Washington State Upsets No. 30 BYU
PROVO -- The No. 30 BYU women's tennis team hosted Washington State Friday and lost, 5-2, in BYU's last match before the National Team Indoor Championships.
BYU's day looked bright after dominating the doubles competition. The team won all three matches, allowing WSU to win only eight games total between the three matches. However, five of the six singles matches went to WSU, and three of those were in straight sets.
"I'm glad we lost, to be honest," said BYU head coach Craig Manning. "This team wins so much that everyone is just so tight all the time. I hope now everyone will just loosen up and play like they have nothing to lose and stop caring about the wins and the rankings. We just need to play tennis."
The marquis match of the day featured BYU's top senior Lauren Jones versus No. 85 Ekaterina Burduli of Washington State. In September the two faced each other at the BYU Invitational, and Burduli won in a three-set tiebreak. Friday's match proved to be just as intense as the first time the two met.
The first set went to Jones when she broke Burduli at 5-4 to win the set. Jones then broke Burduli again in the second set to go up 3-1. Burduli returned the favor and broke Jones. Both players continued to break each other's serves until Burduli held serve and tied the match at four apiece. Burduli broke Jones again to take her first lead of the match, but Jones broke Burduli back again and tied the match at five. Jones had four double faults in the next game, allowing Burduli the easy break, and Burduli won the set 7-5 after holding serve.
Burduli picked up in the third set where she left off in the second and broke Jones for the fifth and sixth consecutive times to go up 3-0. Jones, down but not out, battled back to 3-2, but was broken for the seventh time in eight games to go down 5-2. Again, Jones worked some momentum her way and pulled the set back to 5-4 but lost the last game in four straight points to lose the set and the match, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Sofia Holden was the only BYU player to win her singles match, and she did so in fine fashion, 6-3, 6-0. Anastasia Surkova, reigning Mountain West Conference Player of the
Week, practiced only once this week due to illness and did not have the energy to pull out the "w" at the No. 2 spot. The loss marked only her second on the year, dating back to the fall season and excluding the default she had at the Regional Championships because of a match on Sunday.
The Cougars' next match will be at the National Team Indoors at the University of Wisconsin with the tournament starting on Thursday. The tournament consists of 16 of the top teams in the nation.
"It is going to be tough, but now we can go into nationals much more loose," Manning said. "Today was just one of those days. That's all it was; no big deal."
BYU vs. Washington State
1. Surkova/Miccoli (BYU) def. Burduli/Van de Ven (WSU) 8-3
2. Jones/Holden (BYU) def. Toth/Spicer (WSU) 8-0
3. Doerr/Chang (BYU) def. Selaru/Stefanova 8-5
1. Ekaterina Burduli (WSU) def. Lauren Jones (BYU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
2. Amy Toth (WSU) def. Anastasia Surkova (BYU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Marjolein Van de Ven (WSU) def. Jennifer Miccoli (BYU) 7-5, 6-3
4. Bianca Selaru (WSU) def. Kristina Doerr (BYU) 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (2)
5. Sofia Holden (BYU) def. Aleksandra Stefanova (WSU) 6-3, 6-0
6. Aleksandra Cekic (WSU) def. Dolly Chang (BYU) 6-4, 6-1
Washington State wins 5-2
Surkova Named Player of the Week; Men Go On the Road
PROVO -- Junior Anastasia Surkova was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week Wednesday. The next time she will be in action is at home on Friday against Washington State while the men start a southern-California swing against UC Irvine on Thursday.
Wednesday marked the first of the Player-of-the-Week awards for the 2007 season. Surkova earned the award with wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles position last weekend, beating Denver's Annette Aksdal, 6-1, 6-2, and Washington's Tara Simpson, 6-3, 0-6, 6-1. Surkova also went 2-0 in doubles action, teaming up with Jenny Miccoli and Kristina Doerr at the No. 1 position to post wins over Denver, 8-4, and Washington, 8-3.
Friday's match against Washington State may feature a rematch of the championship match from the BYU Invitation that took place in September. That match featured BYU's Lauren Jones losing a close, three-set tiebreaker to then No. 47 Eka Burduli of Washington State. The match will begin at noon and admission is free.
"This match will probably be a tougher match than we faced in either of the two we played last weekend," head coach Craig Manning said. "We're excited."
Thursday marks the first of three matches in as many days for the men's team. The first challenge the Cougars will face will be UC Irvine, followed by perennial powerhouse and alma mater of head coach Brad Pearce, UCLA, on Friday and UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
"We were disappointed last weekend at the Regional Playoff, but we can't cry over spilled milk," Pearce said. "This is going to be a tough weekend, but we just have to come out hard from the beginning."