Evan Urbina helped the Cougars in their 4-3 win over UC Irvine (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
Irvine, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2009) –A trip to Southern Calif. ended with a big win for the No. 70 BYU men's tennis team. The Cougars lost a match Thursday to No. 4 UCLA before closing out the weekend by defeating No. 63 UC Irvine 4-3. With the win, the team improves to 3-1.
BYU struggled to compete with a top-ranked UCLA team to start the weekend. The Cougars put up a fight in doubles with solid play on courts one and two. Haythem Abid and Amit Inbar egded out BYU pair Cassidy Mears and Thomas Shubert at the No. 1 position.
The only win of the match for the Cougars came at the hands of sophomores Evan Urbina and A.J. Young on court two. The duo was able to win the tiebreak and take the match. But with a loss at the No. 3 spot, the Bruins earned the doubles point and the advantage going into singles play.
"I was pleased that A.J. and Evan are continuing to find ways to win matches," Pearce said.
A lack of collegiate tennis experience by freshmen Georgy Batrakov and Roman Warias quickly gave UCLA its first two singles victories. With a loss by Shubert on court one, the Bruins clinched the match.
"Our first match outdoors at sea level is always tough," BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. "I suspect UCLA will be a title contender this year."
Even with strong performances by BYU, the Bruins rolled on winning the three remaining singles matches to sweep the Cougars.
BYU looked to bounce back from its first loss of the season Friday against UC Santa Barbara, but inclement weather canceled the match. It has not been rescheduled at this time.
"Not having the match against UC Santa Barbara hurt us. The match play is what we want," Pearce said.
UC Irvine brought its own challenges for the Cougars Saturday. Urbina and Young were again the only BYU pair to win a doubles match, defeating their UCI opponents 9-8 in the tiebreak.
Shubert, Urbina and Mears won their respective singles matches in straight sets, but losses by Batrakov and Daniel Hwang put the hope for victory in the hands of Warias.
The freshman lost his first set 3-6 before coming back to win the second. He carried the momentum into the third set and won the match and clinched the win for the Cougars.
"I'm thrilled. Coming away with a win on this trip was huge for us," Pearce said. "We're coming back home with confidence."
The men’s tennis team will resume its season in the east next week, traveling to face William and Mary and Clemson.
No. 4 UCLA- 7
No. 70 BYU-0
Jan. 22, 2009 - Los Angeles Tennis Center
1. Abid/Inbar (UCLA) def. Mears/Shubert (BYU) 8-6
2. Urbina/Young (BYU) def. Brooklyn/Holden Seguso (UCLA) 8-7(6)
3. Look/Nick Meister (UCLA) def. Batrakov/Hwang (BYU) 8-4
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. Haythem Abid (UCLA) def. Thomas Shubert (BYU) 6-2, 6-2*
2. (67) Matt Brooklyn (UCLA) def. Evan Urbina (BYU) 6-4, 6-4
3. Harel Srugo (UCLA) def. Roman Warias (BYU) 6-0, 6-2
4. Michael Look (UCLA) Georgy Batrakov (BYU) 6-1, 6-1
5. Amit Inbar (UCLA) def. Cassidy Mears (BYU) 6-4, 6-1
6. Ahmed Ismail (UCLA) def. Daniel Hwang (BYU) 6-2, 6-3
Order of Finish: 4, 3, 1, 6, 5, 2
No. 70 BYU- 4
No. 63 UC Irvine- 3
Jan. 24, 2009- Racquet Club of Irvine
1. Miller/Issara (UCI) def. Mears/Shubert (BYU) 8-6
2. Urbina/Young (BYU) def. Gould/Stege (UCI) 9-8
3. Matthews/Henderson (UCI) def. Batrakov/Hwang (BYU) 8-5
1. T. Shubert (BYU) def. W. Miller (UCI) 6-4, 6-4
2. E. Urbina (BYU) def. S. Gould (UCI) 6-2, 7-6
3. R. Warias (BYU) def. S. Stege (UCI) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
4. C. Mears (BYU) def. F. Matthews (UCI) 7-6, 6-0
5. S. Henderson (UCI) def. G. Batrakov 6-3, 6-4
6. K. Issara (UCI) def. D. Hwang (BYU) 6-1, 6-2