HONOLULU – BYU women's tennis had a strong performance in doubles but fell just short in a 4-3 defeat to Long Beach State at the UH Tennis Complex on Friday in Honolulu.
"We came out much stronger today and did what we wanted to do in doubles," BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. "It was a tight match from the start to finish in singles and the girls fought hard but unfortunately we came up a little short."
The Cougars (2-4, 0-0 West Coast Conference) started off strong in doubles, winning on two of the three courts to score the first point of the match against Long Beach State (5-1, 2-0 Big West Conference). On court three, senior Natella Nabieva and freshman Polina Malykh recorded a 6-3 win over the 49ers' Maren Helgo and Natalia Munoz. At second doubles, senior Savannah Ware-Avina and freshman Samantha Smith defeated Lena Pacholski and Laura Eales 6-4.
In singles, Long Beach State answered to tie the match after BYU's Malykh was forced to withdraw from her match on court three. The 49ers took a 2-1 lead after Laura Eales defeated sophomore Taylah Beckman 6-1, 6-2 at sixth singles. BYU battled back on court five, with freshman Samantha Smith defeating Munoz 6-3, 6-4. At first singles, Nabieva was defeated 6-3, 6-3, by Maeva Razakasoa, but BYU evened the score at 3-3 after freshman Kate Cusick stuck it out in a three-set duel, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (5) to beat the 49ers' Pacholsky on court four. Long Beach State clinched the match at second singles, after Savannah Ware-Avina battled hard but fell 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, to Julie Gerard.
BYU returns home to host the University of Utah on Friday, March 3, at noon MST. Admission is free to the public and free pizza will be served.
Long Beach State 4, BYU 3
1. Maeva Razakasoa (LBSU) def. Natella Nabieva (BYU) 6-3, 6-3
2. Julie Gerard (LBSU) def. Savannah Ware-Avina (BYU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
3. Maren Helgo (LBSU) def. Polina Malykh (BYU) 6-3, default
4. Kate Cusick (BYU) def. Lena Pacholsky (LBSU) 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (5)
5. Samantha Smith (BYU) def. Natalia Munoz (LBSU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Laura Eales (LBSU) def. Taylah Beckman (BYU) 6-1, 6-2.
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2) Singles (3,6,5,1,4,2)
PROVO, Utah – After a 4-0 sweep against Boise State, BYU women's tennis travels to Hawaii this week for two road matches.
The Cougars (2-2, 0-0 WCC) will face Hawaii (4-2, 2-0 MWC) on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 3:30 p.m. HST and square off against Long Beach State (4-1, 2-0) on Friday, Feb. 24 at noon p.m. HST. Both matches will be played at the UH Tennis complex at the University of Hawaii.
BYU will attempt to pick up its first two road victories of the season. The Cougars are led by senior Natella Nabieva, who got a 6-4, 6-3 singles victory at first singles against Boise State last weekend, as well as senior Savannah Ware-Avina, who maintains a perfect dual-match singles record so far this season.
The Rainbow Warriors have won three-straight matches with victories over UC Davis, San Diego and California State University, Northridge. Hawaii's two losses on the season both came at home against Washington (6-1) and Mississippi (4-3). The Rainbow Warriors are led by Cindy Nguyen, ranked No. 96 in singles nationally.
Long Beach State is 1-1 against West Coast Conference opponents with a 6-1 win over San Francisco and a 4-3 loss to Loyola Marymount earlier this season. The 49ers are led by Maeva Razakasoa, who holds a No. 124 singles ranking.
Fans can check the BYU schedule page for information regarding live coverage.