Sophomore Cassidy Mears secured the game-winning point in BYU's win over Eastern Washington on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Both the BYU men's and women's tennis teams competed at home on Saturday against Eastern Washington and Arkansas, respectively.
The No. 68 Cougar men (3-0) defeated the Eagles, 4-3, after a decisive 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 match between sophomore Cassidy Mears and EWU's Nico Riego de Dios. After losing the first set, Mears refused to give up and battled back to win the following two sets, giving BYU its fourth point to win the match.
"One thing I've learned with Cassidy [Mears] is that win or lose, he's going to fight," said BYU head coach Brad Pearce. "He's never going to give up. I knew he was going to fight and I'm really pleased and happy to see him come through, obviously in a huge way."
The Cougars' three other points came from wins by freshmen Thomas Shubert, Evan Urbina and Daniel Hwang.
In doubles play, Mears and Jonathan Sanchez recorded the lone win for BYU (8-4). The duo of Urbina and Hwang played for multiple match points on the second court, with their teammates' cheers ringing in the background, but were unable to seal a victory.
Earlier in the afternoon, the No. 28 ranked BYU women fell to 2-2 on the season after a 5-2 upset by No. 53 Arkansas. Despite winning the doubles point, the Cougars were unable to hold off the Lady Razorbacks' comeback.
Anastasia Surkova and Jennifer Miccoli won their second doubles match in as many days, defeating Ela Kaluder and Aurelija Miseviciute, the No.12 ranked duo in the country. The Cougars defeated Arkansas' second ranked pair, No. 44 Maryori Franco and Nanar Airapetian, in an 8-2 win notched by Dolly Chang and Kristina Doerr.
As singles play came around, Arkansas put up a strong fight, forcing multiple third sets and tiebreakers. Surkova battled back, from down 2-5 in the first set, to win five straight games. She would eventually drop the final two sets.
BYU's only singles win came from freshman Elizaveta Ezhova, who defeated Maryori Franco 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 at the No. 3 position.
Up next, both teams will hit the road, with the men traveling to face UCLA and Loyola Marymount on Jan. 25-26. The women will travel north to take on Washington State and Washington that same weekend.
No. 68 BYU-4
1. Mears/Sanchez (BYU) def. Davis/Mam (EWU), 8-4
2. Karas/Riego de Dios (EWU) def. Hwang/Urbina (BYU), 9-8 (8)
3. Schraeder/Norling (EWU) def. Shubert/T. Young (BYU), 9-7
1. T. Shubert (BYU) def. P. Mam (EWU), 6-1, 6-5
2. E. Urbina (BYU) def. K. Schraeder (EWU), 7-6, 6-2
3. C. Mears (BYU) def. N. Riego de Dios (EWU), 3-6, 7-5, 6-2
4. D. Hwang (BYU) def. A. Karas (EWU), 6-0, 6-4
5. K. Norling (EWU) def. T. Young (BYU), 6-1, 6-2
6. J. Davis (EWU) def. A. Young (BYU), 7-5, 1-6, 10-2