Men's Tennis Primed for Regionals

No. 53 Patrick Kawka is the 10th seed in the Mountain Region Championships. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – With four Cougars ranked in the top 25, the BYU men’s tennis team looks to continue its recent regional success in the 2011 ITA Mountain Region Championships.

“This is an opportunity for our team to compete against great players from around our region and to really show how solid we are from top to bottom,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said.

The tournament begins Wednesday and runs through Sunday at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas.

No. 91 senior Georgy Batrakov is the No. 1 seed in the singles bracket, which features 128 athletes. Also seeded is Smith (6), Kawka (10) and freshman Keaton Cullimore (25).

Top-seeded Batrakov is coming off an impressive run at the ITA All-American Championships, reaching the Round of 16 before recording his first loss this fall. Batrakov was the first Cougar since 2002 to accomplish the feat.

Batrakov reached the singles semifinals during the 2010 ITA Mountain Region Championships.

No. 117 Smith has two singles titles under his belt from fall play, claiming the Utah Fall Classic and the University of Utah Intercollegiates singles titles. With a 10-1 record, Smith has only dropped one match since beginning fall play.

No. 53 Kawka looks for success after earning Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year accolades during the 2011 season.  

The 2010 region championships featured an all-Cougar doubles final. Former Cougar Thomas Shubert and junior Spencer Smith defeated former BYU teammate Evan Urbina and sophomore Patrick Kawka, 9-7.

The singles champion and doubles champion will represent the entire Mountain Region in the ITA National Championships in New York at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, cite of the U.S. Open.

For more information on the tournament, click here