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Saint Mary's College of California
Talon Hatch | Posted: 26 Apr 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Talon Hatch

Saint Mary's gets revenge in narrow 4-3 upset victory over BYU


CLAREMONT, Calif. – No. 5-seeded Saint Mary's got its revenge against No. 4-seeded BYU in the first round of the West Coast Conference Championship Thursday with a tightly contested 4-3 victory to advance to Friday's second-round play.

"Tough match today," BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. "We got off to a great start winning the doubles point like we wanted. The No. 3 doubles team really showed up and gave us a quick win followed by No. 1 doubles. Singles was a battle, back and forth. We fought hard and had our opportunities, but just came up short. It’s a tough one to end on this season, but we will learn from it and keep our heads up moving forward."

Junior Taylah Beckman and sophomore Samantha Smith got BYU off to good start as they competed against Saint Mary's Clementine Clement and Abuane Ville, earning a 6-2 victory to begin doubles play. In No. 2 doubles, the Gaels' Emma Critser and Kareen Manji beat sophomores Kate Cusick and Polina Malykh 6-2 to leave the doubles point up to the No. 1 position

BYU's No. 41-ranked doubles duo, senior Mayci Jones and freshman Anastasia Abramyan, faced off against No. 37-ranked Hind Abdelouahid and Mariia Kozyreva of Saint Mary's. The Cougars prevailed and upset the higher-ranked Gaels 6-3 to win the doubles point.

The Gaels' Manji in No. 4 singles responded well to open singles, defeating Cusick 6-0, 6-0 to tie things back up again. In No. 1 singles, Jones and Kozyreva battled to give their team the lead in a tight match. Jones gave a fight, but Kozyreva prevailed to win 6-4, 6-3 and put ahead Saint Mary's 2-1.

Freshman Madeline Almeida answered right back for the Cougars in No. 5 singles against Critser. The match was close from start to finish, and after Almeida took the first, Critser narrowed the gap in the second set to tie it up 5-5. However, Almeida prevailed the comeback to win the match 6-4, 7-5 and tie the score once more at 2-2.

In No. 3 singles, Saint Mary's took the lead once again. Malykh competed against Clement and after dropping the first set, fought back to win the second before ultimately losing the third set narrowly, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 and giving the Gaels a 3-2 lead.

Down a point once more, Abramyan gave BYU life again in No. 1 singles versus Abdelouahid in one of the tightest matches of the day. After losing the first set and starting the second down 3-0, the freshman battled all the way back to win the last two sets and win the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to even the match up at 3-3.

Just as the year before, when Smith faced Saint Mary's in the decisive match of the first round, the sophomore again played with the match on the line in a tough matchup against Vanessa Nommensen in No. 6 singles. The match was back and forth throughout its entirety, as both players traded shots. Smith won the first set, but Nommensen came back to win a tiebreaker in the second and force a third set. In the final set of the day, Nommensen completed the comeback and earned a 5-7, 7-6 (8), 6-0 and a 4-3 win to advance the Gaels to the second round.

Saint Mary's will compete against No. 2 seeded Gonzaga Friday at 2:00 p.m PST.


Match Results:

Saint Mary's 4, BYU 3



1. Mariia Kozyreva (SMC) def. Mayci Jones (BYU)  6-4, 6-3

2. Anastasia Abramyan (BYU) def. Hind Abdelouahid (SMC) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4

3. Clementine Clement (SMC) def. Polina Malykh (BYU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

4. Kareena Manji (SMC) def. Kate Cusick (BYU) 6-0, 6-0

5. Madeline Almeida (BYU) def. Emma Critser (SMC) 6-4, 7-5

6. Vanessa Nommensen (SMC) def. Samantha Smith (BYU)  5-7, 7-6 (8), 6-0



1.  Mayci Jones/Anastasia Abramyan (BYU) def. Mariia Kozyreva/Hind Abdelouahid (SMC) 6-3

2. Kareena Manji/Emma Critser (SMC) def. Kate Cusick/Polina Malykh (BYU) 6-2

3. Taylah Beckman/Samantha Smith def. Aubane Ville/Clementine Clement (SMC) def. (BYU) 6-2


Match Notes:

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,1, 5, 3, 2, 6)


Talon Hatch | Posted: 25 Apr 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Talon Hatch

No. 4 seed BYU takes on No. 5 seed Saint Mary's to open WCC tournament play


CLAREMONT, Calif. – The BYU women's tennis team earns the No. 4 seed in the West Coast Conference Championship and will take on No. 5 seed Saint Mary's in the first round Thursday, April 26 at 1:00 p.m. PST.

The Cougars (13-8, 6-3 WCC) will compete against the Gaels (12-8, 6-3 WCC) for the second time in the last five days. In the final regular season match last Saturday, BYU won a 4-3 battle over Saint Mary's after two big comeback wins in No. 1 and No. 2 singles.

In similar fashion, at the 2017 WCC tournament, the No. 6 seed Cougars upset the No. 3 seed Gaels in another 4-3 win to advance to the second round. With the match tied 3-3, then freshman Samantha Smith clinched at fourth singles to help BYU defeat Saint Mary's in a narrow victory.

The winner of Thursday's match will take on No. 1 seeded Pepperdine the following day at 2:00 p.m. PST. For the full tournament schedule, checkout WCC's website.


BYU enters the tournament on a two-match win streak and its highest season winning percentage in 10 seasons. The Cougars surprised the league officials throughout the season. In the WCC preseason selections, BYU was predicted to finish sixth, but overcame naysayers to finish in fourth place.

Freshman Anastasia Abramyan in No. 2 singles was just named WCC Single Player of the Week and also won WCC Doubles Player of the Week for the second time this season with teammate Mayci Jones. The No. 1 doubles duo was ranked No. 41 in the latest ITA/Oracle rankings and have a 8-3 record. BYU hopes to use this success as momentum going into tournament play.

Saint Mary's

The Gaels' freshmen duo, Hind Abdelouahid and Mariia Kozyreva, are 10-5 as the top doubles pair. No. 37 in the latest Oracle/ITA rankings, the duo is 6-4 in their last 10 matches. In their last meeting against Abramyan and Jones, the two lost to BYU 6-1.

Saint Mary's earned an notable 4-3 victory over No. 2 seed Gonzaga to win four straight before losing to BYU last Saturday. 

All live scoring links can be found on the WCC website.