Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo
Polina Malykh serves. She clinched BYU's win against Weber State in women's tennis.

In its first dual match of the season, BYU (1-0) took a 5-2 win over Weber State (0-1) in competitive match play Friday.

"There were a lot of positives in today's match," said BYU women's tennis head coach Holly Parkinson Hasler. "It was great having Kate [Cusick] back playing at such a high level after being out with an injury most of the fall season. Our doubles chemistry is improving, and I was impressed with the problem solving, mental toughness and will to win as a team today. Weber came out strong, and we fought through and pulled out some very tough three-set matches."

Polina Malykh and Madeline Almeida took the first win of the day, 7-5, in a tight No. 2 doubles match against Weber’s Sara Parker and Pei-Hsuan Kuo. To take the doubles point, Samantha Smith and Taylah Beckman defeated Megan Lombardi and Cali Fuller, 6-4, in No. 3 doubles. Anastasia Abramyan and Kate Cusick left an unfinished No. 1 doubles match at 6-6 with Caitlin Herb and Yuuna Ukita.

BYU's Smith faced Fuller again in No. 4 singles, taking the first singles win, 6-4, 6-2. The Wildcats evened up the match at 1-1 in the No. 6 singles position when Morgan Hall fell to Lombardi, 1-6, 1-6. Capitalizing on the lead, Weber took a second match when Cusick was defeated by Herb, 6-0, 1-6, 4-6.

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However, the tides turned in BYU’s favor when Almeida, in No. 5 singles, took the advantage over Morgan Dickason to win a three-set match, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7-1). After falling in the first set of No. 3 singles, Malykh came back to win her match. She defeated Ukita, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4, and clinched the fourth point for the Cougars. To conclude match play and take a fifth point, Abramyan followed up with a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) win.

The Cougars will take advantage of a week off to prepare for their next dual match in Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 11 a.m. MST, against the University of Denver.