DENVER – Despite an outstanding performance from senior Savannah Ware-Avina, BYU women's tennis fell 6-1 to Denver on Saturday at the Stapleton Tennis Pavilion.
"Denver is a good team, but we lacked the energy we needed to pull it out today," BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. "I'm happy with how Savannah competed. She lost to Mok last year at home and was determined to pull through today and she did. It was a great win and I'm happy for her."
In doubles, Ware-Avina combined with freshman Samantha Smith for a 6-2 victory for BYU (1-2) over Morgan Barnhill and Bianca Mok of Denver (4-1). Senior Natella Nabieva and freshman Polina Malykh battled hard at third doubles, but fell 7-5 to the Pioneers' Gracia Mboko and Sonja Radosevic. The Pioneers also claimed victory in the second doubles matchup, earning the doubles point and an early 1-0 lead.
In singles, Ware-Avina preserved her perfect singles record in dual matches with a tight 7-6, 7-5 win at the No. 2 singles slot over the Pioneers' Mok, ranked No. 109 nationally in singles. Nabieva, competed at the No. 1 singles for the first time in her BYU career but came away empty-handed after a 6-2, 6-3 loss to the Denver's Julia O'Loughlin. Denver picked up four more singles wins to clinch the match at 4-1 and a final 6-1 finish.
BYU returns home to host Boise State on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 12 p.m. MST at the BYU indoor tennis courts. Admission is free to the public and free pizza will be served.
Denver 6, BYU 1
1. Julia O'Loughlin (DEN) def. Natella Nabieva (BYU) 6-2, 6-3,
2. Savannah Ware- Avina (BYU) def. Bianca Mok (DEN) 7-6, 7-5,
3. Maureen Slattery (DEN) def. Polina Malykh (BYU) 6-2, 6-4
4. Gracia Mboko (DEN) def. Samantha Smith (BYU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Arisha Ladhani (DEN) def. Kate Cusick (BYU) 6-7 (4), 6-4, 1-0
6. Sonja Radosevic (DEN) def. Taylah Beckman (BYU) 6-2, 6-2
1. Julia O'Loughlin/Maureen Slatterly (DEN) def. Taylah Beckman/Kate Cusick (BYU) 6-1
2. Savannah Ware-Avina/Samantha Smith (BYU) def. Morgan Barnhill/Bianca Mok (DEN) 6-2
3. Gracia Mboko/Sonja Radosevic (DEN) def. Natella Nabieva/Polina Malykh (BYU) 7-5
PROVO, Utah – BYU women's tennis travels to Denver for their first road match of the season on Saturday Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. MT at the Stapleton Tennis Pavilion.
The Cougars (1-1) look to bounce back after a close 4-3 defeat against Missouri last weekend that came down to the wire. BYU opened the season with a 4-0 sweep over Weber State at home and attempt to earn the second victory of the season by avenging last season's 4-3 home loss against the Pioneers.
Denver (3-1) is off to a strong start this season with wins against Syracuse, Colorado and New Mexico and the lone defeat of the season coming against Michigan. The Pioneers are led by doubles duo Julia O'Loughlin and Maureen Slatter, currently ranked No. 10, and Bianca Mok who holds a No. 109 singles ranking.