DALLAS -- In the last nonconference match of the season, the No. 34 BYU men’s tennis team fell to Southern Methodist in Texas. Friday’s 4-3 loss dropped the Cougars to 17-5 on the year.
Georgy Batrakov and Daniel Hwang were the only BYU duo to record a win in doubles. The pair earned an 8-4 decision at the No. 2 position. SMU took the match on court three by the same scoreline. On court one, Cassidy Mears and Thomas Shubert fought to overcome the No. 29 pair in the country. The tandem tied things up at seven-all but eventually fell 9-7, giving the Mustangs the point.
Evan Urbina and Batrakov secured straight-set wins at the Nos. 2 and 4 positions, respectively. SMU’s Darren Walsh defeated Mears 6-3, 6-2 on court three to even the score at 2-2. The Mustangs pulled ahead with a 7-5, 7-5 victory at the No. 5 spot.
The final two matches both went to three sets. Shubert won the first set 6-4 but fell in the second and third to allow SMU to clinch the match. On court six, Daniel Hwang also won his first set but lost the second. The third set went to a tiebreak, and the junior captured the match at 7-4 to finish play at 4-3.
BYU will resume conference play Saturday when it takes on No. 56 TCU at 2 p.m. CT. The match will take place at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center and live stats will be available. For updated results throughout the contest, click here.
No. 34 BYU-3
1. No. 29 el-Effendi/Walsh (SMU) def. Mears/ Shubert (BYU) 9-7
2. Batrakov/Hwang (BYU) def. Flood/Griffin (SMU) 8-4
3. Baradach/Hooshyar (SMU) def. Smith/Urbina (BYU) 8-4
1. No. 68 A. Baradach (SMU) def. T. Shubert (BYU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
2. E. Urbina (BYU) def. T. Flood (SMU) 6-2, 6-2
3. D. Walsh (SMU) def. C. Mears (BYU) 6-3, 6-2
4. G. Batrakov (BYU) def. P. Perez-Esnaola (SMU) 6-4, 6-2
5. C. Hooshyar (SMU) def. S. Smith (BYU) 7-5, 7-5
6. D. Hwang (BYU) def. A. el-Effendi (SMU) 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4)
PROVO -- With two conference wins under its belt, the No. 34 BYU men’s tennis team will travel to Texas this week to play the last nonconference contest of the season and take on Mountain West opponent No. 56 TCU. The Cougars will face SMU Friday and the Horned Frogs Saturday.
“Our simple goal is to come back with two wins,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “Both of these matches are both important for us.”
BYU improved to 2-0 in conference play with a 6-1 defeat of Air Force and a 5-2 win over New Mexico. The Cougars stand at 17-4 overall, the first time the team has reached the 17-win mark since 2005. Thomas Shubert was honored as MWC Men’s Tennis Player of the Week for his performances over the weekend. It was BYU’s seventh honor this season.
Up first for the Cougars will be Southern Methodist University. The Mustangs (10-10) fell 5-2 to No. 36 Notre Dame Saturday. SMU’s Artem Baradach is currently the No. 68 player in the country. On the doubles side, Adam el-Effendi and Darren Walsh come in at No. 29.
“SMU is a big match. They have a good program and a strong tradition,” Pearce said. “It’s an opportunity for us to get acclimatized in preparation for TCU.”
Saturday’s match will pit BYU against defending regular season champion TCU. The Horned Frogs (7-8, 1-1) have the No. 61 pair in Emanu Brighiu and Christopher Price. In conference play, TCU defeated UNLV 4-3 and lost to San Diego State by the same score. Last season, the Horned Frogs beat the Cougars 5-2 in Salt Lake City.
“I like our chances against TCU,” Pearce said. “But we have to go down there and compete. We’ve experienced a hostile environment when we’ve played there before, and we have to be ready.”
Weekend play kicks off against SMU Friday at 2 p.m. CT at the Turpin Tennis Center in Dallas. BYU will then face TCU Saturday at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center at 11 a.m. CT. Live stats will be available for that match. To follow along, click here.