No. 3 BYU-Hawaii earns PacWest title

No. 3 BYU-Hawaii earns PacWest title

SURPRISE, Ariz. (April 19, 2014) - Third-ranked BYU-Hawaii women's tennis closed out the Pacific West Tennis Conference Championships with a 5-3 win over fourth-ranked Hawaii Pacific on Saturday.

BYU-Hawaii (26-0) entered the championships as the No. 1 seed and stayed undefeated, winning two of three doubles matches to start the day and battled through the singles to earn the win.

"I thought HPU came to play today and played very well," head coach Dave Porter said. "I was a little disappointed with how we played. But even after a disappointing start in singles we came back strong.  It was a good win, it was a good team win. 5-3 is not as dominating as we would like, but we're just happy to win and to be representing the West Region at the NCAA tournament."

Ranked No. 4 nationally, first doubles partners Nannan (Dallas) Zhang and Min (Karen) Liu won 8-3 to notch the first point. Sasha Ulbrichtova and Jin Jin (Leah) Han dropped third doubles 8-4 in the next finish but second doubles featured Marika Kobayashi and Marietta Tuionetoa in a close won, finishing off HPU for an 8-6 win and a second point in the match.

Zhang grabbed another point in No. 1 singles with a 6-1, 6-0 win but Kobayashi fell 6-3, 6-0 in No. 3's, making it a close one still with BYU-Hawaii leading 3-2.

Tuionetoa came up big in fourth singles. Down 5-2 she rallied to win 7-5, 6-0.

"I think Tuionetoa's win changed the momentum for us," Porter said. "She was down 5-2, but came back to win the first set and won 11 straight games which was huge."

HPU came back with a win in No. 6 as Han came up short 6-4, 6-1 but Ulbrichtova finished off the Sea Warriors with a 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory to take the match 5-3 after fifth singles.

Zhang was named Most Valuable Player at the tournament.

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