Louisiana-Pacific Tennis Center
5000 North Willamette Blvd Portland OR 97203
BYU opens WCC play with 4-2 win over Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. — The BYU women’s tennis team opened West Coast Conference play Friday on the road with a 4-2 victory over Portland.
“I am proud with how the girls fought today,” BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. “We had to battle through a tough environment and a good team. Everyone really stepped up and performed well. It's a strong start to our conference play.”
Sophomores Kate Cusick and Polina Malykh at No. 2 doubles, earned BYU’s (4-2, 1-0 WCC) first doubles victory of the morning against Portland’s (1-5, 0-1 WCC) Anna Oberg and Lourdes Ramalle. Cusick and Malykh got an early 4-1 lead against the Pilots. Oberg and Ramalle fought back to close the gap, but the Cougars held the duo to get a 6-4 win.
At No. 3 doubles junior Taylah Beckman and sophomore Samantha Smith defeated Radina Dimitrova and Nina Nikitovic of Portland 6-3 to win the doubles point for BYU. With two doubles victories secured, senior Mayci Jones and freshman Anastasia Abramyan in No. 1 doubles did not finish their match against Raphaelle Leblanc and Jelena Lukic.
Jones faced Lukic again at No. 1 singles and after losing the first set 6-3, she returned to win the second 7-5. The two battled, changing the lead constantly throughout the remainder of the match, but Jones came up short, losing 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 and tying the score at 1-1.
Cusick faced off against Leblanc in No. 3 singles for one of the most intense matches of the day. Leblanc won the first set 7-5, but Cusick charged back in the second with 7-6 (3) win in the tiebreaker to send the match to a third set. Tied 5-5 in the final set, both players kept the score back and forth until Cusick finally won the last two games to comeback and win 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-5 and give the Cougars a 2-1 lead.
Abramyan took the first set, playing in No. 2 singles versus Dimitrova, but ultimately fell in a close match 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 and the score was again tied 2-2. At No. 5 singles, Smith put BYU back on top by a point with a solid 6-3, 6-2 win over Nikitovic.
In her first singles match of the regular season, Beckman played the Pilot’s Emily Soares in No. 6 singles. After winning a close first set, Beckman took the second convincingly to earn a 7-5, 6-1 victory and a 4-2 BYU win. The No. 5 singles match of Malykh and Ramalle did not finish.
The Cougars travel to Spokane, Washington for another WCC matchup against the Bulldogs of Gonzaga. The match will begin at 11:00 a.m. PST. Live stats and live streaming can be found on BYU’s online schedule.
- Mayci Jones/Anastasia Abramyan vs Raphaelle Leblanc/Jelena Lukic unfinished
- Kate Cusick/Polina Malykh def. Anna Oberg/Lourdes Ramalle 6-4
- Taylah Beckman/Samantha Smith def. Radina Dimitrova/Nina Nikitovic 6-3
- Jelena Lukic def. Mayci Jones 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
- Radina Dimitrova def. Anastasia Abramyan 3-6. 6-4, 6-4
- Kate Cusick def. Raphaella LeBlanc 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-5
- Polina Malykh vs Lourdes Ramalle unfinished
- Samantha Smith def. Nina Nikitovic 6-3, 6-2
- Taylah Beckman def. Emily Soares 7-5, 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3) Singles ( 1, 3, 2, 5, 6)
BYU opens WCC play this weekend against Portland and Gonzaga
PROVO, Utah -- The Cougar women's tennis team opens West Coast Conference play this weekend on the road with back-to-back matches. BYU is at Portland Friday, Feb. 23 and at Gonzaga on Saturday, Feb. 24. The match vs. the Pilots starts at 10 a.m. PST while the match against the Bulldogs begins at 11:00 a.m. PST.
BYU (3-2) looks to start conference play off on the right foot after a close loss to Denver. Sophomore Polina Malykh earned BYU's only singles victory against the Pioneers. Malykh remains undefeated in regular season singles play at the No. 5 slot.
In its last match, Portland (1-4) played at No. 24 Washington where the Pilots suffered a 5-0 loss to the Huskies. Portland was selected to finish ninth in the WCC Preseason Poll. The Cougars are 7-1 against the Pilots all-time.
Gonzaga (7-2) swept Eastern Washington, 7-0 this past Saturday to win its fourth straight dual match. The nation's 29th ranked doubles duo Sophie Whittle and Graciela Rosasa of Gonzaga had a 6-1 win and moved to 8-1 on the year. The WCC coaches voted the Bulldogs to finish third in the Preseason Poll, just a spot ahead of the Cougars. BYU is 4-3 in the series with Gonzaga.