Cougars Start Season with Two Wins
PROVO -- The No. 70 BYU men’s tennis team earned its first two wins of the season and improved its record to 2-0 after victories over Utah State and Weber State Friday. The Cougars looked strong as they swept the Aggies and allowed the Wildcats to score only one point.
"Our team goal was to win every match today," BYU coach Brad Pearce said. "It wasn't perfect, but it was very close."
Sophomores Evan Urbina and A.J. Young opened up scoring for the Cougars in doubles play on court two, easily defeating Utah State’s Amit Maharaj and Alex Thatcher 8-2. Wins on courts one and three earned the doubles point for BYU and completed the sweep.
Urbina also earned a victory in singles to put the home team up 2-1. Cougar singles play rolled on, and BYU clinched the match with simultaneous wins by freshmen Roman Warias and Georgy Batrakov and sophomore Thomas Shubert.
Junior Cassidy Mears racked up another point for the Cougars with a straight-set win over Thatcher. Young won his first set against freshman Jordan Barlow before dropping the second 6-0. He came back in the tiebreak to blank the Aggies 7-0.
Doubles play against Weber State started with a solid performance by sophomore Daniel Hwang and freshman Batrakov, who handily defeated their Wildcat foes 8-3. With a loss by Urbina and Young, the hope for the doubles point rested with Mears and Shubert. The two fell behind to start the match but battled back to even the score at six all. The pairs went back-and-forth to force a tiebreak before the Cougars dropped the match 8-8 (7-5).
"We came out a little flat," Pearce said. "That match could've gone our way and our guys fought hard; that's all you can ask for."
That was the only point Weber State would earn on the night with BYU turning in solid performances across the board in singles play. Urbina again started things off for the Cougars with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Simon Unger. Batrakov and Warias followed quickly with victories on their respective courts and Shubert secured the match with a win over Wildcat Sascha Kiehne.
Mears and Hwang earned the Cougars’ last two points at positions five and six with decisive victories over Travis Covington and Cole Paterson respectively. Hwang did not lose a single game en route to his straight-set win while Mears lost just one.
"We took care of business in singles from top to bottom," Pearce said.
BYU will travel to California next week to take on No. 4 UCLA, No. 62 UC Santa Barbara and No. 63 UC Irvine.
No. 70 BYU- 7
Utah State- 0
January 16, 2009
1. Mears/Shubert (BYU) def. Asplund/Marchant (USU) 8-5
2. Urbina/Young (BYU) def. Maharaj/Thatcher (USU) 8-2
3. Batrakov/Hwang (BYU) def. Banks/Barlow (USU) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1. Shubert (BYU) def. Asplund (USU) 6-2, 6-4
2. Urbina (BYU) def. Maharaj (USU) 6-4, 6-2
3. Warias (BYU) def. Marchant (USU) 6-4, 6-3
4. Batrakov (BYU) def. Banks (USU) 7-5, 6-2
5. Mears (BYU) def. Thatcher (USU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Young (BYU) def. Barlow (USU) 6-4, 0-6, 10-7
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1, 4, 5, 6
No. 70 BYU- 6
Weber State- 1
January 16, 2009
1. Kiehne/Unger (WSU) def. Mears/Shubert (BYU) 8-8 (7)
2. Covington/Marchant (WSU) def. Urbina/Young (BYU) 8-4
3. Batrakov/Hwang (BYU) def. Paterson/Williams (WSU) 8-1
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1. Shubert (BYU) def. Kiehne (WSU) 6-3, 6-4
2. Urbina (BYU) def. Unger (WSU) 6-4, 6-1
3. Warias (BYU) def. Marchant (WSU) 6-0, 6-4
4. Batrakov (BYU) def. Williams (WSU) 6-1, 6-2
5. Mears (BYU) def. Covington (WSU) 6-0, 6-1
6. Hwang (BYU) def. Paterson (WSU) 6-0, 6-0
Order of Finish: 2, 4, 3, 1, 5, 6
Men's Tennis Hosts Season Opening Doubleheader
PROVO -- The No. 70 BYU men’s tennis team will kick off its spring season hosting a doubleheader against Utah State and Weber State at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts Friday.
Junior Cassidy Mears will lead the young group, which features four experienced sophomores and three talented new freshmen. Several members of the BYU squad faced opponents from both schools during the fall tournament season and came out with big wins.
The Cougars have not lost to Utah State in 45 meetings and lead the all-time series with Weber State 48-3. BYU opened last season with wins over the same two teams, beating the Aggies 5-2 and the Wildcats 4-3. The team did struggle in pairs play, however, losing the doubles point to both teams.
“I’m hoping we can get a better start in doubles play,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “We want to show better strength and preparation at the beginning of this season.”
BYU will spend this week at home before traveling to California to play top-level teams including No. 4 UCLA.
“We don’t have a lot of time to work into things so I want to look a little more polished right off the bat,” Pearce said.
The match against Utah State begins at 1:00 p.m. and play versus Weber State starts at 5:30 p.m. Admission to both matches is free and the team will provide free pizza and prizes for fans.
The BYU Indoor Tennis Courts are located south of the Smith Fieldhouse and east of South Field. All BYU “Y Lot” parking is open to visitors after 4 p.m.