Freshman Spencer Smith notched one of two Cougar wins.
TUCSON -- A talented Arizona squad was too much for the No. 49 BYU men’s tennis team Friday as the No. 24 Wildcats handed the Cougars their first loss of the season in a 5-2 contest. With the loss, BYU falls to 8-1 on the year while Arizona improved to 5-1.
“We need to work the points a little more,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “There are things we need to improve on and we’ll keep working on those and become a better team.”
The Wildcats started off strong, easily winning the pairs matches on courts one and two. Georgy Batrakov and Daniel Hwang were able to earn an 8-4 victory at the No. 3 position but it was too late for the Cougars as UA took the doubles point.
“We went into singles with our backs against the wall,” Pearce said. “Our guys battled hard and competed well. Arizona is a solid team and the first match outdoors is always a challenge.”
Arizona kept the momentum going into singles and won the first three matches to secure the win. The Cougars put up a fight with both Cassidy Mears and Michael Eraso forcing their respective matches into three sets.
BYU was able to strike back with Spencer Smith defeating Geoff Embry on court five. No. 98 Thomas Shubert also recorded a win at the No. 1 spot with a straight-set victory over Jay Goldman. Arizona had the last word with Andres Arango overcoming Evan Urbina to finish the match at 5-2.
“The players are holding their heads up high,” Pearce said. “They left it all on the court and came up just short against a good team.”
Saturday the Cougars will have a chance to bounce back when they face South Alabama in Tucson. The match begins at 9 a.m. MST at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.
No. 49 BYU-2
No. 24 Arizona-5
1. Malo/Metham (UA) def. Mears/Shubert (BYU) 8-3
2. Embry/Hazi (UA) def. Smith/Urbina (BYU) 8-2
3. Batrakov/Hwang (BYU) def. Carrasco/Arango (UA) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2,1,3
1. No. 98 Thomas Shubert (BYU) def. Jay Goldman (UA) 6-4, 7-5
2. Andres Arango (UA) def. Evan Urbina (BYU) 6-4, 7-6
3. Jason Zafiros (UA) def. Cassidy Mears (BYU) 7-5, 5-7, (10-7)
4. Andres Carrasco (UA) def. Georgy Batrakov (BYU) 7-6, 6-2*
5. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. Geoff Embry (UA) 6-3, 6-2
6. Pat Metham (UA) def. Michael Eraso (BYU) 6-3, 1-6, 6-3
Order of Finish: 3,4,6,5,1,2