LOS -- For the third time this year, the No. 31 BYU men’s tennis team recovered from a tough loss with a solid win. After dropping a close match to UCSB, the Cougars came back and blanked Loyola Marymount 7-0 Saturday in California.
“The team showed a lot of character bouncing back from a tough loss,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “It’s a really positive characteristic of this team to come back with solid wins after losses.”
BYU switched up its pairs again in the match against the Lions. The new combinations proved successful as the Cougars swept doubles play to get the 1-0 advantage going into singles.
“We learn something every match about our players and where they are most effective,” Pearce said.
Pearce and the squad also made some changes in the singles lineup. Georgy Batrakov was the first player off the court for BYU, recording a win over Borja Malet at the No. 3 position. Daniel Hwang’s victory on court six put the Cougars one point away from their 15th win of the season.
Freshman Spencer Smith clinched the match, defeating his LMU challenger 6-4, 6-2. BYU picked up two more wins at the Nos. 2 and 4 positions. In his first match this year playing No. 1 for the Cougars, junior Evan Urbina completed the sweep in a three-set victory over Ivan Lopez.
“We made some little adjustments and we’re getting close in terms of lineup and doubles combinations,” Pearce said. “We want to get it right so everything will be ready for conference play.”
Conference play begins next week for BYU when it travels to play Air Force Thursday and New Mexico Saturday.
No. 31 BYU-7
1. Cassidy Mears/Thomas Shubert (BYU) def. Ivan Lopez/Otto Sauer (LMU) 8-3
2. Spencer Smith/Georgy Batrakov (BYU) def. Borja Malet/Renzo Maggi (LMU) 8-5
3. Evan Urbina/Daniel Hwang (BYU) def. Geza Bazula/Johan Berhof (LMU) 8-6
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3
1. Evan Urbina (BYU) def. Ivan Lopez (LMU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
2. Thomas Shubert (BYU) def. Otto Sauer (LMU) 6-0, 7-6
3. Georgy Batrakov (BYU) def. Borja Malet (LMU) 6-1, 6-1
4. Cassidy Mears (BYU) def. Geza Bazula (LMU) 6-3, 6-4
5. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. Renzo Maggi (LMU) 6-4, 6-2
6. Daniel Hwang (BYU) def. Johan Berhof (LMU) 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 6, 5, 2, 4, 1
PROVO -- Two teams await the No. 31 BYU men’s tennis team in Southern California this weekend. The Cougars will play their last nonconference matches against UC Santa Barbara and Loyola Marymount.
“Good players like to compete,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “We’re looking forward to going down there and playing. Hopefully we’ll have a successful weekend.”
In its last outing, BYU rebounded from a loss to Nebraska with a 6-1 rout of No. 58 San Diego. The team improved to 14-3 on the season with the win and senior Cassidy Mears was honored as the Mountain West Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week.
“We’re glad to have been outside the last couple of days,” Pearce said. “We’ll be at sea level this weekend and conditions will be slower but we’ll be well-prepared.”
First up for the Cougars will be UCSB (5-7). The Gauchos have entered the rankings twice this year but do not currently grace the charts. BYU defeated Santa Barbara 5-2 at home Feb. 6 of this year. The Gauchos’ latest result was a 6-1 loss to No. 19 Washington Tuesday.
Saturday the Cougars will face Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. The Lions own a 6-8 record after losing to 4-3 in their last match. Last season, BYU swept LMU 7-0 at home.
“We’re not taking Santa Barbara or Loyola Marymount lightly,” Pearce said. “This will be good preparation for playing outdoors the rest of the season.”
Friday’s match will begin at noon PT at the Recreation Center Courts in Santa Barbara, Calif. Saturday’s contest will take place at 9:30 a.m. PT at the LMU Tennis Center in Los Angeles. Live stats will be available for the match against Loyola Marymount. To follow along, click here.