Cougar Effort Not Enough Against Notre Dame
PROVO -- A great effort by the No. 42 BYU women’s tennis team could not earn the upset against No. 14 Notre Dame Saturday. The Cougars fell short to end with a 6-1 loss, dropping them to 3-4 on the season.
“We’re getting better every single match,” BYU coach Craig Manning said. “There’s got to be a point where we break through.”
Notre Dame gained the advantage in pairs play, winning two of three matches to claim the point. Freshmen duo McCall Jones and Megan Price fell 8-3 to Kelcey Tefft and Kali Krisik, who are currently ranked No.4 in the country. Kristina Doerr and Romina Nedakovic won the only doubles match for BYU with a hard-fought 8-7 victory.
“Our doubles weren’t so hot today, and that is something we need to work on,” Manning said.
The Irish started out with the same momentum in singles, winning on courts two and three and coming within one point of the victory. Jones breathed life into the Cougars with an upset on court one against No. 45 Kelcy Tefft, but BYU needed to win all remaining matches to get the win.
Chie Hayasaka easily won her first set 6-1 but fell 6-3 in the second. The team waited as the junior went down 4-0 in the third. Hayasaka was able to come back and force a tiebreak but eventually fell to give the Irish the victory.
Notre Dame secured the remaining two points with wins at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions.
“We’re not doing anything wrong,” Manning said. “We just need more belief in ourselves. They had more confidence down the stretch.”
The Cougars will return to action Wednesday at home against No. 37 Boise State.
1. #4Krisik/Tefft (ND) def. Jones/Price (BYU) 8-3
2. Doerr/Nedakovic def. (BYU) Ciobanu/Frilling (ND) 8-7 (8-5)
3. Mathews/Reilley (ND) def. Carney/Hayasaka (BYU) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. M. Jones (BYU) def. #45K. Tefft (ND) 6-1, 6-3
2. #39 K. Frilling (ND) def. #73 K. Doerr (BYU) 6-4, 6-3
3. #62K. Rafael (ND) def. R. Nedakovic (BYU) 7-5, 6-4
4. #46K. Krisik (ND) def. C. Hayasaka (BYU) 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)*
5. C. Ciobanu (ND) def. M. Price (BYU) 6-3, 7-5
6. S. Mathews (ND) def. E. Carney (BYU) 6-3, 6-2
* denotes clinching the match—Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1, 4, 5, 6
BYU to Face High-Ranked Notre Dame
PROVO -- The No. 42 women’s tennis team returns to Provo Saturday to face No. 14 Notre Dame. The Cougars played their last match Feb. 7 and have spent the last two weeks in practice.
“The time off was great,” BYU coach Craig Manning said. “We’re getting better and better. We’ve improved dramatically since the beginning of the year.”
Notre Dame comes to BYU with an impressive 7-1 record on the season. The lone loss came against No.1 Northwestern at the National Team Indoor Championships last week. The team returned to form with a 7-0 sweep of Purdue Wednesday.
The Irish, who have moved up three spots so far this season, feel comfortable at the top of the rankings. The squad boasts the No.1 doubles team in the country as well as four singles players ranked in the top 65.
“We always love playing Notre Dame,” Manning said. “They’re a class act and we respect the players and coaches.”
Last year, the Cougars dropped a close 4-3 decision at Notre Dame. Manning said his goal for the weekend is to see continued improvement in his players.
“We’ve been working on specific things in practice, and the match will help us evaluate individuals on the skill sets they have been practicing,” Manning said.
The match starts at noon Saturday at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts. Admission is free. All BYU “Y Lot” parking lots are open to the public all day Saturday.