Cougars fall to the Pioneers 5-2
PROVO, Utah -- BYU (3-2) suffered a tough 5-2 loss to Denver (5-2) Friday afternoon at the Indoor Tennis Courts.
"I loved how we came out in doubles today. We did a great job taking control and playing confident," BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. "We had opportunities on every court today in singles but didn't convert. It's important for us to learn from this match so we can take advantage of our opportunities moving forward."
Sophomore Polina Malykh, playing in No. 5 singles, remains undefeated in regular season singles play (5-0) and earned the Cougars' only singles victory of the day.
Junior Taylah Beckman and sophomore Samantha Smith, in No. 3 doubles, gave the Cougars their first win Friday. The duo took on Denver's Anna Riedmiller and Gracia Mboko and controlled play throughout the entire match, winning 6-1.
Sophomores Kate Cusick and Malykh, playing No. 2 doubles, put BYU up on the board 1-0, after a convincing 6-2 win over Bianca Mok and Camile Verden-Anderson of Denver.
In No. 1 doubles, senior Mayci Jones and freshman Anastasia Abramyan competed in a battle against Denver's Julia O'Loughlin and Hada Chang. Although BYU had already earned the doubles' point for the match, both teams fought it out. Each of the final two games came down to deciding point, but the Pioneers came out on top 7-5.
Jones faced O'Loughlin once again in the No. 1 singles slot and kept it close through the first set. After going down 3-1, Jones fought back to tie it up at 5-5 until O'Loughlin took the final two games to win the first set. O'Loughlin kept control and won the second set also, winning 7-5, 6-2 to give the Pioneers their first points of the match.
Cusick competed against Chang in No. 4 singles, but lost in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to give Denver the 2-1 lead over BYU. Abramyan in No. 2 singles battled against Mok to try and tie the match back up. After losing the first set, Abramyan kept it close and sent the second set into a tiebreaker, but fell short 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). The Pioneers went up 3-1 over the Cougars.
Freshman Madeline Almeida battled Arisha Ladhani at No. 3 singles in one of the closest matches of the afternoon. In the first set, the two were tied up 4-4 until Almeida took over and won the set 6-3.
However, Ladhani answered back and won the second set 6-3. In the final set, Almeida fought to keep BYU's winning hopes alive in a back and forth battle but came up short, losing each of the final two games by a deciding point to lose the match 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
At No. 6 singles, Smith went up against Verden-Anderson and lost in another close one for BYU 2-6, 6-3, 10-6. Malykh ended the match on a high note for BYU, beating Mboko 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 to remain perfect on the season in singles play.
BYU travels next week to compete against Portland and Gonzaga to open West Coast Conference play. The Cougars take on the Pilots Friday, Feb. 23 at 10:00 a.m. PST and the Bulldogs the following day Saturday, Feb. 24 at 11:00 a.m. PST. Check the team's online schedule for live stat information.
1. Julia O'Loughlin (DEN) def. Mayci Jones(BYU) 7-5, 6-2
2. Bianca Mok (DEN) def. Anastasia Abramyan (BYU) 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
3. Arisha Ladhani (DEN) def. Madeline Almeida (BYU) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
4. Hada Chang (DEN) def. Kate Cusick (BYU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
5. Polina Malykh (BYU) def. Gracia Mboko (DEN) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4
6. Camille V-Anderson (DEN) def. Samantha Smith (BYU) 2-6, 6-3, 10-6
1. Julia O'Loughlin/Hada Chang (DEN) def. Mayci Jones/Anastasia Abramyan (BYU) 7-5
2. Kate Cusick/Polina Malykh (BYU) def. Bianca Mok/Camille V-Anderson (DEN) 6-2
3. Samantha Smith/Taylah Beckman (BYU) def. Anna Riedmiller/Gracia Mboko (DEN) 6-1
BYU women's tennis 3-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,4,2,3,6,5)