Thomas Shubert clinched the match with a win on Court 5 in singles. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah -- Despite losing the doubles point, the No. 36 BYU men’s tennis team held strong for a 4-3 victory against No. 54 New Mexico to continue its undefeated conference record.
“We knew coming in that New Mexico had a great program, was well-coached and had great competitors,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “Losing doubles was tough, but I’m thrilled with the win. I’m grateful to the guys and the way they competed. I told them before the match, ‘We need to play to win instead of playing not to lose.’”
Duo Georgy Batrakov and Thomas Shubert pulled of an impressive win against No. 57 Phil Anderson and Jadon Phillips on Court 1, taking down the Lobo pair 8-6. The Cougars (17-4, 4-0) fell behind on the last two courts despite Spencer Smith and Roman Warias coming from behind to tie their match 8-8. Their opponents, Joe Wood and Carl Ho, took the match in the 7-5 tiebreaker.
Batrakov came back strong in singles play, putting up BYU’s first point after a 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Phillips on Court 2. The victory was the junior’s 16th in a row. No. 110 Patrick Kawka tied the match 2-2 by taking down Conor Berg 6-3, 6-7, 6-1.
On Court 3, Spencer Smith held, bouncing back from losing the first set by winning seven games in row. Smith finished the match 3-6, 6-0, 6-4, giving BYU a one-point advantage over the Lobos (12-9, 2-2).
Shubert secured Cougar victory with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Anderson, giving BYU its 13th-straight win.
The Lobos scored two singles points, with wins at positions No. 1 and No. 6. Cougar Evan Urbina fell 6-1, 6-3 to Ben Dunbar and Warias fell 7-6, 7-6 to Wood.
The Cougars play Air Force Saturday at 11 a.m. at the BYU Outdoor Tennis Courts, weather permitting.
No. 36 BYU vs. No. 54 New Mexico
1. Batrakov/Shubert (BYU) def. No. 57 Anderson/Phillips (UNM) 8-6
2. Berg/Dunbar (UNM) def. Kawka/Urbina (BYU) 8-4
3. Ho/Wood (UNM) def. Smith/Warias (BYU) 9-8 (5)
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
1. Ben Dunbar (UNM) def. Evan Urbina (BYU) 6-1, 6-3
2. Georgy Batrakov (BYU) def. Jadon Phillips (UNM) 6-2, 6-4
3. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. Carl Ho (UNM) 3-6, 6-0, 6-4
4. No. 110 Patrick Kawka (BYU) def. Conor Berg (UNM) 6-3, 6-7, 6-1
5. Thomas Shubert (BYU) def. Phil Anderson (UNM) 6-3, 6-3
6. Joe Wood (UNM) def. Roman Warias (BYU) 7-6, 7-6
Order of finish: 1, 2, 4, 3, 5, 6