PROVO, Utah – The BYU men's tennis team split their home opening matches Saturday, falling to Utah State 4-3 but bouncing back to beat Weber State 6-1 in front of a packed indoor tennis facility.
Andrey Goryachkov led the Cougars with two big singles victories and win in doubles.
“It was disappointing not pulling out both matches,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “Not having a healthy No. 1 hurt us, but we were still in a position to win both matches today.”
The Aggies got off to a quick start in the morning match, winning the first doubles match. Dennis Baumgartner and Marcus Fritz beat Jacob Sullivan and David Ball 6-2. However, BYU’s other two doubles duos won their matches to give the Cougars the point. Robin Pfister and Andrey Goryachkov beat Matt Sweet and Jack Swindells 6-4, and Francis Sargeant and Jeremy Bourgeois outplayed Karan Salwan and Jaime Barajas 7-5.
Singles play got off to a similar start as Utah State took the first set in each of the first four matches. Shane Monroe and Goryachkov both came back strong to take the second and third sets in their matches. Monroe, playing at No. 1 singles while Francis Sargeant nursed an injury, beat Jack Swindells 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, and Goryachkov beat Marcus Fritz 4-6, 6-1, 6-7.
In the deciding match, sophomore Aidan Carrazedo fell in three sets to Sebastian Schneider 2-6, 7-6, 6-3.
“Today’s matches showed us what we need to work on moving forward,” Pearce said.
The Cougars rebounded in the evening match with Weber State, feeding off the energy of the crowd to again take the doubles point. Ball and Sullivan got the victory over Hou-En Chen and Todd Fought, 6-3, while Bourgeois and Juan Canales beat Landon Barlow and Jakub Gewert 7-5.
Heading into singles play, BYU only needed three victories to clinch the match but did more than that, winning five of the six matches. Again playing at No. 1 singles, Monroe beat Stefan Cooper in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). Goryachkov produced another come-from-behind victory, winning in three sets against Gewert, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Ball, Sullivan and Victor Brown all secured singles wins on the way to a Cougar victory. Ball won in straight sets, beating Jakub Goswami 6-2, 6-2. Sullivan and Brown both bounced back from first-set losses to win in three sets over Fought 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and Chen 1-6, 6-3, 10-7, respectively.
“The crowd here today was great,” Pearce said. “It made for a really fun opening match atmosphere and the guys really fed off of that. We are grateful for the support and look forward to playing in front of our fans soon.”
BYU heads to New Orleans next weekend for matches against the University of New Orleans on Saturday, January 17 and Tulane on Monday, January 19. The squad plays their next home match January 24 versus Air Force at 5:30 p.m. MST.