Talon Hatch | Posted: 23 Feb 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU opens WCC play with 4-2 win over Portland

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PORTLAND, Ore. — The BYU women’s tennis team opened West Coast Conference play Friday on the road with a 4-2 victory over Portland.

“I am proud with how the girls fought today,” BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. “We had to battle through a tough environment and a good team. Everyone really stepped up and performed well. It's a strong start to our conference play.”

Sophomores Kate Cusick and Polina Malykh at No. 2 doubles, earned BYU’s (4-2, 1-0 WCC) first doubles victory of the morning against Portland’s (1-5, 0-1 WCC) Anna Oberg and Lourdes Ramalle. Cusick and Malykh got an early 4-1 lead against the Pilots. Oberg and Ramalle fought back to close the gap, but the Cougars held the duo to get a 6-4 win.

At No. 3 doubles junior Taylah Beckman and sophomore Samantha Smith defeated Radina Dimitrova and Nina Nikitovic of Portland 6-3 to win the doubles point for BYU. With two doubles victories secured, senior Mayci Jones and freshman Anastasia Abramyan in No. 1 doubles did not finish their match against Raphaelle Leblanc and Jelena Lukic.

Jones faced Lukic again at No. 1 singles and after losing the first set 6-3, she returned to win the second 7-5. The two battled, changing the lead constantly throughout the remainder of the match, but Jones came up short, losing 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 and tying the score at 1-1.

Cusick faced off against Leblanc in No. 3 singles for one of the most intense matches of the day. Leblanc won the first set 7-5, but Cusick charged back in the second with 7-6 (3) win in the tiebreaker to send the match to a third set.  Tied 5-5 in the final set, both players kept the score back and forth until Cusick finally won the last two games to comeback and win 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-5 and give the Cougars a 2-1 lead.

Abramyan took the first set, playing in No. 2 singles versus Dimitrova, but ultimately fell in a close match 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 and the score was again tied 2-2. At No. 5 singles, Smith put BYU back on top by a point with a solid 6-3, 6-2 win over Nikitovic.

In her first singles match of the regular season, Beckman played the Pilot’s Emily Soares in No. 6 singles. After winning a close first set, Beckman took the second convincingly to earn a 7-5, 6-1 victory and a 4-2 BYU win. The No. 5 singles match of Malykh and Ramalle did not finish.

The Cougars travel to Spokane, Washington for another WCC matchup against the Bulldogs of Gonzaga. The match will begin at 11:00 a.m. PST. Live stats and live streaming can be found on BYU’s online schedule.

Doubles

  1. Mayci Jones/Anastasia Abramyan vs Raphaelle Leblanc/Jelena Lukic unfinished 
  2. Kate Cusick/Polina Malykh def. Anna Oberg/Lourdes Ramalle 6-4
  3. Taylah Beckman/Samantha Smith def.  Radina Dimitrova/Nina Nikitovic 6-3

Singles

  1. Jelena Lukic def. Mayci Jones 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
  2. Radina Dimitrova def. Anastasia Abramyan 3-6. 6-4, 6-4
  3. Kate Cusick def. Raphaella LeBlanc 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-5
  4. Polina Malykh vs Lourdes Ramalle unfinished 
  5. Samantha Smith def. Nina Nikitovic 6-3, 6-2
  6. Taylah Beckman def. Emily Soares 7-5, 6-1

Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3) Singles ( 1, 3, 2, 5, 6)

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