(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
LAS VEGAS-- Despite the rain drenching Las Vegas, victory continued for the BYU men’s tennis team in the singles Round of 32 as four Cougars marched past their opponents Friday at the ITA Mountain Region Championships.
“I would say that the guys are playing really well,” head coach Brad Pearce said. “They’ve had a phenomenal showing. This success shows the strength of our team from top to bottom.”
Thomas Shubert, the highest ranked Cougar in the tournament at No. 2, cracked down on New Mexico’s Conor Berg (No. 25) with a 7-5, 6-2 win.
No. 5 seed Evan Urbina went to three sets in his match against Denver’s Andrew Landerwerlen, taking the first set 6-4, but dropping the second 3-6. Urbina came back with a 6-3 win in the final set to take the match.
Spencer Smith and Freshman Patrick Kawka, both seeded No. 17 for the tournament, won their Round of 32 matches. Smith beat No. 12 Jim Brouleau of New Mexico State 6-4, 6-1. Kawka soundly defeated Idaho’s Marius Christea 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the Round of 16.
Tyler Loong fell to Jens Vorkefeld of Denver, 7-5, 6-2 in the Round of 32.
Roman Warias won his third round qualifying match 8-2 in singles consolation, beating Oliver Good of Weber State. Ricardo Campos lost his consolation match to Mats Hegelund of New Mexico 9-7.
In doubles, No. 6 Kawka and Urbina defeated New Mexico’s Ho and Joe Wood 9-7 while No. 2 Shubert and Smith wiped out No. 9 Andy Jackson and Lance Wilhelm of Air Force 8-3.
In consolations, Campos and Warias lost to Good and Simon Unger of Weber State 8-3.
Next up for singles, Shubert will take on No. 13 Carl Ho of New Mexico Saturday, with Urbina battling New Mexico State’s Orlando Superlano. Urbina already defeated Superlano once this tournament in the doubles Round of 32 with Kawka. Smith matches up against No. 6 Jadon Phillips also of New Mexico and Kawka will face Matej Stakne of New Mexico State.
Shubert and Smith will face No. 4 Jim Brouleau and Arthur Surreaux of New Mexico State Saturday morning in the doubles semifinals and Kawka and Urbina will face No. 1 New Mexico’s Berg and Ben Dunbar.
For more information on the tournament, click here.