Evan Urbina recorded a singles win in the match against Utah Friday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
SALT LAKE -- It was another rough day in Salt Lake City for the BYU men’s tennis team. The Cougars dropped their second conference match in as many days, this one a 5-2 loss to Utah.
“First and foremost, you have to give credit to Utah,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “At the same time, these courts are fast and we’ve got to develop better skills for faster surfaces.”
Doubles play went to Utah with the Utes sweeping all three matches. The trouble started on court one with an 8-1 loss. The Cougars then fell on court three, giving up the doubles point. Daniel Hwang and Thomas Shubert looked like they might take the match at the No. 2 position after coming back to tie things at 7-all. But the sophomore duo dropped the tiebreak 7-3.
“Our guys fought hard and every one of them is disappointed,” Pearce said.
Travis Fillmore was the first to fall, dropping a straight-set match on court six. Evan Urbina put BYU back in the match, winning 6-3, 6-0 at the No. 3 position. A loss by Roman Warias on court one put the Utes one point away from the win.
Shubert lost the first set but came back to win the second 6-3. But Utah’s Phil Eilers proved too much for him and the Utes clinched their second conference win. Mears was a bright spot for the Cougars. He split sets before going on to defeat John Taylor in three. The win marked Mears’ tenth consecutive victory.
Georgy Batrakov battled through the last match of the day. The freshman took the first set but Utah’s Jason Smits came back to win the second. The last set went back-and-forth with Batrakov eventually falling 6-, 5-7, 5-7.
“Win or lose, these types of matches are what you play for. Both teams played hard and fair and there was a great crowd,” Pearce said. “That’s what you want in conference matches and that’s what you want in rivalry matches.”
BYU will resume conference play Saturday against No. 65 UNLV. The match begins at 9 a.m. at the Eccles Tennis Center.
No. 54 Utah- 5
1. Eilers/Hancock (UTAH) def. Batrakov/Warias (BYU) 8-1
2. Allin/Taylor (UTAH) def. Hwang/Shubert (BYU) 8-7 (7-3)
3. Jacobs/Suriano (UTAH) def. Mears/Urbina (BYU) 8-5
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
1. W. Hancock (UTAH) def. R. Warias (BYU) 6-4, 6-2
2. P. Eilers (UTAH) def. T. Shubert (BYU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-0
3. E. Urbina (BYU) def. B. Suriano (UTAH) 6-3, 6-0
4. C. Mears (BYU) def. J. Taylor (UTAH) 6-4, 7-6, 6-2
5. J. Smits (UTAH) def. G. Batrakov (BYU) 1-6, 7-5, 6-4
6. T. Allin (UTAH) def. T. Fillmore (BYU) 6-2, 6-3
Order of finish: 6, 3, 1, 2, 4, 5