BYU tennis teams play regional rivals

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The BYU women’s and men’s tennis teams play important away back-to-back matches this weekend.

The BYU women’s tennis team is nearing the end of its month-long away stretch and will travel to Boise this weekend, along with the University of Texas Arlington, for matchups against Boise State and each other.

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Junior Aubrey Paul said during a team meeting after last Thursday’s and Friday’s losses the team decided what needed to change.

“The main thing was that we all wanted to go out playing with confidence,” Paul said. “We felt that if we stayed positive with ourselves and each other and just remained confident with our ability to play then good things would happen.”

The Cougars (3-7) have suffered tough losses this season, but snapped a five-match losing streak on Saturday, topping SMU, 4-3.

“We went out Saturday competing as a team, that was the key,” Paul said. “We are all close with each other and that is a strength we have on this team, that we have each other’s backs and will fight together.”

The team plans to use this momentum to carry it through this weekend and the rest of its season. The Cougars and Mavericks (6-4) play Friday at 9 a.m. in a new matchup for the teams, and Saturday at noon BYU and familiar foe Boise State face off in a big regional rivalry match.

The BYU men’s tennis team starts its own stretch of away matches this weekend in Albuquerque, taking on the University of the Pacific Tigers and New Mexico Lobos.┬áThe Tigers and Lobos will play each other on Thursday before BYU comes in to play on Friday and Saturday.

The men are riding a five-match win streak and are confident they can continue to put up wins this weekend and have come a long way from their rough start to the season.

“I know from a personal level I was a bit uncertain,” freshman Francis Sargeant said. “It’s hard to understand the whole team atmosphere and what it’s like to travel. I’d never traveled on a flight to play a match. At the start of the season we had a lot of close matches which we lost, and I think the difference now is we’re taking our chances and we’ve become tougher.”

BYU men’s tennis coach Brad Pearce is preparing his team for a hard match against the Tigers.

“We’ve gotten the best of them at home and I think they’ve gotten the best of us at their home; this will be neutral ground so we’re expecting a tough match,” Pearce said.

Regional rivals New Mexico and BYU are both coming into Saturday’s match with momentum. New Mexico just won the HEB Invitational in blow out matches in Corpus Christi, Texas, and BYU just defeated the other regional rival Boise State.

The Lobos are known for their winning tradition and well-coached players and have a unique rivalry with the Cougars.

“It’s more of a friendly rivalry, we respect each other a lot,” Pearce said.

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