Freshmen Help Pull Upset Over No. 54 SDSU
PROVO -- The BYU men's tennis team pulled out a close 4-3 win over No. 54 San Diego State on Thursday after three freshmen posted singles wins to close the match. Thomas Shubert, Daniel Hwang and A.J. Young's victories on courts two, five and six, respectively, helped the Cougars improve to 14-9 on the season and 2-2 in Mountain West Conference play. The win also marks the first time BYU has defeated a ranked opponent this season.
"I'm really proud of our guys today," said BYU head coach Brad Pearce. "Our backs were against the wall and all of those guys knew they had to win. It was a tough battle that could have gone either way, but it bounced our way today."
The Cougars jumped out to an early lead after winning the doubles point. Both Cassidy Mears and Evan Urbina, and Hwang and Shubert recorded 8-3 wins over the Aztecs. On court one, Jonathan Sanchez and Young were tied at six games all with Bartosz Golas and Juan Gomez. Forced into an early tie-breaker, the Cougars eventually fell 7-6 (4). BYU is now 9-2 on the season when winning the doubles point.
Momentum shifted in the Aztecs favor as singles play began, with SDSU capturing the first sets in the top four positions. After losing 6-1 in his first set, Mears kept it close in the second, narrowly losing in a second-set tiebreak. Sanchez also stepped his play up in the second set, but fell 6-3, 7-5 to Matan Shitrit. With a 7-6, 6-2 loss for Urbina on court four, the Cougars' hope rested on the outcome of the final three matches.
At the No. 2 position, Shubert lost a close first set to SDSU's Golaz, only to come back and post a 6-4 advantage to force the only third set of the day. Down 3-1 early, the freshman won four straight games before going on to win 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. Young came out quickly and took care of business, pulling the Cougars to within one point with his 6-2, 6-2 victory.
With the cheers of his teammates behind him, Hwang pulled out a tough 6-4, 6-4 win over Andre Feliz on court five to clinch the overall victory for the Cougars.
"Shubert gave us a huge momentum shift," said Pearce. "It also really helped that A.J. [Young] went out there, got a decisive win and got off the court quickly. Then Daniel [Hwang]'s first set win really got the momentum rolling."
BYU will continue conference play throughout the weekend as it is scheduled to take on New Mexico on Friday and Utah on Saturday. Both matches will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the BYU Outdoor Tennis Courts, if weather permits. Admission is free and BYU "Y Lot" parking is available to visitors after 4 p.m. on weekdays. On both Friday and Saturday, fans can enjoy free burgers, chips and drinks. Cosmo will also be on hand supporting the Cougar team.
BYU def. No. 54 SDSU, 4-3
April 10, 2008 - Provo, Utah
1. Golas/Gomez (SDSU) def. Sanchez/A. Young (BYU) 7-6(4)
2. Hwang/Shubert (BYU) def. Ceban/Schulz van Endert (SDSU) 8-3
3. Mears/Urbina (BYU) def. Feliz/Shitrit (SDSU) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1. M. Shitrit (SDSU) def. J. Sanchez (BYU) 6-3, 7-5
2. T. Shubert (BYU) def. B. Golas (SDSU) 6-7, 6-4, 6-4
3. A. Ceban (SDSU) def. C. Mears (BYU) 6-1, 7-6(4)
4. J. Gomez (SDSU) def. E. Urbina (BYU) 7-6(6), 6-2
5. D. Hwang (BYU) def. A. Feliz (SDSU) 6-4, 6-4
6. A. Young (BYU) def. J. Colman (SDSU) 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 4, 2, 6, 5
Conference Foes Visit as Alumni Gather
PROVO -- Over sixty former BYU men's tennis players will return to Provo this weekend as the current team hosts San Diego State, New Mexico and in-state rival Utah. Coming from as far away as Mexico, the alumni will watch as the Cougars try to improve upon their 13-9 overall record and 1-2 record in Mountain West Conference play.
"We're very excited to have the alumni coming in," said BYU head coach Brad Pearce. "It will be great to have them back here, surrounding the tennis program again. This will be a great weekend of tennis."
No. 54 SDSU enters the weekend with a 12-8, 1-2 MWC record after falling to New Mexico on Saturday. Last year the Cougars posted a 4-3 win over the Aztcs, and regular-season champions, at the MWC Tournament in Colorado Springs, Colo.
With their win against SDSU, No. 51 New Mexico remained undefeated in MWC play and improved to 16-6 overall. The Lobos are led by senior, and No. 41-ranked Max Jones.
Utah improved to 10-9 on the season after sweeping Air Force on Sunday. Saturday marks the first meeting between Utah and BYU since the inception of the Deseret First Duel.
The Duel uses a system that awards points to the winner of each head-to-head competition between the two schools. A team trophy is awarded to the individual winner of each sport -- football, basketball, softball, etc. Points won by the individual sports count toward each school's overall total. At the conclusion of each school year, a granite traveling trophy will be awarded to the overall rivalry series champion.
As part of the weekend celebration, free pizza will be provided for fans on Thursday. On both Friday and Saturday, fans can enjoy free burgers, chips and drinks. Cosmo will also be on hand supporting the Cougar team.
During the Utah match, fans can also participate in a prize drawing, with prizes including an autographed Pete Sampras jersey, autographed posters and photos of Anna Kournikova and an autographed pair of Nike shoes from Mark Knowles, the No. 1 doubles player in the world.
BYU is scheduled to take on SDSU on Thursday, New Mexico on Friday and Utah on Saturday. All matches will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the BYU Outdoor Tennis Courts, if weather permits. Admission is free and BYU "Y Lot" parking is available to visitors after 4 p.m. on weekdays.