Big Win Just Out of Reach on Senior Day
PROVO -- Tough play at the top of the line was not enough to propel the BYU women’s tennis team over No. 29 UNLV Friday. The Cougars fell 4-3 in their last home match of the year to drop to 1-2 in conference play and 5-11 overall.
“The players fought hard,” BYU coach Joey Johnson said. “The girls feel like we’re developing momentum and the capacity to play more consistently as a team.”
For the second day in a row, Kristina Doerr and McCall Jones were the first pair to finish in doubles play. The BYU tandem handily defeated their opponents 8-3 at the No. 1 position. Despite a strong start, juniors Elle Carney and Liza Ezhova fell on court two 8-5. Chie Hayaska and Aubrey Paul were down 6-4 before rallying back to tie the score at seven-all. But the Rebels won the match at 9-7 to clinch the doubles point.
“Our area of emphasis is going to be doubles as we close the season,” Johnson said. “We’ve gotten to the point where we’re playing solid tennis at the top of the lineup, and we’re so close.”
In the last home match of her collegiate career, Doerr earned a 6-4, 6-4 victory at the No. 2 spot. No. 52 Jones followed with a straight-set upset of No. 37 Kristina Nedeltcheva on court one to put the Cougars up 2-1. BYU quickly lost the lead when Elle Carney dropped her match at the No. 4 position.
Hayasaka, also playing in her last home match, battled to a three-set win over UNLV’s Nives Pavlovic on court three. The bottom of the Rebel lineup proved too much for the Cougars and the visitors earned two more victories to secure the match at 4-3.
“Both of our senior played great matches and they have been good competitors for the team over the past four years,” Johnson said. “We appreciate all they’ve done but we’re not finished yet.”
Next week, BYU will hit the road to play Air Force, Colorado State and Wyoming.
No. 29 UNLV-4
1. Doerr/Jones (BYU) def. Albers/Nedeltcheva (UNLV) 8-3
2. Maskaljun/Razina (UNLV) def. Carney/Ezhova (BYU) 8-5
3. Hidvegi/Pavlovic (UNLV) def. Hayasaka/Paul (BYU) 9-7
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3
1. No. 52 M. Jones (BYU) def. No. 37 K. Nedeltcheva (UNLV) 6-2, 6-3
2. K. Doerr (BYU) def. No. 111 J. Albers (UNLV) 6-4, 6-4
3.C. Hayasaka (BYU) def. N. Pavlovic (UNLV) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
4. A. Hidvegi (UNLV) def. E. Carney (BYU) 6-3, 6-4
5. A. Maskaljun (UNLV) def. L. Ezhova (BYU) 6-0, 6-1
6. R. Terzieva (UNLV) def. A. Young (BYU) 6-0, 6-0
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 4, 3, 6, 5
Last Home Matches of the Season
PROVO -- Mountain West Conference play will continue for the BYU women’s tennis team this week at home. The Cougars will host No. 74 San Diego State Thursday and No. 29 UNLV Friday.
In the match against UNLV, the team will honor its two seniors, Kristina Doerr and Chie Hayasaka. This will be the last home match for both players.
“This is an opportunity for our seniors to go out playing their best tennis,” BYU coach Joey Johnson said. “It’s surreal for them to realize that this experience is coming to an end.”
The 4-10 Cougars will look to improve their 0-1 conference record after falling to No. 46 Utah last week. McCall Jones remains the only ranked player for BYU coming in at No. 52. She and Megan Price fell two spots to No. 28 in doubles after not competing together in the last three matches.
“Any time a team goes through a difficult year, the challenge is always in being able to press forward and use it to lift your level of play,” Johnson said.
San Diego State is the first challenger for the Cougars. The Aztecs (7-7, 0-1) dropped their first conference match of the season last week to UNLV. SDSU has two singles players ranked in No. 50 Julia Trunk and No. 78 Alicia Aguilar. Last year, the Aztecs defeated BYU 5-2 in Las Vegas, but the Cougars lead the all-time series 21-17.
Friday brings a talented UNLV squad. The Rebels are 14-2 on the season and 1-0 against MWC opponents after beating SDSU 4-3. Since that match, UNLV earned two more wins, beating UC Irvine and Boise State over the weekend. In the last meeting between the Cougars and Rebels, BYU fell 6-0. Kristina Nedeltcheva and Jana Albers are UNLV’s two ranked players, taking the No. 37 and No. 111 spots, respectively.
“Our goal is to dig as deep as we can as a team,” Johnson said.
Both matches this week will be held at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts, south of the Smith Fieldhouse. First serve is set for noon Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday and admission is free.