Freshman Keaton Cullimore secured the BYU win with a 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 victory over his Court 4 opponent. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
DENVER – Down a combined 19 match points, the No. 51 BYU men’s tennis team battled its way back to overpower the Denver Pioneers, 7-0, in regional tennis action late Friday night at the Pinehurst Country Club.
"BYU players overcame a collective 19 match points to win against a very good Denver team," BYU coach Brad Pearce said. "I don't think I'd ever experience that again if I were to coach for 100 years. They came back and won every single match. I couldn't be more proud of them. I think it shows the fight, fortitude and resolve of our players."
The win gave BYU (7-5) its third consecutive sweep.
BYU jumped out strong, taking back-to-back doubles wins to secure the doubles point. Senior Spencer Smith and freshman Francis Sargeant finished first with an 8-4 win against Pioneers Max Krammer and Fabio Biasion. On Court 1, senior Georgy Batrakov and sophomore Patrick Kawka finished off doubles by defeating Enej Bonin and Jens Vorkefeld, 8-6.
Denver (3-7) pushed BYU to five three-set singles matches, where four Cougars found themselves down multiple match points, but BYU battled back to close each of them.
Kawka continued his success in a 6-0, 5-7, 7-2 defeat of Vorkefeld to start off singles. Kawka is on a seven match winning streak. Shortly after, Smith came back afer being down two match points to record a 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory on Court 3 against Yannick Weihs.
Keaton Cullimore battled through two tiebreakers and faced two match points during his three sets before defeating Biasion, 6-2, 6-7, 7-6, on Court 4. The freshman’s point secured the match win for BYU. This is the second consecutive match point Cullimore has won for the Cougars.
After being down 12 match points, No. 50 Batrakov showed his mental toughness and tennis resolve to work his way back and finish his Court 1 match against Bonin, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4). Freshman Francis Sargeant pushed the score to 6-0 after being down three match points to take the match, 6-2, 0-6, 16-14, against Krammer.
Senior Michael Eraso wrapped up the match sweep with a 8-7(2) victory over Alex Clinkenbeard.
BYU returns home for a big regional rivarly as it challenge Boise State Friday at 5:30 p.m. at BYU Indoor Tennis Courts. Admission is free and pizza and prizes will be provided.
No. 51 BYU 7, Denver 0
Friday, Feb. 24, 2012
Pinehurst Country Club
1. No. 50 Georgy Batrakov (BYU) def. Enej Bonin (DU) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4)
2. Patrick Kawka (BYU) def. Jens Vorkefeld (DU) 6-0, 5-7, 6-2
3. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. Yannick Weihs (DU) 3-6, 7-6, 6-2
4. Keaton Cullimore (BYU) def. Fabio Biasion (DU) 6-2, 6-7, 7-6
5. Francis Sargeant (BYU) def. Max Krammer (DU) 6-2, 0-6, 16-14
6. Michael Eraso (BYU) def. Alex Clinkenbeard (DU) 8-7(2)
Order of finish: 2,3,4,1,5,6
1. Batrakov/Kawka (BYU) def. Bonin/Vorkefeld (DU) 8-6
2. Smith/Sargeant (BYU) def. Krammer/Biasion (DU) 8-4
3. Weihs/ Othar Kordsachia (DU) def. Cullimore/Eraso (BYU) 7-6
Order of finish: 2,1,3