LOS ANGELES—Another rough match ended in the No. 36 BYU men’s tennis team’s second loss on the road this week, this time falling 6-1 to No. 9 UCLA on the Bruins’ home courts Friday.
One bright spot of the day for BYU (1-2) came on Court 2 when junior Spencer Smith took down No. 72 Clay Thompson in a tiebreaker set, 2-6, 6-3, (10-6).
“I was really proud of Spencer,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “He beat Thompson, who won the Southern Cal Intercollegiate Championships this fall, so that was a big win for him. I felt at every position we competed really well. It’s obviously a little tough to be 1-2 on the season, but UCLA is No. 9 in the country. They’re a great team, a great program. And this was a better match at sea level than yesterday.”
No. 106 Patrick Kawka lost a tough set to No. 86 Marcos Giron at the No. 3 position, falling 7-5, 7-6 (4) to put UCLA (1-0) ahead 4-0 in the overall score.
Francis Sargeant pushed both his sets against Alex Brigham to tiebreakers, but Brigham pulled away with the 7-6, 7-6 (2) sweep.
BYU dropped its other three singles matches in straight sets to finish with the 6-1 loss.
The Cougars struggled in doubles play, with all three BYU partnerships losing 8-3 contests against their respective opponents.
The BYU netters will return to California next weekend for a match against Vanderbilt Friday at 1 p.m. PST.
BYU : 1
UCLA : 6
1. Meister/Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. Batrakov/Kawka (BYU) 8-3
2. Brigham/Giron (UCLA) def. Sargeant/Smith (BYU) 8-3
3. Warren Hardie/Thompson (UCLA) def. Cullimore/Eraso (BYU) 8-3
UCLA Wins Doubles Point
1. Nick Meister (UCLA) def. #43 Georgy Batrakov (BYU) 6-3, 6-3
2. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. #72 Clay Thompson (UCLA) 2-6, 6-3, (10-6)
3. #86 Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. #106 Patrick Kawka (BYU) 7-5, 7-6(4)
4. Maxime Tabatruong (UCLA) def. #67 Keaton Cullimore (BYU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Alex Brigham (UCLA) def. Francis Sargeant (BYU) 7-6, 7-6(2)
6. Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. Michael Eraso (BYU) 6-2, 6-0
BYU 1-2; National ranking #36
UCLA 1-0; National ranking #9
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,4,3,1,2,5)
Cougars Head to Calif. in Week 2
PROVO, Utah—The No. 36 BYU men’s tennis team takes to the road this weekend for back-to-back matchups against UC Santa Barbara and No. 9 UCLA.
The Cougars (1-0) take on UCSB (2-1) Thursday at 1 p.m. PST in Santa Barbara, Calif., and UCLA Friday at 2 p.m. PST in Los Angeles.
Coming off a 7-0 sweep of Weber State in the season home opener, BYU looks to ride its success through the California road trip. Last season, the Cougars defeated UCSB 4-1 in the BYU Invitational. The team lost to then-No. 6 UCLA, 7-0, in January 2011.
At the No. 1 singles position, the Cougars have No. 43 Georgy Batrakov. Batrakov is 10-3 on the season and 8-4 in doubles with Patrick Kawka. Batrakov and Kawka fell to Weber State’s No. 43 Simon Unger and Oliver Good, but won their respective singles matches. Kawka ranks No. 106 in the nation and plays at the No. 2 position for BYU.
Spencer Smith scored the first singles point for BYU against Weber State with his sweep on Court 3 and put BYU ahead in doubles, finishing first with doubles partner Francis Sargeant. Smith is 14-2 on the season and 10-4 in doubles with Sargeant.
Freshman No. 67 Keaton Cullimore is the third Cougar ranked nationally. Cullimore is 11-4 in singles and 4-1 with Michael Eraso in doubles. Cullimore and Eraso secured the doubles point for BYU with their victory Friday.
Mathieu Forget started at No. 1 for UCSB in the Gauchos’ last three matches and is 2-1 in January. He teams up with Mbonisi Ndimande at the No. 1 doubles place. The duo is undefeated in January.
Benjamin Recknagel is 2-1 at the No. 2 position for UCSB. Greg Scott at the No. 3 position also has a 2-1 record.
UCLA comes off an individual tournament—the Sherwood Collegiate Cup—last weekend, where Nick Meister reached the singles quarterfinals and Alex Brigham and No. 86 Marcos Giron advanced to the singles consolation final. Meister teamed up with Clay Thompson to advance to the consolation quarterfinals in doubles, but fell to a duo from Stanford.
UCLA boasts three ranked singles players in No. 72 Thompson, No. 86 Giron and No. 94 Adrien Puget.
For live stats during the UCLA match, click HERE.