Sofia Holden was the only Cougar to win her singles match in the loss to Washington State. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The No. 30 BYU women's tennis team hosted Washington State Friday and lost, 5-2, in BYU's last match before the National Team Indoor Championships.
BYU's day looked bright after dominating the doubles competition. The team won all three matches, allowing WSU to win only eight games total between the three matches. However, five of the six singles matches went to WSU, and three of those were in straight sets.
"I'm glad we lost, to be honest," said BYU head coach Craig Manning. "This team wins so much that everyone is just so tight all the time. I hope now everyone will just loosen up and play like they have nothing to lose and stop caring about the wins and the rankings. We just need to play tennis."
The marquis match of the day featured BYU's top senior Lauren Jones versus No. 85 Ekaterina Burduli of Washington State. In September the two faced each other at the BYU Invitational, and Burduli won in a three-set tiebreak. Friday's match proved to be just as intense as the first time the two met.
The first set went to Jones when she broke Burduli at 5-4 to win the set. Jones then broke Burduli again in the second set to go up 3-1. Burduli returned the favor and broke Jones. Both players continued to break each other's serves until Burduli held serve and tied the match at four apiece. Burduli broke Jones again to take her first lead of the match, but Jones broke Burduli back again and tied the match at five. Jones had four double faults in the next game, allowing Burduli the easy break, and Burduli won the set 7-5 after holding serve.
Burduli picked up in the third set where she left off in the second and broke Jones for the fifth and sixth consecutive times to go up 3-0. Jones, down but not out, battled back to 3-2, but was broken for the seventh time in eight games to go down 5-2. Again, Jones worked some momentum her way and pulled the set back to 5-4 but lost the last game in four straight points to lose the set and the match, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Sofia Holden was the only BYU player to win her singles match, and she did so in fine fashion, 6-3, 6-0. Anastasia Surkova, reigning Mountain West Conference Player of the
Week, practiced only once this week due to illness and did not have the energy to pull out the "w" at the No. 2 spot. The loss marked only her second on the year, dating back to the fall season and excluding the default she had at the Regional Championships because of a match on Sunday.
The Cougars' next match will be at the National Team Indoors at the University of Wisconsin with the tournament starting on Thursday. The tournament consists of 16 of the top teams in the nation.
"It is going to be tough, but now we can go into nationals much more loose," Manning said. "Today was just one of those days. That's all it was; no big deal."
BYU vs. Washington State
1. Surkova/Miccoli (BYU) def. Burduli/Van de Ven (WSU) 8-3
2. Jones/Holden (BYU) def. Toth/Spicer (WSU) 8-0
3. Doerr/Chang (BYU) def. Selaru/Stefanova 8-5
1. Ekaterina Burduli (WSU) def. Lauren Jones (BYU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
2. Amy Toth (WSU) def. Anastasia Surkova (BYU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Marjolein Van de Ven (WSU) def. Jennifer Miccoli (BYU) 7-5, 6-3
4. Bianca Selaru (WSU) def. Kristina Doerr (BYU) 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (2)
5. Sofia Holden (BYU) def. Aleksandra Stefanova (WSU) 6-3, 6-0
6. Aleksandra Cekic (WSU) def. Dolly Chang (BYU) 6-4, 6-1
Washington State wins 5-2