Spencer Smith recorded a straight set victory (6-2, 6-2) on Court 3. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
SAN DIEGO – The No. 44 BYU men’s tennis team dropped a close 4-3 decision to reigning 2011 WCC Champion No. 19 San Diego on Saturday in its last road match of the season.
"We had a great effort by our No. 1 and No. 3 doubles teams along with Spencer Smith and Francis Sargeant in singles," BYU coach Brad Pearce said. "We were in position for an inspired win because of some great efforts, but fell short by just one match. San Diego is a very good team and they deserve credit for the win."
The Cougars (11-7, 1-2 WCC) started the match strong, grabbing the doubles point over the Toreros (12-5, 3-0 WCC). BYU senior Georgy Batrakov and sophomore Patrick Kawka topped Patrick Pohlmann and Clarke Spinosa on Court 1, 8-5, before San Diego evened the score by edging out junior Spencer Smith and freshman Francis Sargeant, 8-6.
With the doubles point up for grabs on Court 3, BYU's freshman Keaton Cullimore and senior Michael Eraso battled back and forth with Ciaran Fitzgerald and Victor Pugliese before coming away with an 8-6 win.
The Toreros won the first two singles matches to take a 2-1 lead. No. 112 Thibaut Visy defeated BYU’s Cullimore 6-0, 6-2 on Court 4 before Eraso fell 6-2, 6-4 on Court 5.
BYU and San Diego exchanged the next two wins. Smith put up a straight set victory over his Court 3 opponent (6-2, 6-2) to tie the match score, 2-2, before the Toreros recorded their own win. Playing at the No. 2 singles position, No. 81 Pohlmann beat Kawka 6-4, 6-3.
In a three-set showdown on Court 1, No. 68 Nikola Bubnic and No. 45 Batrakov split sets before Bubnic came away with the win, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, to earn the fourth point for San Diego and the match win.
The Cougars return home for their last four matches of the regular season. Next week, BYU hosts conference opponents Gonzaga and Portland, Friday and Saturday, respectively.
#19 San Diego – 4
#44 BYU - 3
1. #68 Nikola Bubnic (USD) def. #45 Georgy Batrakov (BYU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
2. #81 Patrick Pohlmann (USD) def. Patrick Kawka (BYU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. Clarke Spinosa (USD) 6-2, 6-2
4. #112 Thibaut Visy (USD) def. Keaton Cullimore (BYU) 6-0, 6-2
5. Victor Pugliese (USD) def. Michael Eraso (BYU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Francis Sargeant (BYU) def. Ciaran Fitzgerald (USD) 6-2, 7-6(4)
1. Georgy Batrakov/Patrick Kawka (BYU) def. Patrick Pohlmann/Clarke Spinosa (USD) 8-5
2. Nikola Bubnic/Thibaut Visy (USD) def. Spencer Smith/Francis Sargeant (BYU) 8-6
3. Keaton Cullimore/Michael Eraso (BYU) def. Ciaran Fitzgerald/Victor Pugliese (USD) 8-6
BYU 11-7 (1-2 WCC); National ranking #44
San Diego 12-5 (3-0 WCC); National ranking #19
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (4,5,3,2,1,6)