Cougars Upset In Close Match
PROVO, Utah (Jan. 25) -- The No. 73 BYU men's tennis team lost a close match at UC Irvine Thursday in the first of a three-match road trip. The team will play tomorrow at No. 4 UCLA and again on Saturday at UC Santa Barbara.
The singles matches were split, three and three, with wins from team-captain Dominik Kaufhold, Jonathan Sanchez and Cassidy Mears. Chip Hand lost a close match in three sets at the No. 3 position for his first loss of the season. James Ludlow lost in straight sets after enduring severe cramps throughout the match; he is questionable for Friday's match.
All three doubles matches were close and BYU only needed to win one more to get the victory for the day. Hand and Sanchez won their doubles match 8-6. Mears and Cale Planck lost 8-5 and Ludlow and Kaufhold lost a heartbreaker,9-7, after being up two breaks in the match.
"We were still a bit rusty today," assistant coach Dan Battistone said. "UCLA is always a national contender for the title. If we have a great day and time it right, though, I think we can hang in there. That is our goal and if we can do that it will be really good for our program."
UC Irvine 4, No. 73 Brigham Young 3
No. 1 Aaron Yovan (UCI) def. James Ludlow (BYU) 7-5, 6-4
No. 2 Dominik Kaufhold (BYU) def. Shimpei Suzuki (UCI) 6-2, 6-7, 6-1
No. 3 Victor Lamm (UCI) def. Christian Hand (BYU) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
No. 4 Mustafa Ulukan (UCI) def. Cale Planck (BYU) 6-1, 6-4
No. 5 Jonathan Sanchez (BYU) def. Zac Tsai (UCI) 6-2, 6-4
No. 6 Cassidy Mears (BYU) def. Alex Sundling (UCI) 6-3, 7-6
No. 1 Ulukan/Yovan (UCI) def. Ludlow/Kaufhold (BYU) 9-7
No. 2 Andrei Radulescu/Sundling (UCI) def. Mears/Planck (BYU) 8-5
No. 3 Hand/Sanchez (UCI) def. Suzuki/Tsai (UCI) 8-6
Surkova Named Player of the Week; Men Go On the Road
PROVO -- Junior Anastasia Surkova was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week Wednesday. The next time she will be in action is at home on Friday against Washington State while the men start a southern-California swing against UC Irvine on Thursday.
Wednesday marked the first of the Player-of-the-Week awards for the 2007 season. Surkova earned the award with wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles position last weekend, beating Denver's Annette Aksdal, 6-1, 6-2, and Washington's Tara Simpson, 6-3, 0-6, 6-1. Surkova also went 2-0 in doubles action, teaming up with Jenny Miccoli and Kristina Doerr at the No. 1 position to post wins over Denver, 8-4, and Washington, 8-3.
Friday's match against Washington State may feature a rematch of the championship match from the BYU Invitation that took place in September. That match featured BYU's Lauren Jones losing a close, three-set tiebreaker to then No. 47 Eka Burduli of Washington State. The match will begin at noon and admission is free.
"This match will probably be a tougher match than we faced in either of the two we played last weekend," head coach Craig Manning said. "We're excited."
Thursday marks the first of three matches in as many days for the men's team. The first challenge the Cougars will face will be UC Irvine, followed by perennial powerhouse and alma mater of head coach Brad Pearce, UCLA, on Friday and UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
"We were disappointed last weekend at the Regional Playoff, but we can't cry over spilled milk," Pearce said. "This is going to be a tough weekend, but we just have to come out hard from the beginning."