Women play last home match, men continue conference play

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The BYU women’s tennis team and senior captain Megan Price play their last home match of the season Friday.

“It’s going to be a little bittersweet,” Price said. “Obviously, it’s always exciting to play at home and hopefully we can get a lot of people out here.”

BYU coach Lauren Jones-Spencer has been coaching at BYU, as the assistant women’s coach and then head coach, since Price arrived from Australia to play as a Cougar in January 2009.

“It’s really sad that Megan’s going to be graduating,” Jones-Spencer said. “I’ve been here since she was here, so I’m really close with Megan. She’s been a great player and we’re really going to miss her next year. Hopefully the girls step up, perform well and play hard for her last match of the year at home.”

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Despite it being her last home match, Price said she will treat it as any other, focusing on specific goals.

“I’m going to go out there and focus and help my team through it because I would love to finish on a win at home,” Price said.

Price said she’s loved her time at BYU and with the team.

“It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever ask for,” Price said. “I’ve played so many matches, played so many teams. I’ve met amazing people; I’ve had the opportunity to play at an amazing institution like BYU. I’ve learned a lot about tennis and I’ve learned a lot about myself. If anything, I’ve grown into the person I am now because of BYU.”

BYU takes on No. 33 St. Mary’s, which is undefeated in the West Coast Conference. The Gaels (9-4) are coming off two conference wins over Gonzaga and Portland and the Cougars just narrowly missed upsetting No. 72 Santa Clara earlier in the week.

The Cougars and Gaels hit the courts Friday at noon on BYU’s outdoor tennis courts. Admission is free and pizza will be provided for fans.
The BYU men’s tennis team continues its six-match road trip to take on conference opponents St. Mary’s and San Diego.
The Cougars had a  seven-match win streak broken by No. 34 Santa Clara last weekend and are looking to stay competitive for the conference title.
BYU coach Brad Pearce said he had little to be critical of  in regard to his team’s performance against Santa Clara in tough weather conditions.
“The first match outdoors at sea level is always a tough transition from indoor play at altitude,” Pearce said. “This dynamic was compounded by playing a night match under the lights in cold, windy and much heavier than normal conditions. The scales were tipped in [Santa Clara’s] favor, but the guys were valiant in their efforts. I was proud of them. [Santa Clara] is a good team, but we hope to meet them again under different conditions.”
BYU’s upcoming conference matches will be critical in maintaining a presence to take the conference and to head to the NCAA championships.
“We still have an opportunity to win conference,” senior Georgy Batrakov said. “We’re going to keep working toward that goal and we’re going to work hard.”
Batrakov said the team was prepared but needs to start out stronger in doubles and maintain its intensity and focus from start to finish.
“If we lose, we lose,” Batrakov said. “We just keep going and learn from our mistakes. We’re definitely ready for [St. Mary’s and San Diego].”
BYU takes on St. Mary’s in Moraga, Calif., Friday at 2 p.m. PST, then travels to San Diego to play Saturday at noon PST.
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