Jonathan Sanchez was one of three Cougars to win their singles matches in the loss to Irvine. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah (Jan. 25) -- The No. 73 BYU men's tennis team lost a close match at UC Irvine Thursday in the first of a three-match road trip. The team will play tomorrow at No. 4 UCLA and again on Saturday at UC Santa Barbara.
The singles matches were split, three and three, with wins from team-captain Dominik Kaufhold, Jonathan Sanchez and Cassidy Mears. Chip Hand lost a close match in three sets at the No. 3 position for his first loss of the season. James Ludlow lost in straight sets after enduring severe cramps throughout the match; he is questionable for Friday's match.
All three doubles matches were close and BYU only needed to win one more to get the victory for the day. Hand and Sanchez won their doubles match 8-6. Mears and Cale Planck lost 8-5 and Ludlow and Kaufhold lost a heartbreaker,9-7, after being up two breaks in the match.
"We were still a bit rusty today," assistant coach Dan Battistone said. "UCLA is always a national contender for the title. If we have a great day and time it right, though, I think we can hang in there. That is our goal and if we can do that it will be really good for our program."
UC Irvine 4, No. 73 Brigham Young 3
No. 1 Aaron Yovan (UCI) def. James Ludlow (BYU) 7-5, 6-4
No. 2 Dominik Kaufhold (BYU) def. Shimpei Suzuki (UCI) 6-2, 6-7, 6-1
No. 3 Victor Lamm (UCI) def. Christian Hand (BYU) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
No. 4 Mustafa Ulukan (UCI) def. Cale Planck (BYU) 6-1, 6-4
No. 5 Jonathan Sanchez (BYU) def. Zac Tsai (UCI) 6-2, 6-4
No. 6 Cassidy Mears (BYU) def. Alex Sundling (UCI) 6-3, 7-6
No. 1 Ulukan/Yovan (UCI) def. Ludlow/Kaufhold (BYU) 9-7
No. 2 Andrei Radulescu/Sundling (UCI) def. Mears/Planck (BYU) 8-5
No. 3 Hand/Sanchez (UCI) def. Suzuki/Tsai (UCI) 8-6