The Cougars have a tough weekend ahead against UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- After a solid performance to open the season, the No. 70 men’s tennis team will travel to Calif. this week to take on three top-ranked opponents. The Cougars will face No. 4 UCLA Thursday, No. 62 UC Santa Barbara Friday and No. 63 UC Irvine Saturday.
Powerhouse UCLA has five singles players ranked in the top 60, including No. 16 Harel Srugo and No. 29 Holden Seguso. The Bruins spent last week at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup, where No. 37 Matt Brooklyn advanced to the semifinals in both singles and doubles.
“The primary thing we’re focused on is taking one match at a time,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “We’re not worried about UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara. We’re concentrating on UCLA right now.”
The Cougars upset UC Santa Barbara at home last season with a 6-1 win. The gauchos will be competing for the first time since November. UC Irvine handed BYU its first home loss last year in a close 4-3 match.
Several Cougars played opponents from all three schools at the So Cal Intercollegiate Tournament in the fall. Sophomores Thomas Shubert and Evan Urbina and freshman Georgy Batrakov recorded big wins over players from UCLA and UC Santa Barbara.
“We want to prepare the best we can and take it to our opponents,” Pearce said. “It’s just a matter of getting guys more match play and getting into the season.”
All matches will begin at 1: 30 p.m. PT