Freshman A.J. Young was a key contributor in BYU's win against Santa Clara on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
SANTA CLARA -- After suffering its first loss of the season on Friday, the No. 71 BYU men's tennis team came back to defeat Santa Clara 5-2 on Saturday. With the victory, the Cougars improve to 4-1 on the season.
"It was nice to come back and win today after our loss against a good Stanford team yesterday," said BYU head coach Brad Pearce. "We kind of avenged our loss against Santa Clara last year, and it feels really good, especially with such a young team."
To begin the match, the duos of Daniel Hwang and Evan Urbina, along with Thomas Shubert and A.J. Young, came out fighting, claiming the doubles point and early lead for BYU, the first for the Cougars this season. Hwang and Urbina trailed 3-0 to begin their match against the Broncos' Hirakawa and Chidambara, but fought their way back on top to win 8-6.
In singles play, BYU's four competing freshmen dominated their respective Santa Clara opponents. Hwang handily defeated Charlie Burke in straight sets (6-0, 6-0), and was soon followed by Young's 6-0, 6-3 victory over SCU's Jay Wong.
"We're going to depend on the freshmen," said Pearce. "They're not allowed to be freshmen this year. They've got a steep learning curve, but they're coming along really well. I think that shows in our record."
BYU's two losses came at the No. 1 and No. 4 positions, with Jonathan Sanchez and Cassidy Mears, respectively.
Up next the Cougars will prepare for a second trip to California next weekend, Feb. 15-18, as they face the College of the Desert, Loyola Marymount and Azusa Pacific. BYU was previously scheduled to play LMU earlier in the season, but the match was postponed due to inclement weather.
No. 1 SCU Steven Benvenuto/Jay Wong d. BYU Cassidy Mears/Jonathan Sanchez 9-7
No. 2 BYU Daniel Hwang/Evan Urbina d. SCU Senthil Chidambaram/Kenzo Hirakawa-Wong 8-6
No. 3 BYU Thomas Schubert/A.J. Young d. SCU Charlie Burke/John Iwanski 8-3
No. 1 SCU Jay Wong d. BYU Jonathan Sanchez 6-1, 6-4
No. 2 BYU Thomas Schubert d. SCU Steven Benvenuto 6-4, 7-6
No. 3 BYU Evan Urbina d. SCU Kenzo Hirakawa-Wong 6-4, 6-0
No. 4 SCU Senthil Chidambaram d. BYU Cassidy Mears 6-7, 7-6, 1-0
No. 5 BYU Daniel Hwang d. SCU Charlie Burke 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 BYU A.J. Young d. SCU Justin Wong 6-0, 6-3