PROVO -- In the first of three conference matches to be played in the next three days, the BYU men's tennis team defeated the University of Utah, 4-1, on Thursday afternoon.
The Cougars, now winners of eight in a row at 8-4 on the season, started play by winning the doubles point. Gert Vilms and Carlos Lozano, ranked No. 17 in the nation, started slow, but came back to defeat Kevin Zenger and Nicholas Yip, 8-6. Michael Gysens and Eric Nyman also defeated Tyler Poulson and Corrie Scheepers, 8-6.
"It was a good team victory," said BYU coach Jim Osborne. "We lost to them down here last year, so it was a little bit of payback. It was scrappy and well-fought."
In singles, the Cougars started off strong by winning at the first three spots to ensure the victory. Vilms defeated David Mercier, 6-3, 7-6, (7-2), Lozano defeated Kevin Zenger in a tough fought match, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-3) and Nyman defeated Yip, 7-5, 6-4.
"We started very strong off the top," said Osborne. "Utah was good, but we did the things we needed to do to get the win. Now we just need to finish strong tomorrow and Saturday."
Because both teams will be playing tomorrow and the Cougars had already reached the fourth point to secure the victory, Michael Gysens and Jeff Harbach did not finish their matches.
BYU and Utah will both compete tomorrow and Saturday on the BYU Outdoor Tennis Courts. BYU will take on New Mexico and Utah will go against Air Force. On Saturday, BYU will compete against Air Force and Utah will take on New Mexico. All matches will begin at noon.
RESULTS: BYU 4 Utah 1
#1 Gert Vilms def. David Mercier 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) BYU
#2 Carlos Lozano def. Kevin Zenger 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-3) BYU
#3 Eric Nyman def. Nicholas Yip 7-5, 6-4 BYU
#4 Michael Gysens DNF Daniel Carlsson 7-5, 5-5 DNF
#5 Corrie Scheepers def. Anton Rudjuk 6-4, 6-1 Utah
#6 Jeff Harbach DNF Tyler Poulson 7-6 (7-4), 5-5 DNF
#1 Vilms/Lozano def. Zenger/Yip 8-6 BYU
#2 Carlsson/Mercier def. Harbach/Rudjuk 8-4 Utah
#3 Gysens/Nyman def. Poulson/Scheepers 8-6 BYU