Young Team Wins Season Openers
PROVO -- A talented freshman foursome helped clinch BYU's 4-3 win over Weber State on Friday. Orem native A.J. Young, along with teammate Tom Young, recorded BYU's third and fourth points, respectively, to solidify the victory. The No. 68 Cougars also posted a 5-2 win over Utah State earlier in the afternoon. BYU now owns a 2-0 record on the season and continues its traditional success at home.
"It's great being put in the fire and knowing we can pull together as a team and pull through," said BYU head coach Brad Pearce. "For them to win against a tough Utah State team and a good Weber State team is phenomenal. I'm really proud of this team, especially with so many freshman."
After losing the doubles point to USU, the Cougars able to secure the win by competing well in singles. Playing at the No. 1 position, Thomas Shubert pulled through a three-set match (6-2, 4-6, 6-3) against the Aggies' Jakob Asplund. Tom Young, Daniel Hwang, Evan Urbina, and Cassidy Mears, also notched points for the Cougars.
"I think it helped that we lost the doubles point against Utah State," said Pearce. "It forced us to come back and have a good singles performance. The guys believed that we could get it done in singles."
The Cougars' doubles performances against WSU were not enough to secure the point, and once again the team found itself relying on its singles play.
Jonathan Sanchez, who played at the No. 2 spot against USU, suffered from an ankle injury and was pulled from the singles competition. Urbina found himself up one position and playing against a tough Henning Hipp from WSU. After winning 7-5 in the first set, Urbina eventually fell to his German opponent.
"Evan [Urbina]'s a really exciting player," said Pearce. "He's capable of big time tennis. He had a few match points and [Hipp] came up with some pretty good second serves. We identified some things he can work on when it comes to crunch time, but he played a great match."
Once again Hwang found victory, easily securing a point for BYU after his 6-2, 6-1 win. Shubert soon followed with another win of his own, this time against Sascha Kiehne, the Wildcats' No. 1 player.
As the match wound down , the Cougars' only hope to come out on top rested on the shoulders of two freshmen, Tom and A.J. Young. Their 6-4, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-2 wins, respectively, pushed BYU to the top and put the finishing touch on a successful day.
Up next the Cougars will prepare to take on Eastern Washington at home on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
No. 68 BYU-5 Utah State-2
1. Asplund/Tyden (USU) def. Mears/Sanchez (BYU), 9-8
2. Ericsson/Gallegos (USU) def. Hwang/Urbina (BYU), 8-6
3. Shubert/T. Young (BYU) def. Searle/Banks (USU), 9-8
1. T. Shubert (BYU) def. J. Asplund (USU), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
2. O. Ericsson (USU) def. J. Sanchez (BYU), 6-7, 2-3 (ret.)
3. E. Urbina (BYU) def. F. Gallegos (USU), 6-1, 6-1
4. C. Mears (BYU) def. J. Tyden (USU), 6-7, 6-0, 7-5
5. D. Hwang (BYU) def. M. Banks (USU), 6-3, 6-4
5. T. Young (BYU) def. M. Searle (USU), 6-1, 6-0
No. 68 BYU-4
1. Kiehne/Mancarella (WSU) def. Mears/Sanchez (BYU), 8-3
2. Hipp/Plum (WSU) def. Hwang/Urbina (BYU), 8-6
3. Shubert/T. Young (BYU) def. Covington/Marchant (WSU), 8-4
1. T. Shubert (BYU) def. S. Kiehne (WSU), 6-4, 6-3
2. H. Hipp (WSU) def. E. Urbina (BYU), 5-7, 6-3, 7-6
3. F. Mancarella (WSU) def. C. Mears (BYU), 7-5, 7-6
4. D. Hwang (BYU) def. N. Plum (WSU), 6-2, 6-1
5. T. Young (BYU) def. T. Covington (WSU), 6-4, 6-2
5. A. Young (BYU) def. Williams (WSU), 6-2, 6-2
Men Host Season Opener
PROVO -- The No. 68 BYU men's tennis team will kick off its 2008 season when it hosts a doubleheader against Utah State and Weber State on Friday at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts. The Cougars hope to continue their recent success playing at home with a record of 20-2 in Provo over the past three seasons.
"Coming back from the holiday break, we don't have a lot of time to prepare," said BYU head coach Brad Pearce. "We got right back into it and emphasized that these are two teams that we can't take lightly. We're concentrating on working hard, but also performing at our best because we're loose and having fun."
The Cougars have faced opponents from both schools throughout the fall season, including the Utah Invitational, where BYU's duo of Cassidy Mears and Jonathan Sanchez defeated Weber State's Sascha Kiehne and Fabio Mancarella to win the doubles title.
Returning only two players from the 2007 season, the Cougars have a young team with little experience playing at the collegiate level. BYU's coaching staff has used examples set by national sports teams to emphasize the importance of focusing on one match at a time.
"We've talked about playing as hard at the beginning of matches as we do at the end," said Pearce. "What I always try to do with incoming players is help them to improve technically and then also help them improve their shot selection and decision making. As I see how they perform, it will become more apparent what individual coaching they will need."
BYU's match against Utah State will begin at 12 p.m. and the match against Weber State will start at 5:30 p.m. Admission to all matches is free, along with pizza which will be provided for fans. BYU "Y Lot" parking is available to visitors after 4 p.m.