Cougars Beat Aggies in Season Opener
PROVO, Utah (Jan.13, 2006) -- The No. 22 BYU women's tennis team started their season off strong Friday night, beating Utah State 6-1 at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts. The win puts the Cougars at 1-0 on the season.
Coach Craig Manning said early season matches like this one are important because they allow the team to see what it needs to do to improve. He said now his team must focus on perfecting its play.
"We need to work on our fundamentals," Manning said. "Now it's just a matter of doing what we do better."
The Cougars started the match playing very well. In doubles, Anastasia Sourkova and Lauren Jones coasted to an 8-1 win with Dolly Chang and Olga Boulytcheva following suit, and winning their match 8-2 to seal the doubles point for BYU.
It was more of the same for BYU in singles, as five Cougars finished their opponents off in straight sets.
The longest match of the day came down to a three-set tiebreaker played by BYU's Breanna Williamson and Utah State's Andrea Barker. Barker came out strong in the first set, taking control early and winning 6-3. Williamson, however, came back quickly in the second set and played her way to a 6-2 win. The two battled point-for-point in the third set and took it to a tiebreaker. They continued exchanging points back-and-forth until Barker was able to pull away and win 11-9.
Manning said he was happy with the way his team performed, and even though they started off a little tight they seemed to loosen up as they played.
"Everyone got better as the match went on," Manning said. "That's what we need."
The Cougars now prepare for a tough part of their schedule, as they will be on the road for their following four matches. They next play Washington State on Jan. 20 at 11 a.m.
BYU USU Winner Score
Boulytcheva Bennion BYU 6-1, 6-0
Jones Smith BYU 6-3, 6-3
Sourkova Anderson BYU 6-1, 6-0
Chang Nelson BYU 6-0, 6-0
Williamson Barker USU 6-3, 2-6, 11-9
El Derwy Monson BYU 6-1, 6-4
BYU USU Winner Score
Sourkova/Jones Bennion/Barker BYU 8-1
Chang/Boulytcheva Monson/Smith BYU 8-2
Williamson/Deters Anderson/Nelson USU 8-1
Cougars Open Season Against Aggies
PROVO -- The defending Mountain West Conference Champion BYU women's tennis team will open the 2006 regular season against Utah State University Jan. 13 at 4 p.m. at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts.
BYU comes into the match having had a successful preseason, highlighted by the team qualifying for the ITA National Indoor Tournament. Even so, coach Craig Manning said the team continues trying to perfect the things it must do to win.
"Right now we're just trying to get going," Manning said. "We need to see where we're at and focus on what we need to do to improve."
Manning said the opening matches are key to the team improving, and important because of the tough schedule the Cougars have in front of them. The team needs to do well early in the season in order to peak at the end of the season during conference play.
Led by lone senior Olga Boulytcheva, who advanced to the final of the Regional Championships and to the quarterfinal round of the National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships during the fall, the Cougars look to get off on the right foot before heading on a four-match road trip that lasts until the end of January.
Rounding out the rest of the Cougar roster are juniors Lauren Jones, who played her way into the main draw of the All-American Championships, Sophia Holden and Hanni Wittenbecher-Deters. Four sophomores will contribute greatly to the team's success this year, including Anastasia Sourkova and Jennifer Miccoli, who finished last season ranked No. 15 in doubles, Dolly Chang, Breanna Williamson and freshman Rana El Derwy.