Timothy Korth Tennis Complex
Moraga CA 94556
Moraga, Calif. – Recording its first conference win as a member of the West Coast Conference, the No. 44 BYU men’s tennis team defeated Saint Mary’s, 5-2, Friday in its first of two matches in California.
The Cougars advance to 11-6 overall and 1-1 in the WCC while the Gaels move to 4-12 overall and 0-4 in conference play.
Saint Mary’s answered with the next two doubles wins to take the doubles point over BYU. Playing at the No. 3 doubles position, freshman Keaton Cullimore and Michael Eraso were edged out 8-6 before junior Spencer Smith and freshman Francis Sargeant dropped a narrow 9-7 decision on Court 2.
After losing the doubles point, the Cougars had a strong singles performance, winning on five of the six courts.
Kawka moved to a team-best 12-4 dual singles record with his 6-3, 7-0 win over Sherif Hamdy on Court 2. Smith put up a straight set victory (6-2, 6-2) on Court 3 to extend his overall singles record to 25-7, the best on the team.
Playing at the No. 6 position for BYU, Sargeant held Daws-Roberts to winning only three games, taking a 6-1, 6-2 decision.
Cullimore and Eraso were pushed to three sets by their respective opponents before battling back for the wins. After playing two tiebreakers, Cullimore posted a 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 win on Court 4. Eraso topped his Court 5 opponent 6-2, 6-7, 6-4.
Maxime Olivan upset No. 45 Batrakov of BYU in a three-setter, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2, on Court 1.
The Cougars meet conference foe No. 19 University of San Diego Saturday at noon PDT in San Diego.
No. 44 BYU – 5
Saint Mary’s – 2
1. Maxime Olivan (SMC) def. #45 Georgy Batrakov (BYU) 7-6, 2-6, 6-2
2. Patrick Kawka (BYU) def. Sherif Hamdy (SMC) 6-3, 6-0
3. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. Saad Benkirane (SMC) 6-2, 6-2
4. Keaton Cullimore (BYU) def. Seif El Sherbini (SMC) 7-6, 4-6, 7-6
5. Michael Eraso (BYU) def. Joakim Norstrom (SMC) 6-2, 6-7, 6-4
6. Francis Sargeant (BYU) def. Steven Daws-Roberts (SMC) 6-1, 6-2
1. G. Batrakov/P. Kawka (BYU) def. S. Daws-Roberts/J. Norstrom (SMC) 8-2
2. S. Benkirane/M. Olivan (SMC) def. S. Smith/F. Sargeant (BYU) 9-7
3. S. Hamdy/S. El Sherbini (SMC) def. K. Cullimore/M. Eraso (BYU) 8-6
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
No. 44 BYU Takes on Two Conference Opponents
PROVO, Utah – Following a tough 4-3 loss to then-No. 34 Santa Clara, the No. 44 BYU men’s tennis team will meet conference foes Saint Mary’s and No. 19 University of San Diego this weekend.
“After the loss to Santa Clara, I told the guys I was as proud of this team and their efforts as I’ve been of any team in a loss,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “We had a lot of things stacked against us in that match. Our guys competed hard and have nothing to hang their heads about. We’re looking forward to facing a good Saint Mary’s team and a tough San Diego team.”
The Cougars (10-6, 0-1 WCC) recorded two wins over ranked players in the loss. Playing at the No. 1 singles position, No. 45 Georgy Batrakov defeated No. 133 Kyle Dandan 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 while freshman Keaton Cullimore topped No. 150 Tom Pham on Court 4.
Sophomore Patrick Kawka moved to a team-best 11-4 dual singles record after recording a win over Santa Clara’s Nicolas Vinel. Kawka has the second-best season record at 22-9, behind junior Spencer Smith (24-7).
The Gaels are 4-11 on the season and 0-3 in conference, with a 4-3 loss to Portland last weekend.
No. 19 San Diego has three ranked singles players in No. 69 Nikola Bubnic, No. 81 Patrick Pohlmann and No. 112 Thibaut Visy. Bubnic leads the team with a 16-5 overall singles record and an 11-4 mark in dual singles. The Toreros (11-5, 2-0 WCC) wrapped up their first weekend of conference action with back-to-back road wins against Portland (6-1) and Gonzaga (6-0) last weekend.
The match against Saint Mary’s will begin at 2 p.m. PDT Friday in Moraga, Calif. BYU then travels to San Diego to take on the Toreros Saturday at noon PDT.
The Cougars challenge their last four opponents at home to finish out the season. BYU hosts Gonzaga April 6 before welcoming Portland April 7. The Cougars take on LMU and perennial powerhouse Pepperdine the following week.