Doubles pair Anastasia Surkova and Jennifer Miccoli will compete at home for the last time as the Cougars open conference play this weekend. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The No. 47 BYU women's tennis team will honor its three seniors, Anastasia Surkova, Jennifer Miccoi and Dolly Chang, this weekend as it opens Mountain West Conference play and competes for the last time in front of its home crowd.
No. 62 UNLV and San Diego State come to Provo to take on the Cougars (8-8) who are coming off a disappointing 0-2 record in California last weekend.
The Rebels dropped their third straight match last week after losing 4-3 to No. 25 Pepperdine. UNLV is led by No. 31 Elena Gantcheva, who is also ranked No. 59 with doubles partner Kristina Nedeltcheva. Last season, BYU defeated the Rebels in both of its meetings, including a 4-0 sweep to win the MWC championship.
San Diego improved to 7-7 on the season after a convincing win over Harvard on Tuesday. The Aztecs handed the Cougars their only conference loss of the 2007 season and BYU hopes to keep that from happening again with the help of their experienced seniors.
Currently the nation's No. 86-ranked singles player, Surkova has recorded a 75-25 singles record and 73-23 doubles record over the past four years. She was awarded Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honors six times, including twice this season. The Russian native was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Second Team at the conclusion of the 2007 season, and has also been named to the Academic All-MWC list for the past three years. Surkova received the MWC Co-Player of the Year award to cap off the 2007 season.
Together with Surkova, Jennifer Miccoli recorded a 13-match doubles win streak in 2007, helping earn them a No. 34 national ranking to end the season. This season, the duo currently has a 10-4 record, including wins over the No. 12 and No. 19 duos from Arkansas and South Carolina, respectively. Together Miccoli and Surkova have been named to the All-MWC team for three consecutive seasons.
Chang currently has a 67-39 overall singles record at BYU. In 2006, the Taiwan native helped put the Cougars into the MWC Championship match with a thrilling 0-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over UNLV's Claire Smith. Together with former Cougar Lauren Jones, Chang was named to the All-MWC team in both 2006 and 2007. This season Chang and Kristina Doerr have been ranked as high as No. 46 in the national doubles rankings, and posted a 12-match win streak to begin the season.
BYU's match against UNLV is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, with its match against SDSU scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday. Admission to both matches is free. BYU "Y Lot" parking is available to visitors after 4 p.m. on Fridays and all BYU parking is open to the public on Saturdays. Matches will be played outdoors if weather permits.