Sean Hill's win clinches 4-0 victory over No. 46 Utah
PROVO, Utah – Junior Sean Hill won in No. 1 singles to clinch a 4-0 victory and the Deseret First Duel trophy for BYU tennis over No. 46 Utah Saturday evening at the Indoor Tennis Courts.
"What a great victory for our players, our team, our program," BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. "We have great respect for Utah's players, coaches and for the rivalry itself. I'm just so proud of our guys today, Utah gave us an incredible fight, a great battle. We knew it would be a tough match."
"I just couldn't be more proud of the fight of our guys–Utah didn't give an inch, we didn't give an inch," Pearce added. "We felt like we had done everything right in preparing and it's really satisfying to see great preparation and great performance. I give a lot of credit to Utah for their program, their team, their players and their coaches. I felt like we earned a really hard-fought victory today."
BYU (2-0) started the match strong by winning the doubles point over Utah (0-1). Mateo Vereau Melendez and Matthew Pearce defeated Joe Woolley and Slava Shainyan 6-3, in No. 3 doubles. The Utes answered with a win in No. 1 doubles with Russell Benkaim and Randy Cory topping Cougar duo Hill and Jeffrey Hsu 6-3.
With doubles split 1-1, a 7-5 win from Sam Tullis and Ben Gajardo over Azat Hankuliyev and Dan Little in the No. 2 spot helped the Cougars secure the doubles point over the Utes.
Up 1-0 moving into singles, Hsu claimed the first singles point for BYU with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Utah's Shainyan in the No. 2 spot. Melendez earned a tough 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 victory over Cory in the No. 3 spot by coming back after the first set. In the No. 1 singles spot, Hill saved two match points down 6-3, 5-4 against Little to clinch the second set and stay in the match. Hill took that momentum and ultimately defeated Little 3-6, 7-6, 6-1, to give BYU their final match point.
In No. 4 singles, Tullis faced Benkaim in an unfinished match with the score left at 6-7, 6-3, 4-5. Gajardo matched up with Utah's Mathias Gavelin at the No. 5 spot with their unfinished score at 6-3, 1-0. Pearce battled Joe Woolley in another unfinished match, leaving their score as 2-1 in the No. 6 singles spot.
The Cougars head to Florida next week to play Florida Atlantic, Jan. 19, at 3:00 p.m. EDT and UNC-Wilmington, Jan. 21, at 11:00 a.m. EDT at the USTA National Campus.
BYU 4, Utah 0
- Sean Hill (BYU) def. Dan Little (UU) 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
- Jeffrey Hsu (BYU) def. Slava Shainyan (UU) 6-3, 6-3
- Mateo Vereau (BYU) def. Randy Cory (UU) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
- Russell Benkaim (UU) vs. Sam Tullis (BYU) 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 5-4 DNF
- Ben Gajardo (BYU) vs. Mathias Gavelin (UU) 6-3, 1-0 DNF
- Joe Woolley (UU) vs. Matthew Pearce (BYU) 2-1 DNF
Order of finish: (2, 3, 1)
- Randy Cory/Russell Benkaim (UU) def. Sean Hill/Jeffrey Hsu (BYU) 6-3
- Sam Tullis/Ben Gajardo (BYU) def. Azat Hankuliyev/Dan Little (UU) 7-5
- Mateo Vereau/Matthew Pearce (BYU) def. Joe Woolley/Slava Shainyan (UU) 6-3
Order of finish: (3, 1, 2)
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Cougars open 2019 season facing Weber State and Utah at home
PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s tennis open regular season play on their home indoor courts against Weber State and Utah this Friday and Saturday.
The Cougars face off against Weber State on Friday, Jan. 11, at 5:30 p.m. MT and Utah on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 5:30 p.m. MT.
“We're starting out with a bang this year,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “I love our players and our team culture; these guys are competitors and workers! We worked hard during the fall and came back early from the holiday break to prepare, so we can’t wait for this weekend and to get our season started!”
BYU is coming off a successful fall preseason after competing in six tournaments, two of which were the ITA All-American and the ITA Regional Championships. Seniors Jeffrey Hsu and Matthew Pearce lead the team with experience and match wins. Hsu and Sean Hill will also aid the team with their No. 19 ranking as a doubles-duo. Four freshmen, Brocton Andrus, Vinicius Feijao Nogueira, Kobe Tran and Mateo Vereau Melendez, joined BYU this season and will be strong assets to the team. Garret Vincent returns, adding depth to the lineup.
Both Weber State and Utah are opening the regular season with BYU.
Five players returned this season. Two freshmen and a junior transfer solidify the Wildcat lineup. BYU has a 15-year win streak against Weber State.
Three freshmen joined Utah for the 2019 season, giving them greater depth in their lineup. The Cougars last defeated the Utes, 5-2, in 2016.
- Free admission.
- Free pizza for those who attend.
- Drawing for a free Wilson tennis racket at the end of the Utah match.
Scores for both matches will be updated on the men’s tennis schedule page as soon as matches are completed.