(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- A night match at home ended with a 6-1 win over Eastern Washington for the No. 63 BYU men’s tennis team. The win improved the Cougars’ record to 10-8.
“It’s the first of three matches,” BYU coach Brad Pearce. “Match play is what we need to build our confidence for next week when we’ll play three tough conference matches.”
The match began with impressive performances by the BYU doubles teams. Cassidy Mears and Evan Urbina handily defeated their Eastern Washington opponents 8-1 on court three to start things out. An 8-4 win by Daniel Hwang and Thomas Shubert at the No. 2 position clinched the doubles point for the Cougars.
On court one, Georgy Batrakov and Roman Warias were down 7-4, and the match looked all but over. The freshmen mounted a comeback, winning five games in a row to earn a victory over the No. 72 pair in the country. BYU is now 7-0 when winning the doubles point.
“We know how critical doubles is to our success,” Pearce said. “We’ve been trying different combinations to find the right chemistry.”
The first singles point came when Shubert’s opponent retired from the match because of a shoulder injury. Urbina and Mears racked up the next two points for the Cougars to secure the team’s tenth win of the season.
The Eagles lone point came from a victory at the No. 1 position. Hwang and Brad Ferguson also earned wins for the Cougars to finish the match at 6-1.
“If we do what we need to we can start conference play with three wins under our belt,” Pearce said. “We’ll have to do the work, but that’s what I’m expecting.”
Because of inclement weather, the schedule for the remaining matches has been changed. Friday’s contest against Loyola Marymount begins at 5 p.m. and play versus Montana State starts at 3 p.m. Saturday. Both matches will be played at the BYU Indoor Courts, south of the Smith Fieldhouse.
Admission to the matches is free, and the team will provide pizza and prizes for fans. All BYU “Y Lot” parking lots are open to the public after 4 p.m. during the week and all day Saturday.
No. 63 BYU-4
1. Batrakov/Warias (BYU) def. Riego de Dios/Schraeder (EWU) 9-7
2. Hwang/Shubert (BYU) def. Pez/Sanchez (EWU) 8-4
3. Mears/Urbina (BYU) def. Anderson/Henninger (EWU) 8-1
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
1. N. Riego de Dios (EWU) def. R. Warias (BYU) 6-3, 6-2
2. T. Shubert (BYU) def. K. Schraeder (EWU) 1-0 (ret.)
3. E. Urbina (BYU) def. D. Pez (EWU) 6-0, 6-1
4. C. Mears (BYU) def. J. Sanchez (EWU) 6-2, 6-2
5. D. Hwang (BYU) def. C. Henninger (EWU) 6-3, 7-5
6. B. Ferguson (BYU) def. K. Anderson (EWU) 6-1, 6-0
Order of finish: 2, 3, 4, 1, 5, 6