Cougars Dish Falcons Empty Plate
PROVO -- In its final home match of the season, the 19th-ranked BYU women's tennis team (17-5, 4-1) defeated the Air Force Falcons 7-0, making today's match the eighth where the Cougars have blanked their opponent this season.
"We played a lot better today than we did yesterday," head coach Craig Manning said. "All the girls just seemed so much more focused today and really came out and played well."
Going undefeated in doubles play, the Cougars went up 1-0 as they took the doubles point by winning at all three spots. Finishing their match first was No. 3 seed Rebecca Pike and Lu Oswald as the duo took care of their opponents in a quick 8-1 final.
At the No. 1 doubles spot, Barbora Zahnova and Sofia Holden finished off Laura Nigro and Gina Black of Air Force in an 8-5 decision just after Cougars Lauren Jones and Hadley MacFarlane rallied for their 8-4 win over the Falcons.
In singles play, BYU grabbed the first set in all six matches only splitting one at the No. 3 spot where freshman Lauren Jones battled past Karissa Walker in the tiebreaker to seal the Cougar shutout.
With smart shots and impressive play at the No. 1 singles position, Zahnova blanked Nigro in two straight as teammate Holden edged Air Force's Katherine Bushey at No. 2 in a 6-4, 6-1 verdict.
On the No. 4 and 5 courts, Pike and MacFarlane closed out their matches in two straight sets posting 6-1, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-1 wins respectively.
The match was highlighted by seniors Lu Oswald and Barbora Zahnova. In Oswald's final home match ever, she had a big win over Liza Vaccaro of Air Force with a score of 6-3, 6-2. A tribute was offered for both of the outgoing seniors at the end of the match and both girls were given their senior books.
"Lu and Barbora played so well today," Manning said. "We will certainly miss them as players but it will be nice to have Lu helping out as a fifth year next season."
The women's team will have two final matches on the road before competing in the Mountain West Conference tournament in San Diego on April 29-May 1st. The team will be in Laramie on April 23rd against Wyoming followed by its final conference match on April 24th against Colorado State.
BYU v. Air Force
Zahnova/Holden (BYU) def. Nigro/Black (AFA) 8-5
MacFarlane/Jones (BYU) def. Bushey/Walker (AFA) 8-4
Pike/Oswald (BYU) def. Tomkie/Vacarro (AFA) 8-1
BYU wins doubles point
Barbora Zahnova (BYU) v. Laura Nigro (AFA) 6-0, 6-0
Sofia Holden (BYU) v. Katherine Bushey (AFA) 6-4, 6-1
Lauren Jones (BYU) v. Karissa Walker (AFA) 6-1, 4-6 (10-6)
Rebecca Pike (BYU) v. Gina Black (AFA) 6-1, 6-2
Hadley MacFarlane (BYU) v. Katie Tomkie (AFA) 6-1, 6-1
Lu Oswald (BYU) v. Liza Vaccaro (AFA) 6-3, 6-2
PROVO -- After blanking its last two opponents in the Barbara Chandler Classic in Boise, Idaho, the No. 17 BYU women's tennis team (16-4, 3-0) will play host to conference foes New Mexico on Friday and Air Force on Saturday.
The Cougars have played their last four matches on the road and are ready to be home for these two conference matches.
The No. 32 New Mexico Lobos have a perfect 7-0 home record after sweeping conference rivals Colorado State Sunday 7-0. As they head to Provo for the conference match-up against BYU, Senior Sandy Lukowski will lead the Lobos as the No. 1 seed.
The 13-6 women of the Air Force Academy are 1-1 in conference play as they fell to Colorado State Saturday before defeating Wyoming Sunday in a 4-3 decision in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Both matches on Friday and Saturday will begin at Noon and played on the outdoor tennis courts.