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Men's and Women's tennis start strong

Zakharov tennis.jpg

BYU-Hawaii’s men’s and women’s tennis teams began their 2015 campaign with a roaring start. The men started things off Feb. 3 against visiting Linfield College with a 9-0 sweep in straight sets. “It’s always nice to start the season out with a win,” said Head Coach David Porter in an interview with BYUH athletics. “This early in the season it’s nice to learn things and still get a win.” Since that opening win, the Seasiders traveled to the Big Island where they went 3-4. The Seasiders sweep both Sonoma State and UH-Hilo 9-0. Their only loss came against UC San Diego, 5-4. The men came into this year ranked 19 nationally. The men’s team features a number of valuable returners, including No. 6 nationally ranked partners seniors Yevhen Zakharav and Martin Chojnacki. The team also returns with an impressive sophomore class: Wei-Feng Lee, Peng Dai, Ibrahim Karmadzhe, Grant Zukeran, and Taylor De Hoyas. The men’s team came into this season with high expectations. “We want to win conference and go on to the national tournament this year,” said sophomore Jake Stevenson, a business major from Logan, Utah. The men will have their hands full as they face a difficult conference, including No. 2 Hawaii Pacific University and No. 12 Azusa Pacific. Regardless of this, the men show optimism in their chances. “We are expecting to continue working hard and focusing on our effort and how we carry ourselves on the court,” said Stevenson. The women’s team started off their season with a doubleheader sweep against Linfield College and conference and inter-state rival Chaminade University on Feb. 4. Since then, the Lady Seasiders have continued to dominate in all their matches going 5-0 on the Big Island, sweeping four other their opponents and only losing one set. In an interview with BYUH athletics, Coach Porter said, “We are a young team and both Linfield and Chaminade fought hard, but despite the wins we have a lot of work to do.”Uploaded Feb. 17, 2015The women came into the season ranked No. 4 in the national polls. The Lady Seasiders feature three players ranked in the ITA National Division II top ten singles rankings: Dallas Zhang at No. 2, Karen Liu at No. 6, and Marietta Tuionetoa at No. 10. Tuionetoa leads the teams as the only senior. However, the team features a number of experienced returners, including Kanela Adamson, Leah Han, Karen Liu, and Dallas Zhang. The women also welcomed two newcomers to the team: JoJo Wu from Taiwan and Hailey Daniels from Utah.The Lady Seasiders came into this year with some unfinished business, as they were upset in the first round of last year’s national tournament. “We are really hungry this year because last year we were not ready and got knocked out the first round,” said junior Kanela Adamson, an elementary education major from Kaysville, Utah. “We have not won the title in a long time and we really want to take it for the upper-classmen on the team.”
Writer: Matthew Roberts