Freshman Chie Haysaka won her singles match on court no. 3 in the Cougars' 5-2 win over the Oklahoma Sooners in Provo on Monday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- In the first of its two matches this week, the No. 31 BYU women's tennis team beat the University of Oklahoma at home Monday, 5-2. The Cougars' next opponent will be the No. 50 Oklahoma State Cowboys on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the BYU tennis courts.
"I thought our girls fought through some really tough struggles today and it turned out really positive in the end.," BYU head coach Craig Manning said. "We are just battling with ourselves for the moment and the girls worked hard to pick themselves up. Most of the girls got on top of their games today and we needed to play well to beat Oklahoma because they are better than their record shows."
After losing the doubles point to the Utes on Friday for the first time in eight matches, the Cougars returned to their signature style and took the doubles point from the Sooners as Jenny Miccoli and Anastasia Surkova won their ninth match in a row on court no. 1 and Kristina Doerr and Dolly Chang won their third match in a row on court no. 3.
Court no. 1 in the singles competition was not as kind to Surkova as it was in the doubles competition. Oklahoma's Gabby Baker broke Surkova the first three opportunities she had and took a 5-0 lead in the first set. Down, but not out, Surkova proved why sets go to six games as she started to win back some of the points she had lost. The comeback was completed when Surkova won her fifth point in a row and put the match back on serve at 5-5 after being down five games and three breaks. She took the lead after holding serve and put the pressure on Baker to hold serve to stay in the set after losing three breaks in a row. The momentum was clearly in Surkova's favor as she broke Baker for the fourth time in a row, won her seventh game in a row, and took the first set, 7-5.
With the momentum heavily in her favor, Surkova won the first five games of the second set and forced Baker to either repeat Surkova's streak in the first set or lose the match. Baker mounted an incredible comeback of her own in the second set, but the latter became still the case. Down 5-0, Baker won the next four games and put the match back on serve. That would be the last game she would win. Surkova broke Baker for the eighth time in the match and won the second set 6-4 to put the seal on the match.
BYU's Lauren Jones was also locked into an intense battle on court no. 2 against Oklahoma's Monica Purice. Jones was up 5-2 in the first set, but Oklahoma's Monica Purice came back to tie the match at 5-5. Jones would win the set and go on to win the second as well for the clinching point of the team match.
Other BYU winners include senior Sofia Holden on court no. 5 in the quickest match of the day and Chie Haysaka on court no. 4, both in straight sets. Oklahoma's two singles wins came after BYU had already clinched the match.
In the case of inclement weather, Wednesday's match against Oklahoma State will move to the indoor tennis facility adjacent to the outdoor courts. Both the indoor and outdoor tennis facilities are located at the southwest corner of the BYU campus. Admission to all BYU tennis matches is free.
No. 31 BYU vs. Oklahoma
BYU wins 5-2
1. Surkova/Miccoli (BYU) def. Baker/Lykina (OU) 8-6
2. Purice/Baxley (OU) def. Jones Holden (BYU) 8-6
3. Doerr/Chang (BYU) def. Rachael Cox/Orr (OU) 8-3
Order of finish:
3, 1*, 2
* clinches doubles point
1. Anastasia Surkova (BYU) def. Gabby Baker (OU) 7-5, 6-4
2. Lauren Jones (BYU) def. Monica Purice (OU) 7-5, 6-3
3. Chie Hayasaka (BYU) def. Christi Baxley (OU) 7-6 (5), 6-0
4. Irina Lykina (OU) def. Kristina Doerr (BYU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
5. Sofia Holden (BYU) def. Chelsea Orr (OU) 6-2, 6-2
6. Anne Carter (OU) def. Dolly Chang (BYU) 6-1, 7-5
Order of finish:
5, 3, 2*, 1, 6, 4
* clinches team win