No. 49 Cougars Lose to No. 16 Fresno State
FRESNO -- The No. 49 BYU women's tennis team ended its three-match road trip on Monday with a loss to No. 16 Fresno St. The Cougars lost to the Bulldogs 5-2, ending a weekend in which BYU played three nationally ranked opponents in four days.
"This was a tough road trip for us," said BYU head coach Craig Manning. "We knew we were going to have some tough matches. But now we just need to put them behind us and focus on the rest of the season."
The Cougars got off to a good start by claiming the doubles point. Rebecca Pike and Olga Boulytcheva won at the No. 3 spot by beating Kristy McRae and Vlatka Jovanovic 8-6. But the doubles portion of the match came down to the No. 3 position. But Hadley MacFarlane and Nicole Schneider beat Lucia Sainz and Katherin Winterhalter 9-8 in a tough match to claim the doubles point for the Cougars.
"I thought we really played well in doubles against a good team," said Manning. "But Fresno State came out determined in singles and took the match from us."
In singles, Boulytcheva was the only Cougar to win, which she did at the No. 3 position by beating Jovanovic 6-2, 6-3. Last week's MWC Player of the Week, MacFarlane, lost her first match of the dual match season losing to Winterhalter 6-2, 6-1. The loss gives her an impressive 9-1 record on the season.
The Cougars will return to Provo this week and will be in action on Saturday against No. 19 Notre Dame at 3 p.m. on the BYU indoor courts.
No. 16 Fresno State def. No. 49 BYU, 5-2
1. Tallo/Carlotti (FS) def. Klempner/Reynolds (BYU), 8-3
2. MacFarlane/Schneider (BYU) def. Sainz/Winterhalter (FS), 9-8 (3)
3. Pike/Boulytcheva (BYU) def. McRae/Jovanovic (FS), 8-6
1. No. 11 Chloe Carlotti (FS) def. Dominique Reynolds (BYU), 6-3, 6-0
2. Lucia Sainz (FS) def. Elizaveta Klempner (BYU), 6-4, 6-4
3. Olga Boulytcheva (BYU) def. Vlatka Jovanovic (FS), 6-2, 6-3
4. Lucia Tallo (FS) def. Rebecca Pike (BYU), 6-1, 6-2
5. Katherin Winterhalter (FS) def. Hadley MacFarlane (BYU), 6-2, 6-1
6. Kristy McRae (FS) def. Nicole Schneider (BYU), 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
PROVO -- After five straight home matches, the No. 49 BYU women's tennis team will be on the road this weekend as they play No. 20 Washington on Friday (Feb. 28) and No. 44 Washington State (Mar. 1) in Pullman, Wash. On Monday (Mar. 3) the Cougars will be in California to take on No. 16 Fresno State.
"This is a big part of the season for us," said BYU head coach Craig Manning. "We are going to play three ranked teams this weekend and they will all be tough matches. We just need to focus on the present and take each match one at a time."
The Cougars come into this weekend after beating No. 33 Wisconsin 4-3 at home last weekend.
"Last week's win over Wisconsin has helped us build more confidence and it reinforced that what we're working on in practice is paying off on the court," said Manning. "Against the tough teams we're going to face this weekend, we just need to focus on the fundamentals and on getting the job done."
The Cougars will first face No. 20 Washington on Friday. Last year, BYU beat Washington 4-3 in a tough match in which the Cougars dropped the doubles point before coming back to capture four of the six singles matches.
On Saturday, BYU will play Washington State. WSU has won both of the previous meetings with BYU, including a 4-3 victory over BYU last season. WSU has won five of its last six matches with big wins over Penn State, Boise State and MWC opponent New Mexico.
After spending the weekend in Washington, the Cougars will be playing Fresno State on Monday. The Bulldogs (4-3) are currently ranked No. 16 in the nation, their best ranking of the year. It is the highest they have been ranked since March 19, 2002, when the Bulldogs were also No. 16.
"This is a big weekend for our team," said Manning. "If we play up to our potential and play great tennis, I know we can win. Hopefully we are peaking at the right time."
After this weekend's road trip, BYU will be home next weekend as the Cougars host No. 19 Notre Dame on Saturday (Mar. 8) at 3 p.m.