Women’s tennis takes home-opening matches, men fall to No. 9 Stanford

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The BYU women’s tennis team topped Denver and Nevada this weekend at home while the men’s third trip to California resulted in another loss.

Friday, the women’s team beat the then-undefeated Denver Pioneers in a close 4-3 finish.

In the No. 1 position for doubles play, Megan Price and Meghan Sheehan-Dizon were first off the court in a back and forth 8-6 win over Denver’s Sophia Bergner and Steffi Rath.

After BYU’s Aubrey Paul and Lisa Waldron went on a four-game run to overtake Denver at 5-3, Denver’s Emma Isberg and Michelle Garpenlov won five games in a row to win 8-5. It was up to Desiree Tran and Morgan Anderson to win their doubles match and seal the doubles point for BYU. Tran and Anderson battled back and forth, finally winning 8-6.

After dropping singles matches at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions, putting Denver up 2-1, Price won the Cougars’ first singles point, coming back after losing the first set to beat out Caroline Schnell, 5-7, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.

Sheehan-Dizon gave an impressive show in a three and half hour long match where in the last set she came back to tie Rath at 5-5 and finally won a tie-breaker 7-6 (7-5).

Paul then sealed BYU’s victory at the No. 5 position. After losing the first set Paul came back and beat Natalie Dunn, only losing two more games throughout the match, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. Denver snagged one more point in the match in Garpenlov as she defeated Waldron 6-3, 6-3.

BYU took to the courts again on Saturday, where the Cougars beat the Nevada Wolfpack, 5-2.

The Cougars quickly took the doubles point as Price and Sheehan-Dizon on court one and Tran and Anderson on court two defeated their opponents both 8-3. Paul and Waldron tied their match at 3-3 but could not top Sophie Stevens and Gabriela Eufrasio and fell, 8-4.

In singles play, Anderson was off the court in a quick 6-0, 6-0 match to earn the Cougars their first singles point.

“The match went by really fast, but it wasn’t easy,” Anderson said. “I just kept telling myself ‘keep working hard, just get one more ball back.’ I wasn’t worried about what she was doing or what else was going on. I had a lot more focus this weekend then I did last weekend.”

Nevada then won in the No. 1 position as Michelle Okhremchuck topped Tran, 4-6, 3-6. BYU then won the next three matches in a row. Price took her match in a long fought 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 win.

In another long battle where advantages were traded back and forth in nearly every game, Sheehan-Dizon sealed BYU’s victory in 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 win over Nevada’s Juliette Legendre.

Paul quickly won her first set 6-0 against Eufrasio and battled hard to come back, after being down three games, to win the second set 6-4 , giving the Cougars their final point for the day.

Up in the first set 2-1, Waldron ended play due to injury, giving Nevada its second point.

These two wins put the Cougars at 2-2 on the season and is has helped to build the team’s confidence. Price said they were nervous before the Denver match, but they were focused and determined to win.

“Our goal for this weekend was to fight as hard as we could and stay positive,” Price said. “We just kept that in mind every time we played. It really paid off in the end.”

Women’s tennis coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said she is proud of her team’s accomplishments and believes it will build momentum and confidence for their next match.

“The girls fought hard this weekend,” Jones-Spencer said. “They played their game and they came out on top. They never gave up, especially yesterday. Denver was a tough match. They fought to the end and pulled out the win.”

Team members are happy with their wins, especially after losing two away matches two weeks ago.

“It feels good, I think we learned a lot in California when we were down there, they were tough losses but we came out ready to play [this weekend] and we just bounced right back,” Anderson said.

The women play at home again on Saturday at noon at the indoor tennis courts.

California, though, seems to have turned into bad luck for the men’s tennis team. The Cougars fell to No. 9 Stanford on Friday, 5-2.

In doubles, Stanford started out strong as John Morrissey and Ryan Thacher defeated Georgy Batrakov and Patrick Kawka, 8-1. The Cougars bounced back, as Keaton Cullimore and Michael Eraso beat Jamin Ball and Robert Stineman. BYU’s Francis Sargeant and Spencer Smith sealed the doubles point after a tough 8-6 win over Matt Kandath and Denis Lin.

The Cardinal then went to work, winning five singles matches in a row.

The last match of the day to end was on court two and BYU’s bright spot in singles play. No. 106 Kawka battled to upset No. 75 Kandath in a long 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 (3) victory.

The men return to Utah to take on their rival, the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.

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