DENVER – BYU freshman Jack Barnett knocked out the No. 13 seed to advance to the singles round of 32, along with five other BYU men's tennis players at the ITA Mountain Regional Championships on Wednesday.
“A lot more tennis to play, but great first day for the Cougars,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “It’s gratifying to see the hard work we’ve put in already paying dividends with outstanding performances across the board.”
After defeating the University of Idaho’s Esteban Santibanez, 6-3, 6-4, in the round of 128, Barnett powered through his next match against No. 13 seed Sergiu Bucur of Utah State. Barnett quickly upset Bucur in a 6-3, 6-1 match, sending him to the round of 32.
In the round of 128, Matheus Ferreira Leite defeated the University of Utah’s Rian Ta, 7-5, 6-4. Ben Gajardo topped Utah State’s Javier Ruiz in a quick 6-1, 6-4 match. Sam Tullis handily took the 7-5, 6-0 victory over Paul McCallie from Utah. Sean Hill, Mateo Vereau Melendez and Kobe Tran had byes into the round of 64.
Ferreira Leite, Gajardo, Tullis, Hill, Vereau Melendez, and Barnett all advanced to the singles round of 32.
Hill, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, easily took down Drew Brown from Montana State, 6-2, 6-0. Ferreira Leite claimed his second win of the day in three sets, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4, against North Dakota’s Lukas Buth. Gajardo handily took down Sergiu Bucur of UNLV, 6-1, 6-2.
Tullis topped Daniel Bushamuka of Utah State, 6-1, 6-1, sending him to the round of 32. No. 12 seed Vereau Melendez claimed his first win of the day over Idaho State’s Fynn Lohse 6-4, 6-1.
David Ball fell to Weber State’s Paul Ohde, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6, in a close three-set match in the round of 128. Tran took on the No. 2 seed, Matt Summers from Denver, but fell short at 0-6, 3-6. Ball and Tran will compete in the singles consolation bracket tomorrow.
Tran and Barnett took down Jonathan Mascagni and Justin Waldman of the Air Force Academy, 8-3 in the round of 64. The three other Cougar pairs had byes into the round of 32, with Tullis and Gajardo as the No. 1 seed, Hill and Vereau Melendez as the No. 3 seed and Ball and Ferreira Leite as the No. 11 seed.
The Cougars will compete in the round of 32 for singles and doubles Thursday, as well as consolation play. The tournament schedule and live scoring can be found here.