SACRAMENTO -- The No. 62 BYU men's tennis team won its first of three road matches in California by knocking off Sacramento State 5-2 Monday afternoon. The Cougars won the doubles point by taking two of three matches and went on to win four more singles matches to easily defeat the Hornets. The Cougars have now won six straight matches.
Jeff Harbach and Jeff Olsen assumed the No. 1 position in doubles with Carlos Lozano not playing, but lost to Jones/Zaher, 8-5. Nic Losee and Erik Nyman continued their torrid play, winning their fifth straight doubles match while playing at the No. 2 spot. Jose Luis Lechuga and Gert Vilms, playing together for the first time in a competitive match, overpowered Price/Sheehan at No. 3, 8-2.
BYU also proved too much for Sacramento State to handle in singles play. Nyman stepped up and played No. 2, winning when Fabio Jesus retired in the second set. Losee won for the seventh straight time in dominating fashion at the No. 3 spot, 6-3, 6-1. Anton Rudjuk returned to action and won at No.4 in three sets. Harbach finished out BYU's scoring at No. 6, 6-3, 6-2. BYU's two losses came in third-set tiebreakers, with Vilms losing at No. 1 and Olsen losing at No. 6.
The Cougars battle No. 20 California Tuesday and No. 6 Stanford Wednesday. The match against Cal will be a rematch of NCAA Tournament play from 2001, when the Bears narrowly defeated the Cougars.
No. 1 Jones/Zaher (SSU) def. Harbach/Olsen (BYU) 8-5
No. 2 Losee/Nyman (BYU) def. Farkus/Jesus (SSU) 8-4
No. 3 Lechuga/Vilms (BYU) def. Price/Sheehan (SSU) 8-2
BYU WINS DOUBLES POINT
No. 1 Sherif Zaher (SSU) def. Gert Vilms (BYU) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6
No. 2 Erik Nyman (BYU) def. Fabio Jesus (SSU) 6-3, 3-3 ret.
No. 3 Nic Losee (BYU) def. Matthew Jones (SSU) 6-3, 6-1
No. 4 Anton Rudjuk (BYU) def. Nick Sheehan (SSU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
No. 5 Ali Abbou (SSU) def. Jeff Olsen (BYU) 7-6, 6-7, 7-6
No. 6 Jeff Harbach (BYU) def. Peter Farkus (SSU) 6-3, 6-2
BYU WINS MATCH 5-2
PROVO -- The No. 62 BYU men's tennis team will head back to California for a three day, three match road trip beginning Monday against Sacramento State. BYU will take on No. 6 Stanford Tuesday and No. 20 California Wednesday before returning to Utah.
The Cougars want to be just as successful as last week's trip to California, where they knocked off No. 61 Princeton, 4-3. These three matches should prove to be a tough test for BYU before heading into Mountain West Conference play.
"We've got our work cut out for us," BYU head coach Jim Osborne said. "We're going to be playing the best in the country."
Stanford has several players in the top 100 in the nation, while California features five Davis Cup players. BYU almost upset Cal last season in the NCAA Regional tournament, so the two teams are very familiar with each other.
"We had some chances last season against Cal, so we really have nothing to lose," Osborne said. "I think we're strong enough and we have the talent to do some damage."
Nic Losee and Erik Nyman have led the Cougars lately with their stellar play. Losee has won six consecutive singles matches, while Nyman has a five-match streak of his own. The pair has won four straight doubles matches, while the No. 10 ranked doubles team of Gert Vilms and Carlos Lozano continue to play well. Jeff Harbach and Jeff Olsen round out BYU's impressive doubles lineup, and the doubles play will be important on this trip.
BYU will host Boise State Mar. 30 for the Cougars' final home match of the season. The Cougars have not lost a match at home this season, and defeated the Broncos in the fall at the National Indoor Qualifiying Tournament.