BYU Suffers Close Loss to Utah
PROVO -- After a thrilling doubles point win, the BYU men's tennis team lost four of its six singles matches, getting edged out 4-3 by in-state rival Utah on Saturday. With the loss the Cougars fall to 14-11 on the season and 2-4 in Mountain West Conference play.
"I'm proud of our guys for fighting today," said BYU head coach Brad Pearce. "I don't think we lost because [Utah] has better players; at the crucial times during the match, our lack of experience is what hurt us. Those type of things can be fixed as the season goes on and in the years to come."
On court one in doubles, Jonathan Sanchez and AJ Young dropped an 8-4 match to Zach Ganger and Miron Mann. Freshmen Daniel Hwang and Thomas Shubert tied things up with their 8-6 win at the No. 2 position.
In singles, both Sanchez and Urbina lost in straight sets on courts one and four, respectively. Hwang remained undefeated on the day with his decisive 6-2, 6-1 win over John Taylor. His win tied the match up at 2-2.
After winning his first set 6-3, Young was forced into a third set, which he eventually lost 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. The Cougars continued to battle however, with Mears tying things up once again with his 7-6, 6-3 win over Othman Zerouali-Ouariti at the No. 3 position.
Both teams gathered around the second court to cheer on their respective teammates in what was the deciding match of the day. Down a set, Shubert looked to rebound in the second, but came up just short, ending the day with a 7-5, 6-4 loss to Mann.
Despite going 1-2 on the weekend against league opponents, the Cougars remain confident as the MWC Tournament comes up on April 24-26.
"I look forward to playing against any of those teams at the conference tournament," said Pearce.
Before heading into the tournament, the Cougars will close the season at home against Santa Barbara on April 19.
Utah def. BYU, 4-3
April 12, 2008 - Provo, Utah
1. Ganger/Mann (UTAH) def. Sanchez/A. Young (BYU) 8-4
2. Hwang/Shubert (BYU) def. Taylor/Zerouali (UTAH) 8-6
3. Mears/Urbina (BYU) def. Hancock/Allin (UTAH) 8-6
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
1. Z. Ganger (UTAH) def. J. Sanchez (BYU) 6-4,6-0
2. M. Mann (UTAH) def. T. Shubert (BYU) 7-5, 6-4
3. C. Mears (BYU) def. O. Zerouali (UTAH) 7-6, 6-3
4. W. Hancock (UTAH) def. E. Urbina (BYU) 6-3, 6-0
5. D. Hwang (BYU) def. J. Taylor (UTAH) 6-2, 6-1
6. T. Allin (UTAH) def. A. Young (BYU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
Order of finish: 1, 4, 5, 6, 3, 2
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.