Two Tough Home Matches Ahead

Senior Chie Hayasaka

PROVO -- A challenging weekend at home awaits the No. 68 BYU women’s tennis team. The Cougars face No. 40 Arizona Friday and No. 22 DePaul Saturday.

“We’re trying to keep being aggressive and trying to build up for conference play,” BYU assistant coach Lauren Spencer said. “We want to gain momentum and confidence so when the conference matches come around we’ll be ready to go.”

After a week off, BYU will get the chance to continue developing that confidence and momentum. The 3-4 Cougars’ last outing was a 6-1 rout of then-No. 65 Denver. Current ITA rankings put sophomore McCall Jones at No. 77 in singles and the duo of Jones and classmate Megan Price at No. 24.

“The girls are ready to play again,” Spencer said. “They are rested and looking to get out there and compete again.”

First up for BYU will be the 7-1 Wildcats of Arizona. UA has one singles player ranked in the top-100 in Natasha Marks who holds the No. 88 spot. Last week, the Wildcats defeated No. 43 St. Mary’s 4-2. BYU and Arizona last met in 2006 when the Cougars fell 4-1 in the first round of NCAA tournament play.

The next hurdle for BYU will be an 8-1 DePaul squad. The Blue Demons beat Louisville 5-2 last week to extend their winning streak to six matches. DePaul is having a strong season, moving up more than 20 spots to earn a program-high No. 22 ranking. This will be the inaugural meeting of the two teams.

Friday’s match begins at 11 a.m. and first serve is set for 10 a.m. Saturday. Both matches will be held in the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts, south of the Smith Fieldhouse. Admission is free and BYU “Y Lot” parking lots are open to the public after 4 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday.