“We did a really good job in singles today after not playing our best in doubles,” BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. “The girls showed really good energy today which allowed us to win at the top four spots.”
BYU (4-8, 0-1 West Coast Conference) began the comeback with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 win from freshman Samantha Smith on court No. 4 against Lucy Octave of Utah State (9-6, 0-0 Mountain West). Nabieva won next, defeating the Aggies’ Ekaterina Tugarinova 6-4, 7-5 at second singles. With the match on the line, Ware-Avina clinched the win 7-5, 6-4 over the Aggies’ Nini Guensler on court No. 1.
The Cougars fell behind early after the Aggies took the doubles point, but battled back in singles play to tie the score at one after freshman Kate Cusick defeated Monka Van de Vondel 6-3, 6-2. The Aggies looked poised to take the match after establishing a 3-1 advantage, but the Cougars rallied to take each of the three remaining matchups and defend their home court.
BYU continues play this weekend with a home match against the University of Houston on Saturday, March 25 at 9:30 a.m. MDT at the BYU indoor tennis courts. Admission is free to the public and free pizza will be served.
BYU 4, Utah State 3
1. Savannah Ware-Avina (BYU) def. Nini Guensler (USU) 7-5, 6-4
2. Natella Nabieva (BYU) def. Ekaterina Tugarinova (USU) 6-4, 7-5
3. Kate Cusick (BYU) def. Monka Van de Vondel (USU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Samantha Smith (BYU) def. Lucy Octave (USU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4
5. Sabrina Demerath (USU) def. Taylah Beckman (BYU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Hannah Jones (USU) def. Demi Perkinson (BYU) 6-3, 7-5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,5,6,4,2,1)
PROVO, Utah – After three straight road matches, the BYU women's tennis team hosts Utah State and the University of Houston this weekend.
BYU (3-8, 0-1 West Coast Conference) will face Utah State (9-5, 0-0 Mountain West Conference) on Friday, March 24 at noon MDT at the BYU tennis courts. The Cougars will square off against the University of Houston (8-8, 1-2 American Athletic Conference) on Saturday, March 25 at 11 a.m. In the case of inclement weather, Saturday's match will begin at 10 a.m. and will be played at the BYU indoor courts.
BYU looks to snap a three-game losing streak after tough away matches against the University of Hawai'i, Long Beach State and the University of San Diego. The Cougars look to improve on a 3-2 home record and are led by senior Savannah Ware-Avina who has 15 singles victories during the 2016-17 campaign.
Utah State fell 4-3 last week to Georgetown but picked up wins earlier in the season over Seton Hall, UTEP, Montana and Grand Canyon. The Aggies defeated the Cougars in the teams' last meeting in Provo in 2015 by the score of 4-3.
Houston has won three of its past four matches and will face the University of Utah prior to playing BYU on Saturday. The UH Cougars are 4-5 on the road this season with wins against UTEP, New Mexico State, Kansas State and UConn.
Both matches will be played at the BYU outdoor tennis courts, weather permitting. Admission is free and free pizza will be provided to fans attending the match. Live stats are available on the women’s tennis schedule page.