Cougars struggle in Nike Invitational


College sports teams throughout the country all strive to create a tradition of winning. Winning a game is one thing, but winning a game at home is a completely different experience.

This past weekend, the BYU women’s tennis team competed in the Cal Nike Invitational, but the Cougars were not favored with the home court advantage. The Cal Berkley Bears, who hosted the tournament, dominated the top bracket of the tournament filling all four spots of the semifinal round.

BYU’s Megan Price and Morgan Anderson competed in the top bracket and had chances of advancing, but both fell in the first rounds of play. Price fell to Cal’s Cessi Estlander, 6-2 and 6-4, while Anderson fell to Fresno State’s Tanya Murtagh 7-6 and 6-2.

In addition to the two losses from Price and Anderson, three other BYU players fell in the first round as well. Desiree Tran and Meghan Sheehan-Dizon both fell in the Blue bracket, while Lisa Waldron fell in the White bracket.

Despite the series of misfortune for BYU, one member of the team remained standing strong. For her second tournament in a row this year, Aubrey Paul remained on top and in control of the White bracket. She defeated her first three opponents and qualified for the championship round. In the BYU Invitational, Paul won the consolation bracket title as well as the doubles title with Tran as her partner.

Even with the success Paul had individually, she did not compete in the championship round. Due to BYU’s “no Sunday play” standard, Paul forfeited the match, giving the White bracket title to DAV’s Nicole Koehly.

In doubles, Price and Tran teamed up to compete in the Gold bracket but likewise fell in the first round to ASU’s Joanna Smith and USC’s Alison Ramos. Paul and Waldron also teamed up and competed in the White bracket in round robin play. They won all three of their matches.

The women’s tennis team will head to Las Vegas next week for the Regional Championships.

Meanwhile in Tulsa, Okla., men’s players Keaton Cullimore and Francis Sargeant began tournament play in the pre-qualifying round of the All-American Championships. Sargeant fell in the first round; however, Cullimore won both matches of the day, keeping his chances alive for joining teammates Spencer Smith and Georgy Batrakov in the qualifying round.

The qualifying round begins play today.

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