PROVO -- Playing at No. 21 South Carolina, the No. 35 BYU women's tennis team came up short in its bid for an upset, losing 6-1. The match was closer than the score would indicate, with the Cougars barely losing all three doubles matches and staying competitive in most of the singles matches.
"It was good to see that early in the season we were able to play well," head coach Craig Manning said. "We were in most of the sets."
Elizaveta Khoudoiarova won BYU's only match at the No. 5 spot, defeating Lynn-Yin Tan 7-6(2), 6-2. Brooke Beverley, playing her first competitive tennis since November, lost 6-4, 7-5 to Katarina Markovski at the No. 1 spot after losing in the No. 1 doubles spot 8-6. Beverley teamed with Lindsay Ferrell, who is still feeling the effects of a sore foot, and came very close in their doubles match.
"We could have won the doubles point," Manning said. "We had a lot of sets we could have won, we just couldn't finish them off."
BYU was leading in both the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches, taking 6-4 and 7-5 leads, respectively. But in both matches, the Cougars were unable to hold off comebacks from the Gamecocks and lost each 9-7.
"We can get a lot better than we are right now, but it's early in the season," Manning said. "We'll get better."
BYU will travel and play at No. 5 Georgia tomorrow. The Cougars continue their road trip next week with matches against Northwestern and Wisconsin.
PROVO -- Coming off an impressive 6-1 victory over Mountain West Conference foe Air Force, the BYU women's tennis team, No. 35 in the nation, will take on South Carolina and Georgia this weekend. BYU will play No. 21 South Carolina on Friday and No. 5 Georgia on Saturday.
The Cougars have been plagued by injuries and challenges early in the season. Whether it be Lindsay Ferrell's sore foot or Brooke Beverley's sickness, the Cougars have been able to overcome the obstacles up to this point. But the Cougars are starting to get healthy and will face their toughest challenge so far with this weekend's matches.
"With all the challenges we've had, we're hoping to be competitive," head coach Craig Manning said. "I think we'll be fine and we hope we can play well enough to knock off one or both teams."
There have been some very bright moments for the Cougars this year. Dominique Reynolds won both of her matches Saturday afternoon. Freshman Nicole Schneider, who arrived in America from Australia last week, won her singles match against Air Force and teamed with Elyse Carlson to win the doubles match as well. Manning wasn't sure how big of a role Schneider would play this year, but Schneider came through for the Cougars in the midst of all of the challenges.
"Nicole has been a pleasant surprise for us so far," Manning said.
Beverley, who did not play Saturday against Air Force because of sickness, has been cleared to play in both matches. The Cougars will continue their road trip the next weekend with matches against Big Ten teams Wisconsin and Northwestern.