Cougar teams battle for spot at nationals

Spencer Smith and Thomas Shubert will battle Patrick Kawka and Evan Urbina for the regional doubles title. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- After a long fight to the top of the doubles draw in the ITA Mountain Regional Championships, two pairs from the BYU men’s tennis team will face off on their home court Tuesday for a chance to compete in the national tournament.

Senior Thomas Shubert and sophomore Spencer Smith, seeded No. 2 in the regional tournament, are set to take on No. 6 seed freshman Patrick Kawka and senior Evan Urbina.

The winners of the match will compete at the ITA National Indoors Championships at the USTA Billy Jean King Tennis Center in New York. This will be the first time any BYU singles or doubles duo has competed in the national tournament since 2003.

Shubert and Smith are undefeated with a 4-0 record. Kawka and Urbina only have one loss, raking in a 7-1 record.

Urbina also made it to the semifinals of the regional singles tournament, but withdrew from the match due to BYU’s policy of not playing on Sunday.

The match will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts south of the Smith Fieldhouse. Free pizza will be provided, along with a drawing and giveaways. The athletes will be available for autographs after the match. Spectators may park in the “Y Zone” parking lots north east of the Fieldhouse.

In the 2009-2010 season, the men’s tennis team finished No. 36 in the nation and won the regular season of the Mountain West Conference with a 21-7 record. The team also made an appearance in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

To sign up for the Cougar Racqueteer email list and receive updates on the tennis team’s success, email Coach Brad Pearce at brad_pearce@byu.edu.