Big Upset Eludes Women's Tennis
PROVO -- In an intense and exciting match, the No. 68 BYU women’s tennis team fell 4-3 to No. 22 DePaul Saturday. With the loss, the Cougars drop to 3-6 on the season.
“Every team creates their own luck,” BYU coach Joey Johnson said. “The two main factors in doing that are the day-to-day things like practice and intensity and coming together as a team. That second part is happening but it’s a process and something we need to keep working on.”
It was a fight to the finish in doubles play to start the match. At the No. 1 spot, No. 27 McCall Jones and Megan Price challenged No. 9 Anna Redecsi and Selma Salkovic every step of the way. On court three, Elle Carney and Chie Hayasaka trailed their opponents 6-2 before pulling to within one at 7-6. Each of the three BYU duos fought off at least one match point, but DePaul ultimately swept the pairs contests with 8-6 wins at each position to earn the point.
“The team played well and I’m proud of them,” Johnson said.
DePaul also struck first in singles with a 6-3, 6-2 win on court three. Kristina Doerr and Jones captured their respective matches in straight-sets to bring the score to two-all. Romina Nedakovic put the Cougars ahead by defeating Blue Demon Sandra Zmak.
In order to win, BYU needed to secure a victory in one of the two remaining matches. In her regular season debut, freshman Aubrey Paul found her rhythm in the second set but it was too late and she fell 6-1, 6-3. The result hinged on the match between Carney and DePaul’s Gia McKnight at the No. 5 position. Carney dropped the first set 6-3 but came back to force a second set tiebreak. After some intense play and a controversial late call, DePaul walked away with the match and the overall 4-3 win.
“Elle’s match was one of the best matches of the day because she didn’t give up and she kept fighting,” Johnson said.
BYU will remain at home next week when it hosts No. 64 Fresno State Saturday.
No. 68 BYU-3
No. 22 DePaul-4
1. No. 9 Redecsi/Salkovic (DePaul) def. No. 27 Jones/Price (BYU) 8-6
2. McKinght/Milinkovic (DePaul) def. Doerr/Nedakovic (BYU) 8-6
3. Gambrell/Zmack (DePaul) def. Carney/Hayasaka (BYU) 8-6
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
1. No. 77 M. Jones (BYU) def. A. Redecsi (DePaul) 6-2, 6-4
2. K. Doerr (BYU) def. S. Salkovic (DePaul) 6-0, 6-3
3. K. Milinkovic (DePaul) def. C. Hayasaka (BYU) 6-3, 6-2
4. R. Nedakovic (BYU) def. S. Zmak (DePaul) 6-4, 6-4
5. G. McKnight (DePaul) def. E. Carney (BYU) 6-3, 7-6 (10)
6. K. Gambrell (DePaul) def. A. Paul (BYU) 6-1, 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1, 4, 6, 5
Two Tough Home Matches Ahead
PROVO -- A challenging weekend at home awaits the No. 68 BYU women’s tennis team. The Cougars face No. 40 Arizona Friday and No. 22 DePaul Saturday.
“We’re trying to keep being aggressive and trying to build up for conference play,” BYU assistant coach Lauren Spencer said. “We want to gain momentum and confidence so when the conference matches come around we’ll be ready to go.”
After a week off, BYU will get the chance to continue developing that confidence and momentum. The 3-4 Cougars’ last outing was a 6-1 rout of then-No. 65 Denver. Current ITA rankings put sophomore McCall Jones at No. 77 in singles and the duo of Jones and classmate Megan Price at No. 24.
“The girls are ready to play again,” Spencer said. “They are rested and looking to get out there and compete again.”
First up for BYU will be the 7-1 Wildcats of Arizona. UA has one singles player ranked in the top-100 in Natasha Marks who holds the No. 88 spot. Last week, the Wildcats defeated No. 43 St. Mary’s 4-2. BYU and Arizona last met in 2006 when the Cougars fell 4-1 in the first round of NCAA tournament play.
The next hurdle for BYU will be an 8-1 DePaul squad. The Blue Demons beat Louisville 5-2 last week to extend their winning streak to six matches. DePaul is having a strong season, moving up more than 20 spots to earn a program-high No. 22 ranking. This will be the inaugural meeting of the two teams.
Friday’s match begins at 11 a.m. and first serve is set for 10 a.m. Saturday. Both matches will be held in the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts, south of the Smith Fieldhouse. Admission is free and BYU “Y Lot” parking lots are open to the public after 4 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday.