Degheri Tennis Center
500 El Camino Real Santa Clara CA 95053
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The No. 38 BYU men’s tennis team narrowly dropped a 4-3 decision to No. 34 Santa Clara in its West Coast Conference opener Friday.
The Broncos (14-3, 1-0 WCC) took the doubles point over the Cougars (10-6, 0-1 WCC) after winning on all three courts. Freshman Keaton Cullimore and senior Michael Eraso were edged out by Santa Clara’s No. 3 doubles duo, 7-5. Senior Georgy Batrakov and sophomore Patrick Kawka fell 8-4 on Court 1 while junior Spencer Smith and freshman Francis Sargeant dropped their match, 8-2.
Santa Clara continued momentum into singles play, taking the first two wins on courts 5 and 2. No. 151 Ilya Osintsev topped Sargeant, 6-4, 6-3, before John Lamble defeated Smith 6-4, 6-1 Court 2.
Playing at the No. 3 singles position, Patrick Kawka put BYU on the board with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Nicolas Vinel.
With the Broncos ahead 3-1, Eugene Muchynski secured the Santa Clara win, edging out Eraso, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 on Court 6.
The Cougars wrapped up the match with wins on courts 1 and 4. Cullimore recorded a win over No. 150 Tom Pham before No. 45 Batrakov posted a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 decision over No. 133 Kyle Dandan at the No. 1 singles position.
BYU continues WCC action against the University of San Francisco Saturday at 3 p.m. MDT at the California Tennis Club.
No. 34 Santa Clara – 4
No. 38 BYU – 3
1. #45 Georgy Batrakov (BYU) def. #133 Kyle Dandan (SCU) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
2. John Lamble (SCU) def. Spencer Smith (BYU), 6-4, 6-1
3. Patrick Kawka (BYU) def. Nicolas Vinel (SCU), 6-3, 6-3
4. Keaton Cullimore (BYU) def. #150 Tom Pham (SCU), 4-6, 6-2, 4-4, ret.
5. #151 Ilya Osintsev (SCU) def. Francis Sargeant (BYU), 6-4, 6-3
6. Eugene Muchynski (SCU) def. Michael Eraso (BYU), 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
Order of finish: 5, 2, 3, 6, 4, 1
1. I. Osintsev/J. Lamble (SCU) def. Georgy Batrakov/Patrick Kawka (BYU), 8-4
2. K. Dandan/T. Pham (SCU) def. Spencer Smith/Francis Sargeant (BYU), 8-2
3. E. Muchynski/N. Vinel (SCU) def. Keaton Cullimore/Michael Eraso (BYU), 7-5
BYU Opens Conference Action in California
PROVO, Utah –After a week break, the No. 38 BYU men’s tennis team opens West Coast Conference play against No. 34 Santa Clara and University of San Francisco Friday and Saturday, respectively.
“It was a natural break before going into conference matches,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “It was timely, especially with our win over New Mexico which was a three-year achievement in the making, going undefeated against Mountain Region opponents. It was a nice milestone. Mentally, physically and emotionally, it was a perfect time to have a break and recharge out batteries before we head into conference play.”
In its inaugural year as a member of the West Coast Conference, the Cougars (10-5) were chosen to finish third in the WCC, as voted on by the conference coaches. Santa Clara (13-3) landed in fourth with San Francisco (3-9, 1-0 WCC) finishing fifth.
“I think every team will be dangerous,” Pearce said. “We know Santa Clara is going to be a tough match for us and San Francisco beat us last year. We know we have to be ready to play this upcoming weekend.”
Coming off a 5-2 win over then-No. 46 New Mexico, BYU has won its last seven matches.
No. 45 Georgy Batrakov represents the Cougars in the ITA national rankings. Batrakov is 18-8 overall in singles and 18-7 in doubles with sophomore Patrick Kawka. The No. 1 doubles duo has won seven consecutive matches.
Junior Spencer Smith has a team-best 24-6 overall singles record and is 11-4 in dual play. Smith and freshman Francis Sargeant team up at the No. 2 doubles spot for a team-best 19-7 overall doubles record.
Santa Clara is on a six-match winning streak and is coming off 7-0 wins over Idaho and Sonoma. The last meeting between the Broncos and Cougars was in Feb. 2009, where BYU came away with a 7-0 decision.
San Francisco kicked off conference play last week, topping Saint Mary’s 5-2. The Dons have one ranked player in No. 124 Thai Tu. San Francisco served BYU a 2-4 loss last season.
Friday, the Cougars take on Santa Clara at the Degheri Tennis Center at 3 p.m. PST before traveling to San Francisco to challenge the Dons at the California Tennis Club at 2 p.m. PST.
BYU continues conference action March 30 against St. Mary’s.