(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
COLORADO SPRINGS -- For the second time this season, BYU tennis players earned weekly conference honors on both the men’s and women’s sides. McCall Jones was named Mountain West Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Week for the first time in her career along with Utah’s Evgenia Kryuchkova. For the men, Cassidy Mears received the title for the third time this season.
Jones, a product of Orange County, Calif., went a combined 3-1 over the weekend as the Cougars earned back-to-back wins against New Mexico (W, 6-1) and 67th-ranked TCU (W, 4-3). Against the Lobos, Jones, the 37th-ranked singles player in the country, downed Anya Villanueva (6-2, 6-0) at No. 1 singles, after teaming with sophomore Megan Price to down Villanueva/Ashley Bonner (8-6) at the top of the doubles lineup earlier in the match. Jones and Price, the nation's 43rd ranked doubles pair, dropped a narrow match to TCU's 39th-ranked tandem of Kayla Duncan/Katarlina Tuohimaa (8-6) on Saturday. However, Jones responded later in the MWC dual, recording a 6-0, 7-6 (5) win over 54th-ranked Nina Munch-Soeraard at No. 1 singles to help propel the Cougars to victory.
Mears, who hails from Shawnee, Kan., went a combined 3-1 over the weekend to help lead the 33rd-ranked Cougars to a 2-0 record against 56th-ranked San Diego State (W, 4-3) and 71st-ranked UNLV (W, 7-0). With Friday's match against the Aztecs tied 3-3, Mears clinched the match in BYU's favor by notching a three-set victory over Luis Rattenhuber (6-4, 3-6, 6-4) at No. 4 singles. On Saturday, Mears and junior Thomas Shubert bounced back from a doubles loss to San Diego State the previous day by recording a victory over UNLV's tandem of Mehdi Bouras/Luca Barlocchi (8-5) at the top of the doubles lineup. Playing in the final home match of his collegiate career, the senior captain concluded the weekend with a straight-sets win over Atilla Toth (7-6 (7-1), 6-4) at the No. 4 singles position.
A native of Zhukovsky, Russia, Kryuchkova went a combined 4-0 over the weekend to help the 39th-ranked Utes to a 2-0 record against the Lobos (W, 7-0) and Horned Frogs (W, 4-3). Kryuchkova began her weekend by teaming with sophomore Lisa Johnson to defeat New Mexico's tandem of Michaela Oldani/Kristin Eggleston (8-0) at No. 3 doubles, before downing Eggleston (6-2, 6-0) later in the dual at No. 2 singles. On Sunday, Kryuchkova recorded two significant victories to help Utah finish the year with the Conference regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the MWC Tournament. Kryuchkova and Johnson began the match by securing the doubles point for the Utes with a come-from-behind victory over Idunn Hertzberg/Shalini Sahoo (9-7) at No. 3 doubles. Later, with the dual deadlocked 3-3, Kryuchkova netted a three-set victory over Katarlina Tuohimaa (3-6, 6-3, 7-5) at No. 2 singles to clinch the match in Utah's favor.