South Bend, Ind. (Feb 25, 2006) -- The No. 7 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame were too much for BYU to handle, using their home court advantage and beating the No. 20 Cougars 5-2 on Saturday. The loss drops BYU's record to 7-4 on the season while the Irish remain undefeated.
"This was a tough place to play," coach Manning said. "Notre Dame has a great fan base a very quick courts, and it took us a while to adjust to those things. Once we adjusted we kept it close, but Notre Dame was too good today."
Senior Olga Boulytcheva helped keep things close in the early going, staying true to form and playing fantastic tennis for BYU. Boulytcheva, who is currently ranked No. 17 in the nation, defeated No. 28 Catrina Thompson in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 to give the Cougars their first point of the match and knot the score at 1-1. However, that was as close as BYU would get, as Notre Dame rolled through the next 3 singles matches to clinch the victory for the Irish. The Cougars were able to steal one more point courtesy of Anastasia Sourkova, who beat Notre Dame's Brook Buck in a two-set nail-biter 7-6, 7-6.
The doubles point was crucial to the match. The Cougars played good tennis in singles and were able to keep a victory within reach, but falling behind to the Irish doubles squads -- the three of which are ranked in the top 51 -- made for a hill that was difficult for BYU to climb.
"Things could have been closer if we'd won at doubles," Manning said. "But Notre Dame is a good team and they played well, and that's what makes it great to come out here and compete against them.
The Cougars will return home next week to host the University of Portland on March 3. The match begins at 4 p.m. and will be played at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts. Admission is free and open to the public.
#7 Notre Dame 5, #20 Brigham Young 2
No. 1:#17 Olga Boulytcheva (BYU) def. #27 Catrina Thompson (ND) 6-1, 6-1
No. 2: #32 Christian Thompson (ND) def. #98 Lauren Jones (BYU) 6-4, 6-2
No. 3: Anastasia Sourkova (BYU) def. Brook Buck (ND) 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5)
No. 4: Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Sofia Holden (BYU) 6-1, 6-4
No. 5: Kristina Stastny (ND) def. Dolly Chang (BYU) 6-4, 6-1*
No. 6: Katie Potts (ND) def. Jennifer Miccoli (BYU) 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 4, 6, 5*, 2, 3
No. 1: #2 Thompson/Thompson (ND) def. Sourkova/Miccoli (BYU) 8-3
No. 2:#31 Buck/Tefft (ND) def. Boulytcheva/Holden (BYU) 8-3
No. 3:#51 Lauren Connelly/Stastny (ND) def. Chang/Jones (BYU) 8-3*
Order of Finish: 1, 3*, 2
Team Records: Notre Dame 8-0, Brigham Young 7-4
* - indicates clinching victory