BYU tennis teams fall on the road

John Pearce lunges to return a shot at home earlier this season. (Natalie Bothwell)
Sophomore John Pearce lunges to return a shot at home earlier this season. (Natalie Bothwell)

Both the BYU men’s and women’s tennis teams suffered tough losses on the road Friday night. The women’s team falling to Portland 1-6 and the men’s team lost to New Mexico 3-4.

Despite a strong doubles performance from Natella Nabieva and Erica Chichoni, Portland won the other doubles matches, ultimately taking the doubles point. BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said losing the doubles point caused the team to fall behind, unable to come back.

“Portland is tough to play on their courts and we didn’t get the doubles point that we needed to start the match,” Jones-Spencer said. “The girls fought hard in singles but we just weren’t able to convert the big points today.”

The Pilots continued to dominate, winning the first three singles matches as well, which clinched the match the Portland. Nabieva was the only Cougar victory of the night, who won her singles match in a quick two sets.

Next, the Cougars head to Boise for a doubleheader against Boise State and UNLV March 11-12.

Down in Albuquerque, the men’s team also had difficulties in the doubles play. For only the third time this season they were unable to secure the doubles point.

“Give credit to New Mexico,” said BYU head coach Brad Pearce. “Their players made plays and put the ball in the court when they needed to. We didn’t play like a team that is ranked No. 44 in the nation, but we’ll lick our wounds, learn the lessons that need to be learned and put time in on the practice court.”

The Cougars bounced back in the singles play, with Shane Monroe winning in two sets to claim the first point for the team. The lead continued to shift, with a victory for the Lobos over Jacob Sullivan, followed by wins from BYU’s John Pearce  and Keaton Cullimore to put the match at 3-2.

New Mexico ended up on top, beating Jeremy Bourgeois then Andrey Goryachov in a drawn-out, three set match.

The Cougars will head to Los Angeles on Thursday, Mar. 10 to face No. 6 UCLA. Fans can follow the action live by clicking here.

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