Senior Michael Eraso came back from behind to earn a Court 6 singles win. Eraso and partner Keaton Cullimore completed the BYU doubles sweep with their win on Court 3. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Sweeping doubles play gave the No. 45 BYU men’s tennis team momentum for a 6-1 win over West Coast Conference opponent Gonzaga, Friday at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts.
“We did a pretty good job in doubles today,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “Spencer Smith and Patrick Kawka did a nice job of getting on top of their opponents and getting off the courts quickly. Georgy Batrakov wasn’t feeling great and hopefully he’ll be back tomorrow. Keaton Cullimore and Francis Sargeant had great matches along with a good comeback win for Michael Eraso.”
The Cougars (12-7, 2-2 WCC) started the match strong, winning on all three doubles courts to take a 1-0 lead over the Zags (8-8, 1-3 WCC). BYU took quick 4-1 and 4-0 leads on courts 1 and 2, respectively. Playing on Court 1 for the Cougars, senior Georgy Batrakov and sophomore Patrick Kawka earned an 8-3 win before junior Spencer Smith and freshman Francis Sargeant finished with the same score on Court 2.
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After being down 1-2, freshman Keaton Cullimore and senior Michael Eraso won five straight games to take a 6-2 lead. The No. 3 doubles pair completed the doubles sweep with an 8-3 win.
Gonzaga’s Alvaro Nazal pulled off a win against an ill Batrakov in singles, but the Cougars made sure that was the Zags’ only win. Kawka made quick work of Oliver Jamin, 6-0, 6-2, on Court 3 for BYU’s first singles point. Smith followed suit, routing his Court 2 opponent 6-1, 6-3. Playing at the No. 4 position, Cullimore sealed the match win for the Cougars, taking a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Zhia Hwa Chong.
Sargeant and Eraso netted the last two singles wins for BYU. Sargeant topped Vladimir Mijatovic 6-3, 6-4 before Eraso battled in a tiebreaker for a 5-7, 7-5, 10-8 win.
“We felt pretty confident going into today’s match and hopefully we can carry that momentum into tomorrow’s match,” Pearce said. “We’ve played Portland in the past, but we don’t know a lot about them. We’ll go in confident but we don’t take any team lightly so we’ll be ready to play.”
Saturday, the Cougars host Portland at 10:30 a.m. MDT at the BYU Outdoor Tennis Courts, weather permitting. Admission is free and spectators may park in the Y Lot parking lots to the northwest and south of the courts.
Gonzaga – 1
#45 BYU – 6
1. Alvaro Nazal (GU) def. #45 Georgy Batrakov (BYU), 2-6, 6-2, 10-6
2. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. Levin Guillermo (GU), 6-1, 6-3
3. Patrick Kawka (BYU) def. Oliver Jamin (GU), 6-0, 6-2
4. Keaton Cullimore (BYU) def. Zhia Hwa Chong (GU), 6-3, 6-2
5. Francis Sargeant (BYU) def. Vladimir Mijatovic (GU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Michael Eraso (BYU) def. Scott Sullivan (GU); 5-7, 7-5, 10-8
Order of finish: 3,2,4,1,5,6
1. G. Batrakov/P. Kawka (BYU) def. S. Sullivan/L. Guillermo (GU), 8-3
2. S. Smith/F. Sargeant (BYU) def. V. Mijatovic/Z. Chong (GU), 8-3
3. K. Cullimore/M. Eraso (BYU) def. A. Nazal/J. Davis (GU), 7-3
Order of finish: 1,2,3