Keaton Cullimore is ranked No. 67 after the fall season. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah—The No. 36 BYU men’s tennis team takes to the road this weekend for back-to-back matchups against UC Santa Barbara and No. 9 UCLA.
The Cougars (1-0) take on UCSB (2-1) Thursday at 1 p.m. PST in Santa Barbara, Calif., and UCLA Friday at 2 p.m. PST in Los Angeles.
Coming off a 7-0 sweep of Weber State in the season home opener, BYU looks to ride its success through the California road trip. Last season, the Cougars defeated UCSB 4-1 in the BYU Invitational. The team lost to then-No. 6 UCLA, 7-0, in January 2011.
At the No. 1 singles position, the Cougars have No. 43 Georgy Batrakov. Batrakov is 10-3 on the season and 8-4 in doubles with Patrick Kawka. Batrakov and Kawka fell to Weber State’s No. 43 Simon Unger and Oliver Good, but won their respective singles matches. Kawka ranks No. 106 in the nation and plays at the No. 2 position for BYU.
Spencer Smith scored the first singles point for BYU against Weber State with his sweep on Court 3 and put BYU ahead in doubles, finishing first with doubles partner Francis Sargeant. Smith is 14-2 on the season and 10-4 in doubles with Sargeant.
Freshman No. 67 Keaton Cullimore is the third Cougar ranked nationally. Cullimore is 11-4 in singles and 4-1 with Michael Eraso in doubles. Cullimore and Eraso secured the doubles point for BYU with their victory Friday.
Mathieu Forget started at No. 1 for UCSB in the Gauchos’ last three matches and is 2-1 in January. He teams up with Mbonisi Ndimande at the No. 1 doubles place. The duo is undefeated in January.
Benjamin Recknagel is 2-1 at the No. 2 position for UCSB. Greg Scott at the No. 3 position also has a 2-1 record.
UCLA comes off an individual tournament—the Sherwood Collegiate Cup—last weekend, where Nick Meister reached the singles quarterfinals and Alex Brigham and No. 86 Marcos Giron advanced to the singles consolation final. Meister teamed up with Clay Thompson to advance to the consolation quarterfinals in doubles, but fell to a duo from Stanford.
UCLA boasts three ranked singles players in No. 72 Thompson, No. 86 Giron and No. 94 Adrien Puget.
For live stats during the UCLA match, click HERE.