SAN DIEGO – No. 1-seed Pepperdine men’s tennis narrowly defeated the No. 2-seed BYU 4-3 to win the West Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Championship at the Barnes Tennis Center on Saturday.
"I couldn't be more proud of my players to scrape, claw and fight our way into a position to be within a few points of beating the No. 8 team in the country," BYU head coach Brad Pearce. "We will use this match to fuel our efforts in preparation for postseason play. To have a junior, a sophomore and two freshmen almost bring the WCC title home to Provo is remarkable. Our players are getting more seasoned every week. Congratulations to Pepperdine. We wish them great success in postseason play."
Pepperdine (24-5) beat BYU (21-6) two weeks ago, 6-1, but the Cougars put up a bigger fight the second time around. The Waves took a commanding three-point lead by claiming the doubles point, and wins on courts 2 and 3 in singles play.
The Cougars then got their first point when No. 45 Patrick Kawka upset No. 8 Sebastian Fanselow 7-6(5), 7-6(1) at the No. 1 position.
Then on court 4, BYU sophomore Keaton Cullimore also got a win in straight sets over a ranked opponent No. 99 Francis Alcantara 7-6(5), 7-5.
Next, freshman John Pearce defeated David Sofaer 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to clinch the third consecutive point for BYU and to tie the match.
With the score tied, Cougar Andrey Goryachkov gave Mousheg Hovhannisyan all he could handle on court 5, playing a tie-break in the third set, but Hovhannisyan came away with the win to give his team the 4-3 victory.
1.#80 Kawka/Sargeant (BYU) vs. Fanselow/Alcantara (PEP) 7-6 DNF
2. Tearney/Sarkissian (PEP) def. Goryachkov/Smith (BYU) 8-1
3. Hovhannisyan/Sofaer (PEP) def. Cullimore/Pearce (BYU) 8-6
Order of finish: 2, 3
1. #45 Patrick Kawka (BYU) def. #8 Sebastian Fanselow (PEP) 7-6(5), 7-6(1)
2. #103 Finn Tearney (PEP) def. Spencer Smith (BYU) 6-2, 6-1
3. #60 Alex Sarkissian (PEP) def. Francis Sargeant (BYU) 7-6(1), 6-3
4. Keaton Cullimore (BYU) def. #99 Francis Alcantara (PEP) 7-6(5), 7-5
5. Mousheg Hovhannisyan (PEP) def. Andrey Goryachkov (BYU) 6-1, 2-6, 7-6(2)
6. John Pearce (BYU) def. David Sofaer (PEP) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1, 4, 6, 5