(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah—Thanks to an experienced and determined roster, No. 61 BYU men’s tennis compiled its most wins in a season since 2013 with a second place West Coast Conference finish.
The Cougars finished the 2015-16 season with an 18-7 overall record including a 9-1 home record – the best finish since an undefeated home mark in 2013.
After being projected in the preseason standings to finish seventh, BYU defied the odds with a 7-2 WCC mark and entered the conference tournament as the No. 2 seed. The Cougars fell short in a close 4-3 match to third seed Pepperdine in the semifinals.
During the season, BYU achieved national rankings as high No. 44 and earned a Deseret Duel victory over in-state rival Utah. The Cougars also proved victorious over regional rivals Boise State, UNLV and Idaho.
BYU opened the season with seven consecutive wins before a narrow defeat by Denver on the road. The Cougars haven't seen a comparable start since opening the 2010 season with eight straight wins.
The Cougars defeated four more teams before dropping matches to New Mexico and No. 6 UCLA. Eventual conference champion No. 30 San Diego was one of only two conference teams to defeat BYU before winning the conference championship.
BYU won four of its final five matches, including a 4-2 victory over No. 56 Pepperdine for the first Cougar win over the Waves in program history. Senior Andrey Goryachkov defeated his opponent 6-1, 6-2 in the final home match of his career before junior Jeremy Bourgeois clinched the match for BYU.
Three Cougars garnered All-WCC honors for their standout performances this season. Sophomore Shane Monroe was named to the All-WCC Second Singles Team with a 4-3 record in conference play and 16-5 on the year playing mostly at No. 1 singles.
Goryachkov and junior Keaton Cullimore also received recognition with WCC Singles Honorable Mention. Goryachkov swept his conference singles with a perfect 7-0 record and 18-7 overall playing mostly at third singles while Cullimore earned a 17-7 overall record at first and second singles.
Sophomore John Pearce was named to the WCC All-Academic team with a conference-high 3.96 GPA. He finished the season with a 12-8 record playing mostly at fourth singles and added a 14-6 record in doubles.
Monroe and Goryachkov earned their first-ever WCC Doubles Team of the Week honor after claiming a crucial 6-2 victory in the first doubles spot over Pepperdine’s No. 51 doubles team. BYU acquired two other conference honors earlier in the season as Cullimore was named Men’s Singles Player of the Week, and Bourgeois and Aidan Carrazedo were honored as the Men’s Doubles Team of the Week.
The Cougars will return with all players but Goryachkov due to graduation. BYU welcomes the addition of five-star incoming freshman Garret Vincent and returned missionary Sam Tullis.
Matthew Pearce will be rejoining the roster after returning home from an LDS mission as well. During the 2014 season he assembled an 11-12 record playing mostly at fourth and fifth singles and 12-11 record in doubles. He is the brother of teammate John Pearce and son of coach Brad Pearce.