DENVER—Despite hanging tough in a close match, BYU dropped its first match of the season 3-4 to No. 52 Denver University Saturday afternoon.
“It's always painful to lose a match when it could have gone either way,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “We'll make our evaluations as to where we need to get better as individuals and as a team, and we will focus on those things this upcoming week as we prepare for a series of regional rivalry matches, starting with Boise State next Saturday."
Denver (5-2) took control of the match early by winning the doubles point. Andrey Goryachkov and Jacob Sullivan lost to Denver’s Diogo Rocha and Zach Fryer 6-4. Shortly after, Shane Monroe and Jeremy Bourgeois lost to Alex Gasson and Henry Craig 6-4, sealing the Pioneer’s doubles point. Keaton Cullimore and John Pearce’s match against Denver’s David Fox and Jesse Ruder-Hook was suspended at 7-5 as the doubles point had been won.
BYU (8-1) gained ground back during singles play. After Goryachkov dropped his match to Gasson 6-3, 7-5, Bourgeois defeated Fryer, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, and Monroe defeated Fox 7-5, 6-4 to even the match at 2-2. Pearce defeated Denver’s Wyatt Lovera, 6-7, 6-1, 6-2, to give the Cougars a 3-2 advantage. Sullivan and Cullimore dropped both of their matches in three sets to give the Pioneers the final two needed for the victory.
The Cougars returns home for their next match against Boise State on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 5:30 p.m. MST. Free pizza will be provided for all that attend.
Live stats and video for the match can be found on the BYU men’s tennis schedule page.
PROVO, Utah— After a home sweep over Northern Arizona, BYU men’s tennis (6-0) continues its spring schedule, traveling to Colorado this weekend for matches against Air Force and Denver.
The Cougars will play Air Force, Friday, Feb. 5 at 5:30 p.m. MST and Denver University Saturday, Feb. 6 at 4:00 p.m. MST. Both games will be played in Denver.
“Air Force always fields great athletes and competitors and I think it will be a great opportunity to play them in Colorado,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “Denver is a very good team. They may be the best team in our region. We have to go out and play tennis and compete at every position. I like what we put together in our last match, so I don’t think we’re afraid of either team.”
Air Force Academy (0-2) is coming off of losing both of their home matches, 2-5 to Abeline Christian and UC Davis. In 2015, the Cougars and the Falcons faced off multiple times at the ITA Intermountain Regionals. BYU won all six matches against Air Force during that time.
No. 52 Denver (3-2) looks to rebound at home this week after splitting away matches 1-1 last weekend. Their only losses on the season are against No. 8 Ohio State and No. 46 Oregon. Players from BYU and Denver faced each other during the ITA Regionals in the fall, with the Pioneers having the upper hand on the Cougars, winning four out of the six matches they played.