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BYU tennis: Cougars return to winning in 2014

By McKay Perry

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, May 1 2014 6:12 p.m. MDT

With a revamped roster thanks to the No. 15 recruiting class in the nation, 59th-ranked BYU women's tennis concluded its most successful conference season since 2007, finishing in second place in the West Coast Conference standings with an 8-1 conference mark, going 12-8 overall.

Under the tutelage of the 2014 WCC Coach of the Year Lauren Jones-Spencer, six players collected All-WCC Honors as Cougars squelched their visiting opponents, going undefeated at home for the first time in 16 years.

Freshman Mayci Jones, younger sister of coach Jones-Spencer, led the team at the No. 1 singles slot, earning her a spot on the All-WCC Second Team. In the fall season, Jones’ run into the final eight of the USTA/ITA Mountain Region Championships was the furthest a BYU player had advanced since 2009, when Kristina Doerr made the final four.

Fellow freshman Toby Miclat led the Cougars in wins with a 23-10 record, playing at the fourth and fifth spots. She also was named All-WCC Honorable Mention in doubles with her teammate Jones.

Rounding out the freshman trio is Savannah Ware, who led the team with a 14-5 dual match record while going 20-9 overall. She collected All-WCC Honorable Mention in singles and doubles with partner Nicolette Tran. Ware also was the clincher in several matches, sealing 4-3 wins against San Francisco, Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara.

Highlighting the season for the Cougars was the home finale against San Diego with the theme “Do it for Dez.” With the match tied at 3-3 and a chance to close out the first undefeated home slate since 1998, the Tran sisters pulled through in the clutch on senior day.

Desiree Tran, the lone senior on the roster, capped her career by beating her opponent at the No. 5 slot, while her younger sister and All-WCC Honorable Mention in singles, Nicolette Tran, clinched the 4-3 win with a dramatic comeback.

For the first time since early in the 2011 season, BYU broke into the rankings, climbing as high as No. 52.

During the season, the Cougars upset the then 38th-ranked Gaels, 5-2. It was the first time they knocked off a top-40 opponent since 2007 — coach Jones-Spencer’s senior collegiate season.

The team also showed promise in upset wins against then-No. 50 Denver and then-No. 62 Marshall.

The duo of Meghan Sheehan-Dizon and Morgan Anderson-Littlewood round out the Cougar players receiving accolades. The All-WCC Honorable Mention doubles pair manufactured a stifling 10-1 record, going 7-1 in the WCC regular season.

BYU is poised to make a strong return next season as it returns six starters with the hopes of taking first in the WCC and earning a bid to the NCAA tournament.

McKay Perry is the sports information director for BYU men's and women's tennis. Contact him at tennis_sid@byu.edu

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