The No. 49 BYU women's tennis team was edged out by No. 15 Notre Dame 4-3 on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The No. 49 BYU women's tennis team came close to beating No. 15 Notre Dame Saturday, but the Irish were able to hold on to edge the Cougars 4-3.
"To come that close to the 15th ranked team in the nation and lose is tough," said BYU head coach Craig Manning. "I wanted it so bad for the girls. I thought they really deserved it."
The Cougars came out strong and took control of the game early in doubles. Seniors Dominique Reynolds and Leeza Klempner won at No. 1 by beating Katie Cunha and Lauren Connelley 8-4. Rebecca Pike and Olga Boulytcheva kept their 9-0 unbeaten doubles streak alive by defeating Caylan Leslie and Jennifer Smith 8-5 at the No. 3 spot. Because of the late start to the match, the No. 2 doubles match was not finished.
"I thought we did great on doubles," said Manning. "We came out focused and really fought hard."
In singles, the Irish pushed things up a notch and came out with a little more intensity. Boulytcheva beat Cunha 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 and Pike defeated Kristina Stastny 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in a tough three-set match at the No. 4 spot. Klempner and MacFarlane went three sets in their matches, but were unable to come up with the victories.
"This was a tough match for us," said Manning. "After last weekend, we could have used a big win at home over a top-25 team. But everyone gave a great effort and we fought as hard as we could."
The Cougars have next week off before they play Tennessee at home on March 18 (Tuesday) at noon.
No. 15 Notre Dame def. No. 49 BYU, 4-3
1. Reynolds/Klempner (BYU) def. Cunha/Stastny (ND) 8-4
2. MacFarlane/Schneider (BYU) vs. L. Connelley/Salas (ND) DNF
3. Pike/Boulytcheva (BYU) def. Leslie/Smith (ND) 8-5
1. Caylan Leslie (ND) def. Dominique Reynolds (BYU) 1-6, 1-6
2. Alicia Salas (ND) def. Leeza Klempner (BYU) 3-6, 6-4, 2-6
3. Olga Boulytcheva (BYU) def. Katie Cunha (ND) 6-3, 6-2
4. Rebecca Pike (BYU) def. Kristina Stastny (ND) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
5. Sarah Connelley (ND) def. Hadley MacFarlane (BYU) 0-6, 6-2, 6-4
6. Lauren Connelley (ND) def. Nicole Schneider (BYU) 1-6, 0-6