Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, May 14, 2002


BYUH hauls in 2
national tennis titles

The Seasiders become the first
to win both Division II national
tennis titles in the same year

From staff and wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. >> Even for a pair of teams that lost only a single match between them this season, redemption was still a motivating factor.

The Brigham Young-Hawaii men's and women's tennis teams won national championships yesterday, with the women (29-0) beating Armstrong Atlantic State 5-1 and the men (29-1) defeating Drury 5-4.

It is the first time the same school won both NCAA Division II championships in the same year.

The men got their first championship -- and the first men's tennis championship in the state of Hawaii -- by turning the tables on a Drury squad that knocked them out of last year's tournament 5-4.

"We thought we had a chance," BYUH coach Dave Porter said. "First, we had the personnel and second, we were reasonably healthy. We were beaten up pretty badly last year and still came within seven match points of beating them."

Just like last year, the Seasiders trailed 2-1 after the doubles matches. But it was slightly different this time around as BYUH's two losses came in tiebreakers. Andrew Makarevich and Daouda Ndiaye didn't need a tiebreaker to win their doubles match, beating Hicham Fathi El Idrissi and Akos Tajta 8-6.

Turning over a 2-1 deficit to the singles was more comforting to Porter this year because he had Jan Krejci at the top of the order. Krejci added his point by beating Mehdi Belbacha 6-2, 7-6 (4) to make up for the point Peter Madarassy lost in the first singles match.

Hong Tae Kim pulled the score even with a sweep of Younes Limam at the No. 6 spot, but Makarevich gave it back with a tough loss to Javier Llanes 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. Llanes swept Makarevich last year.

That left BYUH down one point with two matches to go, but competing in those two matches were Hung Soon Park and Ndiaye, both of whom beat their opponents last year.

Park needed a pair of tiebreakers but defeated El Idrissi 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) to tie it up and leave it to Ndiaye, who came back from an 0-2 deficit in the third set to win 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 when Tajta hit a passing shot long.

The women got revenge for last year after failing to win the national championship in their division for the first time in six years. They left no doubt this time, losing only a single point in the three-day tournament.

"We were very fortunate," Porter said. "I had four seniors who had confidence and refused to get senioritis."

The Seasiders started their day by taking two of the three doubles matches, following the form they used when beating Armstrong Atlantic 5-1 last month in Florida. They kept that form going into the singles portion of the event, with Kellie Taguchi, Tagifano So'onalole-Taosoga and Tomoko Sukegawa sweeping their opponents to clinch the championship. They were so good, they turned the final match into a race against each other to see who could finish first.

"Going into singles, their attitude was 'I'm going to get a point,' " Porter said. "They all said 'We need three (points) to win and one of them is going to be mine.' "

The Seasiders' dominance was never in doubt this season. They began the campaign at No. 2 in the nation, took over the top spot from Armstrong Atlantic on April 10 and were never challenged the rest of the way. Five of their six singles players ended the season undefeated, with only Amy Sun losing during the year -- and that came at the hands of teammate Adrienn Hegedus in the national small college championships.

The Seasiders return to Oahu today at 2:18 p.m. on Delta Flight 225.

BYUH Athletics

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