By BRANDON ZINN
The men’s and women’s tennis teams will defend their undefeated home records this weekend against two ranked opponents.
The No. 40 men’s team faces its toughest competition this year when they play 26th ranked Boise State on Saturday, Feb 26, at noon.
The women’s team will also face a solid team when No. 65 Southern Methodist University rolls into town Friday, Feb. 25.
Coach Jim Osborne said he hopes a lot of fans will come to watch the No. 1 and 2 teams in the region, Boise State and BYU respectively, go to war.
To prove how much he wants the fans to attend the match, coach Osborne said there will be a pair of shoes, a racquet, tennis balls and other stuff given away at the game.
The greatest battle to be fought will be between BYU’s No. 1 doubles team, ranked 15th and Boise State’s No. 1 doubles team, ranked 14th.
The Cougars will also have some problems with the Broncos No. 1 and 2 players who are ranked 42nd and 74th.
“They have a perceived edge at one and two, but our guys are confident and playing well. We feel we have an advantage in doubles,” Osborne said.
Damien Ward, who is BYU’s No. 1 player and a member of the team’s No. 1 doubles pair, said of Boise State’s top doubles team, “We’ve beaten them before and we feel really confident.”
“Whoever plays Moodie, [Wesley Moodie is ranked 74th] will have a battle. The doubles point will be very critical,” Coach Osborne said. “This will be the best tennis we’ll have here this year.”
The women’s team is very confident heading into Friday’s match due to its two huge wins over UNLV and New Mexico two weeks ago.
“Our confidence is good and getting higher with everyone getting healthier. This game will be the closest we’ve been to full strength this year,” head coach Craig Manning said.
Manning said the major thorn in the team’s side will be the play of SMU’s No. 1 player.
In order to combat this, Manning said the team will have to play well at every position.