BYU Women's tennis 2019-2020 season review
PROVO, Utah – The BYU women’s tennis team ended the 2019-20 season with an 8-3 record in regular-season play while also competing in several fall tournaments.
As with most universities throughout the country, the Cougars ended their season heading into WCC play due to health concerns from the Coronavirus pandemic.
BYU was coming off a 4-3 home win over Arizona and was scheduled to open up West Coast Conference action hosting St. Mary's on March 14 when the season was canceled.
“First off, we are hoping our fans and Cougar family are safe and healthy during these unpredictable times,” BYU head coach Holly Parkinson Hasler said. "The last few weeks have been difficult, but if there is one thing we learned as a team this past year, it's that we can get through anything together. The girls have so much to be proud of. While it was an unfortunate ending, we were able to see tremendous growth towards what our program is becoming. We want to thank our players, staff, athletic department and fans for their continuous support. The future of BYU women's tennis is bright and I am grateful and excited to be a part of it."
BYU claimed eight wins in dual match play, including decisive victories over Utah State, Grand Canyon University, Houston and the University of Arizona. In their biggest upset of the season, the Cougars beat No. 33 University of Denver 4-3 at home.
In the come-from-behind 4-3 win at New Mexico, freshman Helen Jiao clinched the road win for BYU at the No. 6 singles position beating UNM's Danielle Quevedo in three sets and a tiebreaker 6-0, 0-6, 7-6 (8-6).
BYU also recorded victories over Weber State and the University of Idaho while going 3-1 at home and 4-2 on the road.
The Cougars compete in three preseason tournaments including the Cal Fall Invitational, the ITA Regional Championships and the CSUN Invitational. The team also participated in the Hawaii Invitational in January before beginning regular season play.
At the Cal Fall Invitational, Emma Jewell advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA White Singles flight, while doubles team Leah Heimuli and Kate Cusick Truman advanced to the finals of ITA White Doubles. At the ITA Regional Championships, freshman Helen Jiao advanced all the way to the finals of Flight B. At the Hawaii Invitational, BYU snagged two doubles wins and six singles victories to lead them into their regular season on a high note.
The following players competed in the six singles slots for the majority of the season:
- Kate Cusick Truman
- Leah Heimuli
- Polina Malykh and Madeline Almeida
- Emilee Astle and Anastasia Abramyan
- Helen Jiao and Emilee Astle
- Emma Jewell and Helen Jiao
Truman played at the No. 1 singles position during her senior season. She compiled a 3-8 record. Junior Leah Heimuli played at No. 2 singles during the year, recording a 7-5 record.
Malykh also maintained an impressive record in singles, holding a 6-3 record overall at the No. 3 singles position.
At No. 4 and 5 singles, Astle finished the season with an 11-6 overall record, 10-2 of that record coming from dual match play. Astle ended her season on an eight-match win streak.
Jiao compiled a 12-6 overall record and a 7-4 record in dual match play competing at No. 5 and 6 singles.
Jewell played the majority of the year in the No. 6 singles position where she tallied a 6-5 record overall and 1-3 in dual match play.
The following student-athletes competed in the three doubles slots for the majority of the season:
- Kate Cusick Truman and Leah Heimuli
- Emilee Astle and Polina Malykh
- Helen Jiao and Emma Jewell
Senior Cusick Truman and junior Heimuli claimed a 14-4 record overall, with a 9-3 record in dual match play competing in the top spot in doubles play for the Cougars.
At the No. 2 position, Polina Malykh and Emilee Astle held a 10-2 record, with a 9-1 record in dual match play. Their longest win streak as a duo was six matches.
In the doubles lineup at the No. 3 position, Jiao and Jewell compiled a 1-4 record.
Despite losing seniors Malykh and Cusick Truman, coach Parkinson Hasler has a lot of positives to look forward to in 2020-21. The Cougars return seven players that are poised to lead the team to a winning and successful season next year and into the future.