Despite a strong performance from sophomore Polina Malykh, BYU women’s tennis suffered its first West Coast Conference loss to No. 41 Gonzaga on Saturday, 4-2.
“We played some great doubles today under pressure,” BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. “The match was close all the way down to the last point. Gonzaga just played the bigger points better. Polina did a great job, really stepped up and played confident today. Overall, we are moving in the right direction and getting better.”
Malykh in the No. 4 and No. 5 singles slots remains undefeated in regular season play, 6-0.
No. 2 doubles sophomores Kate Cusick and Malykh continued their strong doubles play from Friday for BYU (4-3, 1-1 WCC) in their matchup against Gonzaga’s (8-2, 1-0 WCC) Domonique Garely and Ashleigh Jacobs. The Cougar duo dominated the match, sweeping 6-0.
In No. 1 doubles, senior Mayci Jones and freshman Anastasia Abramyan took on the No. 47 ranked Graciela Rosas and Sophie Whittle of Gonzaga. The duo put up a fight against their ranked opponent but ultimately fell 6-3.
The doubles point came down to the face-off between junior Taylah Beckman and sophomore Samantha Smith against the Bulldogs' Alex Bourguignon and Haruna Tsuruta. As Beckman and Smith went up 6-5, Bourguignon and Tsuruta overcame a match point to tie it back up and send it to a tiebreaker. However, Beckman and Smith maintained their composure to curb the comeback and win, 7-6, securing the doubles point for the Cougars to go up 1-0 on the Bulldogs.
Cusick, playing in No. 3 singles, was defeated by Gonzaga’s Nevada Apollo, 6-3, 6-3, to tie the match up at one point apiece. Smith went up against Tsuruta in No. 5 singles and lost 6-4, 6-2.
Malykh helped get BYU back on the board in No. 4 singles. She played against Garley in singles play as well and defeated her for the second time of the day, 6-2, 6-4, to tie the match back up 2-2. In No. 6 singles, Beckman fell to Gonzaga’s Kate Ketels, 6-1, 6-4, returning the Bulldogs the lead, 3-2, over the Cougars.
The final match of the day came down to No. 1 singles, Jones versus Whittle. Jones earned an early lead, winning the first set, 6-3. However, Whittle surged back and won the next two sets to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 and take the victory for Gonzaga by a score of 4-2. No. 2 Singles Abramyan against Rosas did not finish.
The Cougars return to Provo for their WCC home opener against San Francisco on Friday, March 2, at noon MST. The following day, BYU takes on Washington State at the Indoor Tennis Courts at 10 a.m. Live streaming and stats for the events can be found on BYU’s online schedule.