BOISE, Idaho – Despite a dominating performance from junior Savannah Ware, BYU women's tennis fell 5-2 against UNLV, Saturday in Boise.
"We played really well at first and second doubles," BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. "We were aggressive and took control against our opponents. Singles was a battle on all of the courts and we were most successful when we remained positive throughout the match."
The Cougars (3-9, 1-1 WCC) jumped out to an early lead after winning the doubles point. Ware and senior Nicolette Poulsen clinched for BYU with a decisive 6-1 win over the Rebels' (14-0, 1-0 MWC) Anna Bogoslavets and Mercedes Lopez Velez. At first doubles, BYU juniors Mayci Jones and Toby Miclat won 6-2 over Carol Zi Yang and Aiwen Zhu.
Ware stayed hot in singles play, finishing first at No. 5 singles and beating UNLV's Reka Szentes 6-1, 6-1, to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead. Miclat, playing No. 2 for the Cougars, fell in three sets and a tiebreaker, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4) to the Rebels' Aiwen Zhu.
"Savannah and Toby both did an excellent job today," Jones said. "Savannah was super positive and that dictated the whole match. Toby battled against a tough opponent until the very last point. Her match was a very high level of play from start to finish."
At No. 3 singles, Poulsen fought hard but also fell in three sets to UNLV's Paola Artiga, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
The Rebels stormed back to win the match by winning five straight singles matches, with Anna Bogoslavets clinching after edging out Natella Nabieva with a 7-6, 7-6 victory at fourth singles. BYU's Jones fell at first singles to Yang, ranked No. 63, 6-4, 7-5, while Taylah Beckman lost at No. 6, 6-4, 6-4 to UNLV's Kotseva.
BYU returns home to face San Diego Saturday, March 19, at 11:00 a.m. MDT at the BYU tennis courts. Admission is free to the public and free pizza will be provided.
UNLV 5, BYU 2
1. Carol Zi Yang (UNLV) def. Mayci Jones (BYU) 6-4, 7-5
2. Aiwen Zhu (UNLV) def. Toby Miclat (BYU) 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
3. Paola Artiga (UNLV) def. Nicolette Poulsen (BYU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
4. Anna Bogoslavets (UNLV) def. Natella Nabieva (BYU) 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4)
5. Savannah Ware (BYU) def. Reka Szentes (UNLV) 6-1, 6-1
6. Iren Kotseva (UNLV) def. Taylah Beckman (BYU) 6-4, 6-4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,6,3,1,4,2)