First Conference Win for Cougars
PROVO -- BYU women’s tennis earned its first conference win of the season with an upset of No. 74 San Diego State Thursday. The Cougars’ 5-2 win improves their record to 5-10 overall and 1-1 in Mountain West play.
“This was a great performance for us,” BYU coach Joey Johnson said. “We played solid from top to bottom. I was happy with the result and the effort by the players.”
Kristina Doerr and McCall Jones downed their Aztec challengers 8-2 in doubles play to start the match. SDSU responded with an 8-5 win at the No. 2 position, but BYU came back to win the last match and the point.
Doerr continued her impressive performance in singles where she overcame No. 78 Alicia Aguilar on court two. The senior trailed her opponent 5-2 before winning five consecutive games to take the first set. Doerr then easily won the second and tallied point two for the Cougars.
Fellow senior Chie Hayaska was next off the court with a straight-set win at the No. 3 spot. No. 52 Jones sealed the victory for BYU and snapped the team’s four-match losing streak with a 6-2, 6-3 defeat of No. 50 Julia Trunk.
“The girls are getting tougher throughout the season,” Johnson said. “They worked hard in the past week and been consistent in practice.”
SDSU notched its first point when Liza Ezhova retired after dropping the first set. The Aztecs followed with a straight-set win on court six. Elle Carney fell in the first set 7-6 but battled back to win the second 7-5. Because the match result was set, a 10-point tiebreak was played rather than a full third set. More than three hours after the match began, Carney earned the victory (12-10) and ended the contest at 5-2.
“We hope to keep this momentum as conference play progresses,” Johnson said.
BYU will return to the court Friday to face No. 29 UNLV and honor its two seniors in the last home match of the season. Play begins at 10 a.m. at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts, located south of the Smith Fieldhouse. Admission is free and the team will provide pizza for fans.
No. 74 San Diego State-2
1. Doerr/Jones (BYU) def. Ellison/Ellison (SDSU) 8-2
2. Aguilar/Trunk (SDSU) def. Hayasaka/Young (BYU) 8-5
3. Carney/Ezhova (BYU) def. Ciofii/Wais (SDSU) 8-5
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3,
1. No. 52 M. Jones (BYU) def. No. 50 J. Trunk (SDSU) 6-2, 6-3
2. K. Doerr (BYU) def. No. 78 A. Aguilar (SDSU) 7-5, 6-2
3. C. Hayaska (BYU) def. J. Wais (SDSU) 6-2, 7-5
4. E. Carney (BYU) def. R. Ellison (SDSU) 6-7, 7-5, 12-10
5. S. Ellison (SDSU) def. L. Ezhova (BYU) 6-3, ret.
6. O. Colman (SDSU) def. A. Young (BYU) 6-1, 6-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1, 5, 6, 4
Last Home Matches of the Season
PROVO -- Mountain West Conference play will continue for the BYU women’s tennis team this week at home. The Cougars will host No. 74 San Diego State Thursday and No. 29 UNLV Friday.
“This is an opportunity for our seniors to go out playing their best tennis,” BYU coach Joey Johnson said. “It’s surreal for them to realize that this experience is coming to an end.”
The 4-10 Cougars will look to improve their 0-1 conference record after falling to No. 46 Utah last week. McCall Jones remains the only ranked player for BYU coming in at No. 52. She and Megan Price fell two spots to No. 28 in doubles after not competing together in the last three matches.
“Any time a team goes through a difficult year, the challenge is always in being able to press forward and use it to lift your level of play,” Johnson said.
San Diego State is the first challenger for the Cougars. The Aztecs (7-7, 0-1) dropped their first conference match of the season last week to UNLV. SDSU has two singles players ranked in No. 50 Julia Trunk and No. 78 Alicia Aguilar. Last year, the Aztecs defeated BYU 5-2 in Las Vegas, but the Cougars lead the all-time series 21-17.
Friday brings a talented UNLV squad. The Rebels are 14-2 on the season and 1-0 against MWC opponents after beating SDSU 4-3. Since that match, UNLV earned two more wins, beating UC Irvine and Boise State over the weekend. In the last meeting between the Cougars and Rebels, BYU fell 6-0. Kristina Nedeltcheva and Jana Albers are UNLV’s two ranked players, taking the No. 37 and No. 111 spots, respectively.
“Our goal is to dig as deep as we can as a team,” Johnson said.
Both matches this week will be held at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts, south of the Smith Fieldhouse. First serve is set for noon Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday and admission is free.