Tough Competition a Learning Experience for BYU

Senior Chie Hayasaka is the only Cougar to remain in the main draw in both singles and doubles. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

BERKELEY -- Difficult competition challenged the BYU women’s tennis team Friday during the first day of play at the Cal Nike Invitational. The Cougars faced players and doubles teams who fill the ranks of the nation’s elite in college tennis.

“This was an early season test,” BYU coach Joey Johnson said. “We did lose some tough matches, but there’s a lot of learning when you come to this tournament with some of the toughest teams in the country.”

It was a rough start to the day with five out of eight players losing their respective first round matches. McCall Jones fell in two sets to Cal’s Marina Cossou, who currently holds the No. 18 rank in the country. Senior Kristina Doerr also lost to last year’s champion Kelcy McKenna from Arizona State. McKenna earned the No. 4 spot in the nation in preseason rankings.

“The girls fought hard,” Johnson said. “They played to the best of their ability.”

Jones and Doerr came back in the consolation round to beat their opponents and move on to quarterfinals. Both players will have the chance to move further in the draw Saturday. Also advancing in the consolation draw is Elle Carney, who beat her Long Beach State challenger in the Blue flight.

“We started slow but we ended better,” Johnson said. “We had a good day.”

Bright spots for the Cougars included impressive performances by senior Chie Hayasaka and freshman Andie Young. Hayasaka won both of her matches in the Blue flight, putting her into the quarterfinals. Young advanced in the White flight where she defeated Cal’s Catie Visico, 6-1, 6-2, and will compete in the semifinals Saturday.

Doubles brought similar struggles for BYU with quality pairs testing the Cougars. Jones and Price dropped an 8-4 decision to a duo from Nevada. Doerr and Romina Nedakovic played No. 4 Andrea Remynse and Yasmin Schnack from UCLA. Despite their best efforts, the BYU tandem fell 8-3.

Hayasaka rolled on in doubles with partner Carney. They are the only Cougars still in the main draw after winning, 8-5, in the Blue flight. Also competing in the Blue flight were Young and Ezhova who lost, 8-6, to a duo from the University of San Francisco. The doubles consolation round in all flights begins Saturday

“There were a lot of good takeaways,” Johnson said. “Everybody feels positive and is ready to get back out on Saturday and play.”

The tournament will resume at the Hellman Tennis Complex and Channing Tennis Courts at 8 a.m. Saturday. For updated draws, click here.