PROVO, Utah—The No. 36 BYU men’s tennis team started its season off with a bang, downing Weber State 7-0 Friday in the 2012 home opener.
“I think Weber State played a good match,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “There was competition at every position. Fortunately we came through, and I was pleased with that. We need to keep on working hard now that we have our first win. Next week will be a big test for us.”
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Junior Spencer Smith, a native of Salt Lake City, blew through the first set against Dave Hintze, a senior from Bountiful, Utah, for a 6-1 finish. He pressed on to score the first singles point for BYU with a 6-0 victory in the second set.
No. 43 Georgy Batrakov overcame an early deficit in his first set to win 6-2 and took the match on a 6-2, 6-0 win in the second against Simon Unger. No. 106 Patrick Kawka won the match point for the Cougars with his 6-3, 6-3 victory against Oliver Good, putting BYU ahead 4-0.
No. 67 Keaton Cullimore, Francis Sargeant and Travis Fillmore topped off the Cougar victory with three more singles wins for the final score of 7-0. Cullimore, a freshman from Sandy, Utah, fought through a tough second set to sweep Peter Ramstromer Pello, 6-2, 6-4. Freshman Sargeant made quick work of his match against Caio Poitena for a 6-2, 6-1 victory at the No. 5 position.
At position No. 6, Fillmore came back after losing the first set to tie the match at one set all, going on to win the tie breaker 13-11.
BYU started competition with a solid showing in doubles play, taking the wins on courts 2 and 3. Cougars Smith and Sargeant took down their Wildcat opponents in a quick 10 games, defeating Caio Poitena and Ramstromer Pello 8-2. With doubles play tied after a loss on Court 1, Cullimore and Michael Eraso overcame a tie to win their match 8-3.
Fans overflowed the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts to watch the team compete.
“The crowd was great,” Pearce said. “I told the guys we only have one home opener. If people come out and have a good time, it defines how much support we get the rest of the season. It’s a whole different feeling if only families are there and maybe a few friends.”
Next up, the team travels to California for back-to-back matches against UC Santa Barbara and UCLA. The Cougars play UCSB Thursday at 1 p.m. PST and UCLA Friday at 2 p.m. PST. Their next home match is against Idaho State Feb. 3.
Netters kick off season against Weber State
PROVO -- For the fifth consecutive year, the No. 36 BYU men’s tennis team will open its season against Weber State at the Indoor Tennis Courts on Friday.
The Cougars will be hitting the court for the first time since November when the squad concluded a successful fall season. Senior Spencer Smith led BYU in singles, dropping only two matches during fall play. Smith won the singles title at both the Utah Fall Classic and the University of Utah Intercollegiates. Freshman Keaton Cullimore took home another title for BYU when he partnered with high school star John Pearce, head coach Brad Pearce’s son, to earn the Utah Fall Classic doubles title.
During the fall tournament season, members of the BYU team played opponents from Weber State at the University of Utah Intercollegiates and the ITA Mountain Region Championships. The Cougars went a perfect 4-0 against WSU in singles throughout the fall while the Wildcats took the doubles series, winning three of the four matchups.
History favors the home team as BYU owns a 57-5 all-time record against Weber State.
Weber State is represented in the ITA rankings by the No. 43 duo of senior Simon Unger and sophomore Oliver Good.
The match kicks off at 5:30 p.m. at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts. The courts are located south of the Smith Fieldhouse.
As always at home matches, pizza and prizes will be provided. Cosmo will make a special appearance. Spectators may park in the “Y Lot” parking lots southwest and northwest of the courts. Admission is free.