No. 106 Patrick Kawka looks to continue momentum going into the Deseret Dual after upsetting No. 75 Matt Kandath of No. 9 Stanford. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Looking for its first road win of the season, the No. 52 BYU men’s tennis team travels to Salt Lake City for the Deseret Dual with instate rival University of Utah on Wednesday before returning home to host Nevada, Friday.
“I think our guys will come in confident, which they should,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “We love rivalry matches. It’s something to get exited about, above and beyond your every day matches. It’s important to us. We have two tough matches this week; Nevada is a good team. I’m feeling pretty good about our preparation though.”
The Cougars (3-4) challenge the undefeated Utes (4-0) Wednesday at the Eccles Tennis Center at 5 p.m. BYU currently leads the 2011-12 Deseret Dual, 25-13.
Three BYU players are nationally ranked, including senior Georgy Batrakov at No. 43, freshman Keaton Cullimore at No. 67, and No. 106 sophomore Patrick Kawka.
The Utes are coming off a week-long break following a 7-0 sweep over Idaho State. The Cougars look to bounce back after dropping a 5-2 decision at No. 9 Stanford. A bright spot to the loss came on Court 2 where Kawka upset No. 75 Matt Kandath, 7-6, 2-6, 7-6(3). Kawka is 5-2 in dual matches this season.
The last meeting between the rivals was in April of 2011 when BYU routed Utah, 6-1. Utah leads the all-time series with 57 wins to BYU’s 47.
Utah and BYU have each faced Weber State, Idaho State and Montana State, defeating them by the same scores of 7-0, 7-0, and 6-1, respectively.
Following the rivalry match, the Cougars return home to host Nevada at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts Friday.
The Wolf Pack (3-3) is coming off a 6-1 loss to No. 33 Fresno State.
The last meeting between the two teams came in Feb 2011 when BYU swept Nevada, 7-0. The Cougars are 7-1 in the series against the Wolf Pack.
The match kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Pizza and prizes will be provided. Spectators may park in the “Y Lot” parking lots to the northwest and southwest of the courts anytime after 4 p.m. Admission is free.