BYU falls to No. 8 Virginia at ITA Kickoff
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– BYU women's tennis dropped its first match of the season 7-0 against No. 8 Virginia in the first match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend played at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville.
"We came out on our heels in the doubles and Virginia capitalized on us ," BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. "In singles we did a great job competing and fighting, we just couldn't convert key deuce points. We're looking forward to improving and starting out strong in doubles tomorrow against Maryland."
The Cavaliers (2-0) held an early advantage over the Cougars (0-1) after winning the doubles point. BYU's Toby Miclat and Taylah Beckman teamed up at No. 1 doubles but fell 6-0. Nicolette Poulsen and Savannah Ware dropped their matchup at second doubles 6-0.
Virginia continued the momentum in singles and won all six matches in straight sets. Junior Mayci Jones played at the No.1 spot for the Cougars but fell to Danielle Collins 6-3, 6-1, while teammate Miclat, playing third singles, dropped a closely contested first set 7-5 before falling 6-0 in the second set.
Competing in their first intercollegiate dual matches at BYU, freshman Beckman dropped her match 6-2, 6-1, playing sixth singles, while junior college transfer Natella Nabieva lost 6-4, 7-5, in a closely contested battle at the No. 5 spot.
"Natella did a great job fighting until the last point," Jones-Spencer said. "She got behind early in the match but fought back and competed well."
Ware fell 6-2, 6-2, playing at second singles, while Poulsen fell 6-4, 6-1, at the No. 4 spot.
The Cougars continue play at the ITA Kickoff Weekend Saturday in the consolation match against No. 66 Maryland (0-1) at 10:30 a.m. EST at the Boar's Head Sports Club. Live stats will be available through the schedule page.
#8 Virginia 7, BYU 0
1. No. 4 Danielle Collins (UVA) def. Mayci Jones (BYU), 6-3, 6-1
2. No. 8 Julia Elbaba (UVA) def. Savannah Ware (BYU), 6-2, 6-2
3. No. 32 Skylar Morton (UVA) def. Toby Miclat (BYU), 7-5, 6-0
4. No. 30 Stephanie Nauta (UVA) def. Nicolette Poulsen (BYU), 6-4, 6-1
5. Victoria Olivarez (UVA), Natella Nabieva (BYU), 6-4,
6. Meghan Kelley (UVA)def. Taylah Beckman (BYU), 6-2, 6-1
1. No. 19 Collins/Kelley (UVA) def. Miclat/Beckman (BYU), 6-0
2. Elbaba/Morton (UVA) def. Poulsen/Ware (BYU), 6-0
3. Nauta/Olivarez (UVA) susp. Jones/Nabieva (BYU), 5-1
Order of Finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,3,4,2,1,5)
BYU visits Virginia to kick off 2016 season
PROVO, Utah– BYU women’s tennis will open the 2016 season with two matches this weekend as part of the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Charlottesville, VA.
The Cougars’ first match will be against host No. 7 Virginia, Friday, Jan. 22 at 1:30 p.m. EST following the match between No. 55 Columbia and No. 66 Maryland. Play will continue on Saturday with a consolation match at 10:30 a.m. and a finals match at 1:30 p.m. All matches will be played at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.
“We want to start off strong with our first match against Virginia,” BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. “It will be a tough match and we’ve been working to make sure that we’re match-ready so we can go out there and compete. It’s going to be a great opportunity for us.”
The Cougars begin the season looking to build off of a fifth place WCC finish with a 5-5 conference mark and a 10-13 overall record last year. This season the Cougars’ schedule features seven currently ranked opponents including Texas Tech (17), William & Mary (46), Utah (51), Portland (67), Fresno State (54), Pepperdine (19) and Saint Mary’s (45).
“Most of the teams on our schedule are ranked. We’ve got a tough schedule but we have a great team," Jones-Spencer said. "We proved last year that we can compete against the best and now we just have to be a little more consistent. Every match we play will be against somebody important and we’ll have the chance to get back into the rankings.”
Senior Nicolette Poulsen and junior Savannah Ware led the Cougars in fall play after earning a No. 33 ranking in the preseason doubles poll and participating in the Riviera/ITA Doubles Championship in October. Last season, the duo earned All-WCC Honorable Mention in doubles after posting a 12-7 record and Ware earned All-WCC Honorable Mention in singles after posting a team-high 17-4 overall singles record and going 7-2 in WCC play.
Juniors Toby Miclat and Mayci Jones are also returning for the Cougars. Miclat earned All-WCC Honorable Mention honors after an overall singles record of 15-7 and an 8-1 WCC record. Miclat was also featured on ESPN in the fall while competing in the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, FL.
The Cougars’ lineup will feature several new faces this season including junior college transfer Natella Nabieva and freshman Taylah Beckman of Grafton, Australia. Nabieva, a native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, finished last season ranked No. 6 in singles by the NJCAA.
“We have a great group this season,” Jones-Spencer said. “We have some good leadership this year as a team and I think we’re a little more mature and the girls are focused.”
Following the ITA Kickoff Weekend, the Cougars will return home to face the University of Denver on Friday, Feb. 6 in the BYU indoor Tennis Courts.