The BYU men’s tennis team returns to its home court on Friday to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack.
The men played on Wednesday in Salt Lake against the University of Utah. The Cougars won this year’s rivalry match despite having only one day to practice between matches.
BYU coach Brad Pearce said the team was aware of the quick turnaround this week and planned accordingly for both matches.
“The back to back isn’t going to catch us by surprise,” Pearce said. “We’ve been preparing for it and trying to manage it in what I think is a smart way in terms of preparation and not asking too much of our guys, so I think we should have fresh legs.”
Junior Spencer Smith is confident the quick turnaround in matches won’t affect the team.
“We practice enough to be ready to play on any day,” Smith said.
Last year the Cougars swept the Wolf Pack 7-0 and are confident in their play, but aren’t taking anything for granted: They know Nevada has a good team. Nevada is 3-3 on the season, while BYU is 4-5, and both teams are desperately looking for a win this weekend to improve their season.
The Cougars and Wolf Pack face off Friday at 5:30 p.m. on the indoor tennis courts. Admission is free and Cougar fans can expect free pizza.
The BYU women’s team (2-2) takes to the courts on Saturday against a Wisconsin team that is riding a 6-1 win over No. 37 North Carolina State.
Freshman Meghan Sheehan-Dizon has consistently put up points for the Cougars this season, usually after long, back and forth matches more often than not determined in tiebreaker sets and games.
In a recent match against Denver, Sheehan-Dizon came back in the second set, down 3-0. Then came back again in the last set after being down 4-0 to win the match, in an exciting tiebreaker final game, of course.
“[Assistant coach James Ludlow] just kept telling me ‘the match isn’t over until you shake hands’ and so even though she was up on me I knew I could come back if I just played my game and stayed steady,” Sheehan-Dizon said.
BYU coach Lauren Jones-Spencer stresses the importance of playing “your game” to her team.
“In tennis everyone has an ideal way they want to play,” Jones-Spencer said. “Some people are baseline [players], some people go to the net. Playing your game means executing your strengths and not playing to the other person’s or playing their game. It’s not worrying about what your opponent is doing. It’s playing your tennis.”
The Cougars are excited to play at home one more time before hitting the road for a month.
“It’s so nice playing at home,” Sheehan-Dizon said. “It’s such an advantage, the crowd’s awesome and hopefully we’ll get more people out since we’ll be away for a long time.”
Jones-Spencer said the team is well prepared to take on this successful Wisconsin team.
“We take every match the same. We go in with 100 percent effort and ready to go,” Jones-Spencer said.
Admission is free and the Cougars and Badgers open play at noon on Saturday on the indoor tennis courts.
Watch Highlights of a BYU Men’s Tennis match last year: