This year’s glass Deseret First Duel trophy for women’s tennis went to No. 33 Utah, who topped BYU 5-2 on Saturday during the rivalry match at the Eccles Tennis Center in Salt Lake City.
Meghan Sheehan-Dizon and Morgan Anderson started BYU out strong by defeating their opponents 8-3, but the Utes snagged the doubles point winning on courts one and three, both 8-5.
Sheehan-Dizon tied the match for the Cougars beating Danielle Flores in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
Despite the Cougars leading their opponents on every court, the Utes started to pull away. Sarah Pham and former Cougar Callie Craig topped Morgan Anderson and Megan Price respectively in straight sets.
Desiree Tran pulled a huge upset over Utah’s No. 63-ranked Anastasia Putilina. After being shutout in the second set, Tran came back to put away the third set 6-3, 0-6, 6-3.
“I know [Utah is] going to be a tough team and winning that — it was a great win, a big win,” Tran said. “I was still pretty shocked after, but I feel like we fought pretty hard. We were right there with them.”
With the match within reach for Utah, both matches on courts five and six were pushed into third sets. Utah won the match on court five after Lucia Kovarcikova won a long, hard fought battle and topped Paul 1-6, 7-5, 6-4. Utah earned the last match point after Sammie Watson defeated Lisa Waldron 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
“They played aggressive and we fought really hard,” BYU coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said in a news release on Saturday. “The match was a lot closer than what the final score looked like. We had a lot of opportunities and came close, which shows how good of a team we are. I’m happy with their performance.”
After a month of being on the road the Cougars took to their home courts yesterday against the University of San Diego.
The Toreros came out strong in doubles, topping duo Paul and Andie Young 8-3. Price and Tran kept the team in the battle for the doubles point winning in an exciting 8-5 match on court one. But San Diego’s Maja Sujica and Anna Depenua earned their team the doubles point defeating Sheehan-Dizon and Anderson 8-3.
In singles, Tran tied the match for BYU topping Juliette Coupez on court one 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).
“I came out to win and we came out to fight our hardest,” Tran said.
Sheehan-Dizon gave the Cougars their only other match point of the day in straight sets over Marite Raygada.
San Diego went on to win the last four matches. BYU’s Anderson fell to Stephanie Hoffpauir, but not without a fight. Anderson pushed both sets to tiebreakers but lost 7-5, 7-5.
In the longest match of the day Price battled back and forth to tiebreakers and to the third set. San Diego’s Depenua edged out Price 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.
“[San Diego] came out super strong, so I knew it was going to be a tough battle from the beginning,” Price said. “Even in the first set that I won, she didn’t really give me many free points; I had to work hard for them. She gained momentum in the second set and got the tie breaker and then the third set was just a battle.”
BYU’s Paul pushed her match to three sets but San Diego took the match 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 and Cara Brown defeated Waldron in strait sets 6-3, 6-3.
Despite the loss to their first West Coast Conference opponent, Jones-Spencer expects to the team to gain its footing and make a good showing in the conference.
“We not only hung with them, I thought that we had our chances to take the match today,” Jones-Spencer said. “We’ll get there, we just need to keep playing and stay focused.”
The Cougars take to the courts again on Saturday to take on the University of San Francisco.