LOGAN, Utah — After nearly two weeks off, BYU men's tennis suffered a tough 4-3 loss to in-state rival Utah State at the Sports Academy & Racquet Club on Saturday.
“Utah State has a nice team, we congratulate them on their win,” BYU head coach Dave Porter said. “We did not play the way we're capable of, or the way we need to in order to be the kind of team we're capable of. We hope to get to work this week. We have Montana on Friday and our first conference match on Saturday, and we'll be ready.”
Mateo Vereau Melendez and Dominik Jakovljevic got things started for the Cougars with a 6-4 win at No. 2 doubles against Jack Ninteman and Roko Savin. BYU held leads on the two remaining courts, but ended up losing the doubles point to the Aggies after a 7-5 loss at No. 1 doubles and a 6-4 loss at No. 3 doubles.
In singles play, the Cougars picked up two quick wins to take the lead. At the No. 2 slot, Ben Gajardo beat Felipe Acosta, 6-3, 6-4. Sean Hill followed with a 6-1, 6-3, No. 1 singles win over Sergiu Bucur. Utah State followed with a win at No. 3 singles as Souf El Mesbahi defeated Vereau Melendez, 6-4, 6-3, to tie the match at 2-2.
At No. 4 singles, Sam Tullis got down early, but forced a third set, eventually winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, to give BYU a 3-2 match lead. The Aggies tied it up once again when Javier Ruiz beat Jakovljevic at No. 5 singles, 6-2, 6-4, leaving the match in the hands of the outcome at No. 6 singles. Alex Lin put up a good fight, but eventually fell to Arvid Hjalte, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2), giving Utah State the victory.
The Cougars will be back at home next week for two weekend matches. BYU will first face Montana on Friday, Mar. 5, at 2 p.m. MST and will then begin West Coast Conference play, hosting Santa Clara on Saturday, Mar. 6, at 11 a.m. MST. Both matches will be held at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts. The matches will be streamed live and live stats will also be available.
BYU 3 Utah State 4
1. Felipe Acosta/Javier Ruiz (USU) def. Ben Gajardo/Matheus Ferreira Leite (BYU), 7-5
2. Mateo Vereau Melendez/Dominik Jakovljevic (BYU) def. Jack Ninteman/Roko Savin (USU), 6-4
3. Sergiu Bucur/Souf El Mesbahi (USU) def. Sean Hill/Sam Tullis (BYU), 6-4
Order of finish: (2, 3, 1)
1. Sean Hill (BYU) def. Sergiu Bucur (USU), 6-1, 6-3
2. Ben Gajardo (BYU) def. Felipe Acosta (USU), 6-3, 6-4
3. Souf El Mesbahi (USU) def. Mateo Vereau Melendez (BYU), 4-6, 3-6
4. Sam Tullis (BYU) def. Roko Savin (USU), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. Javier Ruiz (USU) def. Dominik Jakovljevic (BYU), 2-6, 4-6
6. Arvid Hjalte (USU) def. Alex Lin (BYU), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2)
Order of finish: (2, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6)
BYU to Visit Utah State This Weekend
PROVO, Utah — BYU men's tennis will make the trip up to Logan this weekend to face Utah State at the Sports Academy & Racquet Club on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 11 a.m. MST.
After a week off due to the postponement of last weekend's match against Weber State, the Cougars (3-3) look to move above .500 with a victory over the Aggies (4-2). BYU leads the all-time series against Utah State, 15-4.
BYU Notes (3-3, 0-0 West Coast Conference)
- The Cougars are 3-3, most recently sweeping Idaho State, 7-0, two weekends ago.
- BYU has wins over Grand Canyon, Weber State and Idaho State. The Cougars three losses were at Oregon (twice) and to New Mexico at home.
- The Cougars are led by seniors Sean Hill and Ben Gajardo, who each have five singles wins on the season, and have won their last three singles matches.
- BYU went with a different doubles lineup for the first time all season in the match against Idaho State on Feb. 13. The Cougars' doubles pair of Ben Gajardo & Sam Tullis is 3-2 on the year.
Head Coach - Dave Porter
- Alma Mater: BYU, 1975
- Division 1 Coaching Record: 3-3 (1st Season)
- Record at BYU: Same
BYU Doubles Records
- Ben Gajardo & Sam Tullis (3-2)
- Jack Barnett & Sean Hill (2-2)
- Matheus Ferreira Leite & Mateo Vereau Melendez (1-4)
- Ben Gajardo & Matheus Ferreira Leite (1-0)
- Sean Hill & Sam Tullis (1-0)
- Jack Barnett & Mateo Vereau Melendez (0-1)
- Sean Hill & Dominik Jakovljevic (0-0)
BYU Singles Records
- Sean Hill (5-1)
- Ben Gajardo (5-1)
- Sam Tullis (3-3)
- Dominik Jakovljevic (3-3)
- Jack Barnett (2-2)
- Matheus Ferreira Leite (2-1)
- Mateo Vereau Melendez (1-4)
Utah State Notes (4-2, 0-0 Mountain West Conference)
- The Aggies are 4-2, with their most recent win coming on a 7-0 sweep of Colorado Mesa last weekend.
- Utah State has wins over Idaho State, Eastern Washington, Weber State and Colorado Mesa.
- The Aggies two losses came at Gonzaga and against Denver at home. Utah State also had a match against Seattle scheduled for the second week of the season that was canceled.
- The last meeting between BYU and Utah State was on Feb. 22, 2020. The Cougars defeated the Aggies, 4-1.
Head Coach - Aaron Paajanen
- Alma Mater: Point Loma Nazarene, 2004
- Division 1 Coaching Record: 36-52 (6th Season)
- Record at Utah State: 7-13 (2nd Season)
Match Information - February 27