Notre Dame Wins in Tough Match, 4-3
PROVO -- The No. 49 BYU women's tennis team came close to beating No. 15 Notre Dame Saturday, but the Irish were able to hold on to edge the Cougars 4-3.
"To come that close to the 15th ranked team in the nation and lose is tough," said BYU head coach Craig Manning. "I wanted it so bad for the girls. I thought they really deserved it."
The Cougars came out strong and took control of the game early in doubles. Seniors Dominique Reynolds and Leeza Klempner won at No. 1 by beating Katie Cunha and Lauren Connelley 8-4. Rebecca Pike and Olga Boulytcheva kept their 9-0 unbeaten doubles streak alive by defeating Caylan Leslie and Jennifer Smith 8-5 at the No. 3 spot. Because of the late start to the match, the No. 2 doubles match was not finished.
"I thought we did great on doubles," said Manning. "We came out focused and really fought hard."
In singles, the Irish pushed things up a notch and came out with a little more intensity. Boulytcheva beat Cunha 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 and Pike defeated Kristina Stastny 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in a tough three-set match at the No. 4 spot. Klempner and MacFarlane went three sets in their matches, but were unable to come up with the victories.
"This was a tough match for us," said Manning. "After last weekend, we could have used a big win at home over a top-25 team. But everyone gave a great effort and we fought as hard as we could."
The Cougars have next week off before they play Tennessee at home on March 18 (Tuesday) at noon.
No. 15 Notre Dame def. No. 49 BYU, 4-3
1. Reynolds/Klempner (BYU) def. Cunha/Stastny (ND) 8-4
2. MacFarlane/Schneider (BYU) vs. L. Connelley/Salas (ND) DNF
3. Pike/Boulytcheva (BYU) def. Leslie/Smith (ND) 8-5
1. Caylan Leslie (ND) def. Dominique Reynolds (BYU) 1-6, 1-6
2. Alicia Salas (ND) def. Leeza Klempner (BYU) 3-6, 6-4, 2-6
3. Olga Boulytcheva (BYU) def. Katie Cunha (ND) 6-3, 6-2
4. Rebecca Pike (BYU) def. Kristina Stastny (ND) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
5. Sarah Connelley (ND) def. Hadley MacFarlane (BYU) 0-6, 6-2, 6-4
6. Lauren Connelley (ND) def. Nicole Schneider (BYU) 1-6, 0-6
No. 15 Notre Dame Comes to Provo this Saturday
PROVO -- The No. 49 women's tennis team will be playing at home against No. 15 Notre Dame this weekend at 3 p.m. at the BYU indoor tennis courts. The Cougars are coming off a tough road trip in which they played three nationally ranked opponents in four days.
"It's good to be home," said BYU head coach Craig Manning. "Last weekend was a tough one for us. We fought really hard in each match, but we just seemed to come up a little short."
Last weekend, the Cougars lost to No. 42 Washington, 4-3, No. 20 Washington, 5-2 and No. 16 Fresno State, 5-2. Manning said all three matches were close and his team played tough in every match.
With Notre Dame coming into town this Saturday, the Cougars won't be getting much of a break.
"Notre Dame is always really tough," said Manning. "But with us playing at home, I know we will be ready to play and will play them tough. We haven't been blown-out by any team yet this year and we have played some of the best in the nation."
The Irish currently have a 6-5 record. They come into this match with a lot of momentum having beat No. 13 Texas 6-1 last Sunday. However, the Cougars have been getting some great play from the freshmen on the team and Manning thinks his team will be competitive.
"Olga (Boulytcheva) is playing really well for us right now," said Manning. "She only lost one match in both singles and doubles last weekend. That is tough considering we were playing such great teams. Hadley (MacFarlane) has also been playing really well all year. She lost her first match of the year against Fresno State on Monday, but other than that, she has been really solid for us."
After this week's match with Notre Dame, the Cougars will next play against No. 11 Tennessee in Provo on March 18 at noon.