Cougars Get First Road Win
LEWISTON -- In their first road match of the season the No. 21 BYU women's tennis team weathered the home crowd and beat Washington State 4-3 on Friday. The win pulls BYU to 2-0 and drops Washington State to 2-1 on the season.
"The home crowd is the great equalizer," Coach Craig Manning said. "We were in control early, but had to fight through their team being cheered on by their fans to pull out the win."
BYU started out hot, playing great in doubles and taking the point quickly. They were partly motivated by the return of Jenni Miccoli, who made her first appearance of the season after sitting out the fall with an injury.
"It was great to get Jenni back after going without her for so long," Manning said. "Getting healthy and having the team back together definitely helped today."
After taking the doubles point, BYU looked like it would run away with the match as it pulled away to an impressive 3-0 lead on Washington State behind the play of Senior Olga Boulytcheva and sophomore Anastasia Sourkova. Boulytcheva, who is ranked No. 33 in the nation, faced No. 59 Ekaterina Burduli on court one, and although Burduli played good tennis, Boulytcheva was able to take control early and rolled to a two-set victory 6-4, 6-2. At the same time, Sourkova wrapped up her match in a quick two sets as well, 6-2, 6-1.
From there things got rough for BYU, as they dropped a match and allowed Washington State to claw its way back. The Cougars from Washington had another teammate at that point, as the home-court became their ally and they used it to their advantage. BYU bent but refused to break, and finally came out with the victory when Dolly Chang beat Aleksandra Cekic in an exciting two-set tiebreaker 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).
"It was exciting to see how the girls were able to focus and play through during the match, especially since it's so early in the season." Manning said. "Now that we're starting to feel things out and see how good we are we can start working on getting better."
The BYU Cougars travel to Seattle, Wash. Saturday for a date with the No. 25 Washington Huskies at 12 p.m.
BYU v.s. Washington State
BYU 4 WSU 3
1.Jones/Chang (BYU) def. Ring/Toth (WSU), 8-4
2.Boulytcheva/Holden (BYU) def. Burduli/Stefanova (WSU), 8-3
3.Sourkova/Miccoli (BYU) def. Cekic/van de Ven (WSU), 8-2
1.No.33 Olga Boulytcheva (BYU) def. No.59 Ekaterina Burduli (WSU), 6-4, 6-2
2.Amy Toth (WSU) def. No. 95 Lauren Jones (BYU), 6-4, 6-1
3.Anastasia Sourkova (BYU) def. Maria Ring (WSU), 6-2, 6-1
4.Marjolein van de Ven (WSU) def. Sofia Holden (BYU), 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6)
5.Dolly Change (BYU) def. Aleksandra Cekic (WSU), 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
6.Aleksandra Stefanova (WSU) def. Rana El Derwy (BYU) 7-6, 6-2
Cougars Hit The Road
PROVO, Utah (Jan.18, 2006) -- After a strong showing against Utah State in their season opener last weekend, the BYU women's tennis team takes its show on the road for the first time as they take on Washington State and #25 Washington Jan. 20 and 21.
"These are good teams who are tough at home, " Coach Craig Manning said. "These are good early matches for us because they let us see how we play against good teams on their own courts. They will give us a good indication of where we sit."
The Cougars currently sit at 1-0, and feel confident they will perform well in their first road trip of the season. Manning said all the pieces of the team are falling into place, especially now that Jenni Miccoli and Sofia Holden are returning to the team. Due to injuries, Miccoli sat out the fall season and Holden did not play in the season-opener.
Getting those two back is big for the team, as Holden played a key role in the Cougars' conference championship run last year and Miccoli and doubles partner Anastasia Sourkova were ranked No. 15 nationally in preseason polls. Manning said he will play them in different positions than they played last year, but that his team is fine with that.
"It's amazing to have that kind of attitude on the team," Manning said. "This is a real team, not a group of individuals. It's a lot of fun."
BYU first plays Washington State Friday Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. They take on #25 Washington Saturday Jan. 21 at 12 p.m.