(Chip Hand) No. 70 BYU defeated No. 72 Utah 4-3 in Provo on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- It was only fitting for No. 70 BYU to honor its seniors and a former state tennis champion the same day the team downed rival No. 72 Utah in Provo, 4-3.
Saturday's match was the last Mountain West conference match for both BYU and Utah and seniors Chip Hand, Dominik Kaufhold, and James Ludlow were all honored for their contributions to the team.
The 1938 Utah State High School Girls Tennis Champion, Della Williams Lawrence, was also awarded a trophy between the doubles and singles competitions on Saturday. Lawrence won the state title on the BYU courts 69 years ago and was awarded with a certificate instead of a trophy because she was a girl.
The BYU men's tennis team and head coach Brad Pearce awarded Lawrence with a trophy that was long overdue. In attendance were four generations of Lawrence's family.
Hand and junior Jonathan Sanchez clinched the doubles point for the Cougars on court two to give BYU the jump start it would need heading into the singles competition. BYU had already lost on court one and won on court three when Hand and Sanchez tied their match at eight apiece to go to a tiebreaker.
Members from both teams were at the fence cheering on their teammates in the decisive match. Hand and Sanchez took a 4-0 lead in the tiebreak and never looked back. They won the tiebreak 7-3 and clinched the doubles point.
The first three singles matches to finish were all the Cougars needed to clinch the team match against the Utes. Hand finished first with a 6-4, 6-3 win on court two and Ludlow finished not long after on court one with a 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 57 Zach Ganger.
Not only was Sanchez part of the duo to clinch the doubles point, but his match was the team clincher with a 6-3, 6-0 win on court five in the third match to finish.
"When it comes to Utah it is not about being pretty, it's just about getting the win," BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. "I was really proud of our seniors today. Hand and Ludlow got huge wins for us and I was really proud of Dominik Kaufhold today as well because he found a way to win the second set, stay on the court, and keep Utah from gaining momentum."
BYU improves to 11-13 on the season and both BYU and Utah finish the regular season with 2-4 conference records heading into the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The tournament will run April 26-28 at the Air Force Academy.
BYU does have one more home match before the tournament begins. The Cougars will host the Aggies of Utah State on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. at the BYU outdoor tennis courts. Admission is free to all BYU tennis matches and free pizza and donuts will be provided to those in attendance.
No. 70 BYU def. No. 72 Utah, 4-3
1. Ganger/Mann (UU) def. Ludlow/Kaufhold (BYU) 8-3
2. Hand/Sanchez (BYU) def. Ouariti/Smits (UU) 9-8 (3)
3. Mears/Cale Planck (BYU) def. Allin/Hancock (UU) 8-5
Order of finish
1, 3, 2*
*clinches doubles point
BYU wins doubles point
1. James Ludlow (BYU) def. No. 57 Zach Ganger (UU) 6-2, 6-4
2. Chip Hand (BYU) def. Miron Mann (UU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Wes Hancock (UU) def. Dominik Kaufhold (BYU) 6-3, 3-6, 10-8
4. Jason Smits (UU) def. Cassidy Mears (BYU) 7-6 (8), 6-2
5. Jonathan Sanchez (BYU) def.. Othman Zerouali-Ouariti (UU) 6-3, 6-0
6. Timmy Allin (UU) def. Michael Eraso (BYU) 6-4, 6-1
Order of finish:
2, 1, 5*, 6, 3, 4
*clinches team win