Perfect Week for Men's Tennis
PROVO -- The No. 65 BYU men's tennis team reached its goal of a 3-0 week after a win against Santa Clara and an upset of No. 48 Denver Friday. The Cougars remain undefeated at home and improve their overall record to 7-2.
"To win against a quality team like Santa Clara and then follow it up with a win over a team like Denver, which is highly ranked and has a lot of wins, I couldn't ask for anything more," BYU coach Brad Pearce said.
The match against Santa Clara began with a commanding doubles performance by the Cougars. BYU easily snagged wins on courts one through three and earned the first point of the match.
Freshman Georgy Batrakov secured the first singles win for the team at the No. 4 position. His victory was shortly followed with another by junior Cassidy Mears to put the Cougars up 3-0. After going down a set on court one, Evan Urbina came back to take the second and third and clinch the match for BYU.
Roman Warias also found himself behind after the first set. The freshman was able to mount a comeback and add to the team’s total. Straight-set wins by Daniel Hwang and Travis Fillmore finished the sweep.
Doubles against Denver started with a win by BYU at the No. 2 position. Batrakov and A.J. Young slipped by their opponents to give the Cougars’ their second doubles point of the day.
Singles play got off to a rough start for BYU with Warias, Urbina and Thomas Shubert falling in straight sets. The Pioneers needed only one more win with three matches remaining to claim the victory.
Batrakov won the first set in a 10-12 tiebreak before dropping the second 6-1. The freshman battled through cramps and fatigue to win the match and keep BYU’s hopes alive.
"Georgy was the key to keeping us in the match," Pearce said. "Georgy gave our No. 5 and No. 6 players the opportunity to do what they did for us in winning."
Mears tied the score at 3-3 with a win at the No. 5 position, and the match came down to Hwang on court six. The sophomore easily won the first set 6-1. The second set went back-and-forth until he finally pulled away to make the final score 6-3 and clinch the win for BYU.
"It was simply heart today," Pearce said. "That win is going to be a huge boost for us the rest of the season."
The team will travel to Calif. next week to take on Stanford and Pacific. The Stanford and Pacific matches were scheduled for earlier this season but were rescheduled because of rain.
Santa Clara- 0
1. Shubert/Urbina (BYU) def. Hirawaka-Wong/Wong (USC) 8-2
2. Hwang/Mears (BYU) def. Dandan/Hicks (USC) 8-2
3. Batrakov/Young (BYU) def. Burke/Iwanski (USC) 8-0
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. E. Urbina (BYU) def. J. Wong (USC) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1*
2. R. Warias (BYU) def. K. Dandan (USC) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
3. C. Mears (BYU) def. T. Hicks (USC) 6-1, 6-4
4. G. Batrakov (BYU) def. K. Hirakawa-Wong (USC) 6-2, 6-1
5. D. Hwang (BYU) def. C. Burke (USC) 6-0, 6-0
6. T. Fillmore (BYU) def. J. Iwanski (USC) 6-0, 6-0
* denotes clinching the match--Order of Finish: 4, 3, 1, 2, 5, 6
1. Simson/Zimmermann (DU) def. Shubert/Urbina (BYU) 8-6
2. Hwang/Mears (BYU) def. Althaus/Weihs (DU) 8-3
3. Batrakov/Young (BYU) def. Gunnarsson/Dhatt (DU) 8-6
1. M. Zimmermann (DU) def. E. Urbina (BYU) 7-5, 6-4
2. #83D. Simson (DU) def. T. Shubert (BYU) 6-4, 6-4
3. B. Althaus (DU) def. R. Warias (BYU) 6-4, 6-0
4. G. Batrakov (BYU) def. Y. Weihs (DU) 7-6 (12-10), 1-6, 6-1
5. C. Mears (BYU) def. J. Gunnarsson (DU) 6-0, 6-1
6. D. Hwang (BYU) def. V. Gunaseelan (DU) 6-1, 6-3*
* denotes clinching the match--Order of finish: 3, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6
BYU to Play Host This Week
PROVO -- PROVO -- After taking last week off, the No. 65 men’s tennis team will return to Provo to host Idaho State Wednesday and a doubleheader against No. 48 Denver and Santa Clara Friday. The 4-2 Cougars have not played for three weeks because inclement weather canceled two matches scheduled for Feb. 6 and 7.
“We have a good opportunity to be 3-0 this week and that is our primary goal. In order to accomplish it, the guys need to come out and compete and play good, solid tennis,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said.
Idaho State has yet to win a match this season and is currently 0-6. Most recently, the Bengals fell 4-3 to Northern Colorado. BYU last faced ISU in the 2004-2005 season when the Cougars swept the match 7-0.
“We are fortunate to get the match against Idaho State in to get back into match mode and be ready for Friday,” Pearce said.
Santa Clara comes to Provo after having five of six matches postponed because of rain. The Broncos defeated UC Santa Cruz 6-1 Jan. 31 in their first and only match of the season so far. BYU beat Santa Clara 5-2 last year.
Denver is currently 5-4 on the season and coming off a 5-2 victory over Montana State last week. The Pioneers’ only ranked player is No. 83 David Simson. The junior currently owns a 6-3 record in the spring season. The two teams have traded wins over the past six seasons. Last year, Denver edged out the Cougars 4-3 in Colo. to improve their all-time record against BYU to 3-5.
Admission to the contests is free, and the team will provide supporters with pizza and prizes. The match against Idaho State starts at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Friday’s match against Santa Clara begins at noon followed by Denver at 6 p.m. All matches will be in the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts, located south of the Smith Fieldhouse. All BYU “Y Lot” parking lots are available to the public after 4 p.m.