ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Topping No. 46 New Mexico, 5-2, Saturday, the No. 40 BYU men’s tennis team remains undefeated in the Mountain Region for its third year in a row.
“The guys were aware of what we were striving to accomplish,” BYU men’s tennis coach Brad Pearce said. “It was our last match in regional play this year. They embraced what was at stake and I’m so proud of our guys and how they fight for each other and prepare like professionals.”
The Cougars (10-5) extend their win streak to seven matches with their victory over former Mountain West Conference opponent New Mexico (12-5). The win was BYU's second this season over a ranked opponent.
Senior Georgy Batrakov and sophomore Patrick Kawka put up another win in their seven-match winning streak, edging out New Mexico’s Conor Berg and Ben Dunbar 8-6 on Court 1 to capture the doubles point for the Cougars.
BYU continued momentum into singles, taking the first two matches on courts 1 and 3. Batrakov defeated Phillips in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, before Smith took a 6-2, 6-4 decision over Berg.
New Mexico answered with two match wins of its own over Kawka and Sargeant on courts 2 and 5, respectively.
Eraso clinched the win for the Cougars for the third match in a row, with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Mads Hegelund on Court 6. Cullimore widened the margin, defeating Samir Iftikhar, 7-5, 6-4, on Court 4.
“I am especially pleased with another gutty effort on Michael Eraso’s part to clinch the match,” Pearce said. “Spencer Smith did an absolutely terrific job on Court 3 and had a dominating doubles performance alongside Francis Sargeant. Georgy Batrakov played a great match today and Keaton came off with a nice win. Spencer and Georgy showed a lot of great leadership. It was a great team effort.”
BYU kicks off its inaugural season of West Coast Conference play March 23 at Santa Clara.
#40 Brigham Young University - 5
#46 University of New Mexico - 2
1. BATRAKOV, Georgy (BYU) def. PHILLIPS, Jadon (UNM) 6-2, 6-2
2. DUNBAR, Ben (UNM) def. KAWKA, Patrick (BYU) 6-3, 6-4
3. SMITH, Spencer (BYU) def. BERG, Conor (UNM) 6-2, 6-4
4. CULLIMORE, Keaton (BYU) def. IFTIKHAR, Samir (UNM) 7-5, 6-4
5. HO, Carl (UNM) def. SARGEANT, Francis (BYU) 6-2, 6-3
6. ERASO, Michael (BYU) def. HEGELUND, Mads (UNM) 6-4, 6-4
1. BATRAKOV, Georgy/KAWKA, Patrick (BYU) def. BERG, Conor/DUNBAR, Ben (UNM) 8-6
2. SMITH, Spence/SARGEANT, Francis (BYU) def. PHILLIPS, J./NEELD, M. (UNM) 8-1
3. HO, Carl/HIGNETT, James (UNM) def. CULLIMORE, Keaton/ERASO, Michael (BYU) 8-5
Brigham Young University 10-5; National ranking #40
University of New Mexico 12-5; National ranking #46
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,3,2,5,6,4)
BYU continues regional play in New Mexico
PROVO, Utah –With less than half the season left, the No. 40 BYU men’s tennis team looks to continue its momentum in regional play as it takes on University of Pacific and No. 46 New Mexico on Friday and Saturday, respectively, in New Mexico.
The Cougars (8-5) are on a five-match winning streak and are coming off an upset over regional rival then-No. 35 Boise State.
With the first half of the season over, multiple Cougars have made their mark in the record books.
Georgy Batrakov, ranked No. 54 nationally in singles, holds the fifth-most career singles victories in BYU history with 92. The Russian netter needs two more to tie former teammate Cassidy Mears at the No. 4 spot.
With the best singles record on the team this season, senior Spencer Smith (23-5) is three matches away from cracking the top-20 in most singles victories in a season.
Smith and freshman Francis Sargeant, the No. 2 doubles duo for BYU, sit at the No. 19 spot for most season doubles victories with 17.
The Cougars kick off their next five road matches in New Mexico before returning home to finish the season.
On Friday, BYU faces University of Pacific (4-5), who is coming off a 4-3 win over Nevada. The Cougars topped Nevada, 7-0, in February. The last meeting between BYU and University of Pacific was in March 2011, where the Cougars came away with a 7-0 victory.
BYU reunites with former Mountain West Conference opponent No. 46 New Mexico (10-4) Saturday. The Lobos are coming off a 4-1 win over University of Louisiana-Lafayette, which earned New Mexico the title of the 46th annual HEB Invitational. The Lobos have one ranked doubles duo in No. 37 Phillip Anderson and Jadon Phillips.
The Cougars are 31-20 all-time against the Lobos. BYU came away with a 4-3 decision the last time it faced New Mexico, in April 2011.
Both matches will start at noon on their respective days and be played at the Linda Estes Tennis Complex in Albuquerque, New Mexico.