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BYU tennis: doubles duos shine but Cougars fall to Long Beach State

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BYU women's tennis had a strong performance in doubles but fell just short in a 4-3 defeat to Long Beach State at the UH Tennis Complex on Friday in Honolulu.

"We came out much stronger today and did what we wanted to do in doubles," BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. "It was a tight match from the start to finish in singles and the girls fought hard but unfortunately we came up a little short."

The Cougars (2-4, 0-0 West Coast Conference) started off strong in doubles, winning on two of the three courts to score the first point of the match against Long Beach State (5-1, 2-0 Big West Conference). On court three, senior Natella Nabieva and freshman Polina Malykh recorded a 6-3 win over the 49ers' Maren Helgo and Natalia Munoz. At second doubles, senior Savannah Ware-Avina and freshman Samantha Smith defeated Lena Pacholski and Laura Eales, 6-4.

In singles, Long Beach State answered to tie the match after BYU's Malykh was forced to withdraw from her match on court three. The 49ers took a 2-1 lead after Laura Eales defeated sophomore Taylah Beckman, 6-1, 6-2, at sixth singles. BYU battled back on court five, with freshman Samantha Smith defeating Munoz, 6-3, 6-4. At first singles, Nabieva was defeated, 6-3, 6-3, by Maeva Razakasoa, but BYU evened the score at 3-3 after freshman Kate Cusick stuck it out in a three-set duel, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (5), to beat the 49ers' Pacholsky on court four. Long Beach State clinched the match at second singles, after Savannah Ware-Avina battled hard but fell 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, to Julie Gerard.

BYU returns home to host the University of Utah on Friday, March 3, at noon MST. Admission is free to the public, and free pizza will be served.