(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Junior John Pearce clinched the match with a three-set victory as BYU topped Denver 4-3 Friday night at the BYU indoor tennis courts.
"We didn't get a win on every court, but we fought hard and competed to the very last point," BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. "I was proud of them. When we keep fighting like that, their play is going to get better. The effort was very high. Every loss was extended to three sets. At the end of the day, it was fun to get the win and it was good for the guys."
Facing a 3-2 deficit, freshman Sam Tullis rallied in a second-set tiebreaker to defeat Wyatt Lovera 6-2, 7-6(1) and tie the match. John Pearce pulled out the fourth and final point for BYU with a 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-2 victory over Sean Huynh at fifth singles.
In doubles play, Aidan Carrazedo and Tullis secured the point with a 6-4 win over Denver’s Diogo Rocha and Zach Fryer at No. 3 doubles. John Pearce and Jacob Sullivan fell to James Yannik and Alex Gasson at first doubles before Jeremy Bourgeois and Matthew Pearce took down Pedro Fernandez Del Valle and Ruder-Hook, 6-1.
Sullivan, who remains undefeated in singles this year, earned the Cougars’ second point of the match with a quick 6-1, 6-3 victory over Fernandez Del Valle at the No. 4 singles slot.
But with a 2-0 BYU advantage, the Pioneers weren’t ready to let the Cougars off easy. Gasson topped Matthew Pearce 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at second singles before Bourgeois was defeated by Yannik 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 at the No. 2 slot. Keaton Cullimore also sent his match into three sets at No. 1 singles but fell to Diogo Rocha 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
With the win, BYU improved to 3-3 overall while Denver fell to 1-3. The victory was also Brad Pearce's 200th career win as head coach of the BYU men's tennis team.
"To me, every win is important," Pearce said. "Every win is precious. It's not really something I'm counting. I'm just working on getting the guys prepared the best they can for the next match. Yes, it was the 200th win, but the hallmark of tonight's match for me is that we got the job done."
The Cougars kick off their second doubleheader of the season against Montana State and NAU tomorrow, Feb. 4, at 12 p.m. MST, and 5:30 p.m. MST, respectively. Both matches will be played at the indoor tennis courts. Links to live video and stats can be found on the men’s tennis schedule page.
BYU 4 Denver 3
Yannik/Gasson (Denver) def. Sullivan/J. Pearce (BYU) 6-1
Bourgeois/M. Pearce (BYU) def. Fernandez Del Valle/Ruder-Hook (Denver) 6-1
Carrazedo/Tullis (BYU) def. Rocha/Fryer (Denver) 6-4
Order of finish: (1,2,3)
Rocha (Denver) def. Cullimore (BYU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Yannik (Denver) def. Bourgeois (BYU) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2
Gasson (Denver) def. M. Pearce (BYU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Sullivan (BYU) vs. Fernandez Del Valle (Denver) 6-1, 6-3
J. Pearce (BYU vs. Huynh (Denver) 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2
Tullis (BYU) vs. Lovera (Denver) 6-2, 7-6 (7-1)
Order of finish: (4,3,2,1,6,5)