Playoff Bound

Dominik Kaufhold started the season strong with two singles wins, 6-4, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-1. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- BYU's tennis team controls its own destiny this week as it travels to Boise, Idaho to compete in the Region Playoffs. By winning the playoff the Cougars would qualify for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the first time in the school's history.

"Every team wants to go to National Indoors, so it's an honor to have the chance to go," Coach Brad Pearce said. "It will take a great effort from our guys to get there."

The Cougars qualified for the playoff in October by placing second at the Region VII Championships. Every team in the Mountain Region competed, and the top four teams were chosen for the playoff. Boise State placed first at the competition, earning the opportunity to host this week's matches. The University of Colorado and the University of Utah make up the other two teams competing in Boise this week.

Not all regions use the playoff system to choose their representative, as some simply send the top ranked team in their region. But Pearce said he likes the playoff the Mountain Region uses because it sends the best team from this season, as opposed to using rankings from last season.

"I enjoy this format," Pearce said. "It's more fair and gives everyone the opportunity to qualify."

BYU opens the playoff against Colorado on Saturday Jan. 21 at 12:30 p.m. By winning that match they would advance to play the winner of Boise State and Utah at 6 p.m.

"This is one of the reasons we started our season with a double header," Pearce said. "We wanted to be well prepared for these matches."

Only 16 teams in the nation will be invited to the National Team Indoor Championships.