Sophomore Patrick Kawka has a team-best 11-4 dual singles record. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Following a tough 4-3 loss to then-No. 34 Santa Clara, the No. 44 BYU men’s tennis team will meet conference foes Saint Mary’s and No. 19 University of San Diego this weekend.
“After the loss to Santa Clara, I told the guys I was as proud of this team and their efforts as I’ve been of any team in a loss,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “We had a lot of things stacked against us in that match. Our guys competed hard and have nothing to hang their heads about. We’re looking forward to facing a good Saint Mary’s team and a tough San Diego team.”
The Cougars (10-6, 0-1 WCC) recorded two wins over ranked players in the loss. Playing at the No. 1 singles position, No. 45 Georgy Batrakov defeated No. 133 Kyle Dandan 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 while freshman Keaton Cullimore topped No. 150 Tom Pham on Court 4.
Sophomore Patrick Kawka moved to a team-best 11-4 dual singles record after recording a win over Santa Clara’s Nicolas Vinel. Kawka has the second-best season record at 22-9, behind junior Spencer Smith (24-7).
The Gaels are 4-11 on the season and 0-3 in conference, with a 4-3 loss to Portland last weekend.
No. 19 San Diego has three ranked singles players in No. 69 Nikola Bubnic, No. 81 Patrick Pohlmann and No. 112 Thibaut Visy. Bubnic leads the team with a 16-5 overall singles record and an 11-4 mark in dual singles. The Toreros (11-5, 2-0 WCC) wrapped up their first weekend of conference action with back-to-back road wins against Portland (6-1) and Gonzaga (6-0) last weekend.
The match against Saint Mary’s will begin at 2 p.m. PDT Friday in Moraga, Calif. BYU then travels to San Diego to take on the Toreros Saturday at noon PDT.
The Cougars challenge their last four opponents at home to finish out the season. BYU hosts Gonzaga April 6 before welcoming Portland April 7. The Cougars take on LMU and perennial powerhouse Pepperdine the following week.