Women's Tennis Drops Hard-Fought Battle to BYU, 5-2

by Logan Hasselbach

ORLANDO- The UCF women’s tennis team fought hard but fell short in its inaugural Big 12 Conference match against BYU, 5-2.BYU got its first point of the match in doubles, despite the Knights starting out with a dominating victory from Anique Kattenberg and Noel Saidenova, as they took down Kendall Kovick and Emilee Astle, 6-1, at court one. The win extended their doubles win streak to five matches. The loss for the Cougars snapped Kovick and Astle’s four-match win streak, giving them their first loss of the season. Jantje Tilbuerger and Sophia Biolay faced off against Kaavya Sawhney and Yujia Huang on court two and were defeated 6-2. 

It all came down to court three, as Stefani Webb and Olivia Lincer fell in a hard-fought tiebreaker. The Knights fought back against four match points in the 7-6(7) decision, but eventually dropped to the BYU pair. 

BYU earned its second point of the match at singles position three, where Webb fell 6-3, 6-4 to Swahney.

Biolay was successful once more at the second singles position, winning the Knights’ first point of the match with a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Li. The win marked her third straight win in singles and fifth overall of the season. Earning the second-straight point for the Knights, Saidenova faced Kovick again, this time in singles on court four, picking up a  6-0, 7-5 win, marking her fourth-straight singles victory.

The Cougars earned their third point on court number six as Mihaela Tsoneva was defeated 6-3, 6-2 by Astle. On court number five, Kattenberg forced Wheatley into a third set to decide who would claim the point. After exchanging rallies, Wheately secured the clinching point 6-4, 6-4, 7-5, for BYU to take the match.

Lincer played out with Huang, who is ranked 71st by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, on court one, falling to the Cougar in a 7-6(3), 7-6(4) battle.

UCF will play host to No. 22 Texas Tech Saturday afternoon, with first serve slated for noon at USTA National Campus.