(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
LAS VEGAS-- Two BYU doubles pairs charged to the finals of the ITA Mountain Regional Championships Saturday and now wait to grab the honored title for the men’s tennis team on their home court.
No. 2 seed Thomas Shubert and Spencer Smith will challenge teammates No. 6 seed Evan Urbina and Patrick Kawka in Provo Tuesday.
Because of the unique situation of an all-Cougar final and BYU’s policy of no Sunday play, the ITA allowed the final match to be pushed back three days and moved to the BYU tennis courts.
The winner of the match will represent the entire Mountain Region in the ITA National Championships in New York at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, site of the U.S. Open.
Shubert and Smith went up against No. 4 Jim Brouleau and Arthur Surreaux of New Mexico State, winning the battle 9-8.
Urbina and freshman Kawka took down No. 1 seeded Conor Berg and Ben Dunbar of New Mexico 9-8 in the semifinals.
The pairs will face off Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts.
Along with reaching the doubles final, Urbina beat two New Mexico State players to advance to the semifinals in the singles draw. Urbina defeated Orlando Superlano in the Round of 16 (6-4, 3-6, 6-3) and No. 4 Surreaux (6-4, 3-6, 6-3) in the quarterfinals. Urbina will not compete in the semifinals due to BYU’s Sunday play policy.
“He’s playing awesome tennis,” head coach Brad Pearce said. “It’s kind of bitter sweet. He competed so hard.”
Shubert advanced to the quarterfinals beating Carl Ho of New Mexico 6-4, 6-2, but was defeated by Jadon Phillips, also of New Mexico, 0-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Kawka fell to New Mexico State opponent Matej Stakne 6-4, 6-2 in the Round of 16. Smith also fell in the Round of 16 to Phillips of New Mexico 7-6, 6-0.
The four Cougars now gear up for the final match to determine who heads to New York and who heads to California with the rest of the team for the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships.
Admission to the final match is free and spectators can park in the “Y Zone” parking lots north west of the indoor tennis courts. Free pizza will be provided, as well as a drawing and giveaways.