(Photo by BYU Photo)
CLAREMONT, Calif. – No. 60 BYU men’s tennis fell 4-3 to No. 61 Pepperdine in the West Coast Conference tournament semifinal on Friday at the Biszantz Tennis Center.
"We executed our game plan extremely well to win the doubles point. We knew the second half of the match would be a dog fight- and it was," BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. "Both teams competed extremely hard and left everything on the court. We came up a little short, but I was proud of my guys and was pleased that both teams displayed great sportsmanship. We had a good season and have a lot to be proud of, but we'll be hungry for even better results next season."
With both teams fighting for the lead, the match came down to the third singles matchup between BYU’s Andrey Goryachkov and Pepperdine’s Pedro Iamachkine. Despite winning the first set, Goryachkov fell to Iamachkine 5-7, 6-2, 6-3, and the No. 3 seeded Waves (14-10, 6-3 WCC) clinched the match 4-3.
The No. 2 seeded Cougars (18-7, 7-2 WCC) started off well in doubles competition, winning the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles matchups. BYU’s Jacob Sullivan and John Pearce finished first with a 6-2 victory over the Waves’ Jack Van Slyke and Guilherme Hadlich.
At first doubles, Shane Monroe and Goryachkov defeated Pepperdine’s Pedro Iamachkine and Stefan Menichella, 6-3, to clinch the doubles point and give BYU the lead.
Pepperdine quickly responded in singles play, tying the score 1-1 with a win at No. 6 singles after Gabriel Sidney beat Aidan Carrazedo 6-2, 6-0. The Waves won the following two matches at No. 4 and No. 5 singles to establish a 3-1 lead.
With BYU trailing by two points, Monroe helped the Cougars rally, defeating Hadlich, 6-4, 7-5, at first singles. Keaton Cullimore finished next, beating Lautaro Pane 6-0, 2-6, 6-3, at the No. 2 spot to bring the match score to 3-3, before the Waves clinched at third singles for the victory.
BYU now awaits the NCAA tournament announcement, which begins May 13. The tournament draw will be announced Tuesday, May 3, at 5:30 p.m. EDT.