ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Players from 15 ITA Mountain Region schools will compete across five days this weekend for a regional championship in both singles and doubles play. The annual competition also awards qualifying spots to the ITA National Fall Championships, one of four collegiate tennis national championship events.
The tournament runs from Thursday, Oct. 13 to Monday, Oct. 17. BYU head coach Dave Porter will have his entire roster competing together for the first time this season with the exception of Brigham Andrus, who is currently recovering from an injury.
The top four players from each school will enter the main draws, which determine the two regional championships. BYU will be represented there by Jack Barnett, Zach Fuchs, Wally Thayne and Mateo Vereau. Barnett and Thayne will team up for doubles, as will Fuchs and Vereau. The singles portion has 64 players, while doubles has 32 teams.
A secondary Lobo draw will be available for the rest of team. Brian Chen, Dominik Jakovljevic, Alex Lin and Redd Owen will compete in that division for the Cougars, which begins with a singles round of 32. Jakovljevic and Lin are doubles partners, as are Owen and Chen, with both teams receiving a bye past the initial round of 16.
Schedule and Format
The singles and doubles regional champions will represent the Mountain Region at the National Fall Championships, as will the singles runner-up. The ITA, collegiate tennis’ governing body, is divided into 12 regions. The Mountain Region consists of 20 schools from eight states, with 15 of the schools sending representatives to New Mexico.
Both singles and doubles will be single elimination draws in the two divisions. Singles play begins Thursday morning, with doubles action starting on Friday. Consolation matches will also be held.
The main draw will have one singles and one doubles match each day, with two singles matches on Friday and two doubles rounds on Saturday. The Lobo draw follows the same format, with an extra singles match to be played on Thursday.
Barnett is BYU’s top-ranked singles player in the main draw, earning the No. 12 seed. He and Thayne are also a high seed in doubles, coming in at No. 5. The Cougars are well seeded in Lobo doubles as well, with Jakovljevic and Lin No. 2 and Owen and Chen No. 4.
Main Singles Draw - Thursday
- 10:00 a.m. MDT - Mateo Vereau (BYU) versus Ryo Minakata (Boise State)
- 11:30 a.m. - Zach Fuchs (BYU) versus Samuel Sippel (Boise State)
- 1:00 p.m. - Wally Thayne (BYU) versus No. 3 Nicolas Herrera Cuesta (Denver)
- 2:30 p.m. - No. 12 Jack Barnett (BYU) versus James Van Herzeele (Boise State)
Main Doubles Draw - Friday
- 8:30 a.m. - No. 5 Thayne/Barnett (BYU) versus Minakata/Arca Costas (Boise State)
- 10:00 a.m. - Fuchs/Vereau (BYU) versus No. 2 Panik/Nathan (Montana State)
Lobo Singles Draw - Thursday
Round of 32
- 8:30 a.m. - Brian Chen (BYU) versus Yehor Opanasenko (New Mexico State)
- 9:45 a.m. - Redd Owen (BYU) versus Ryan Ford (New Mexico State)
- 11:00 a.m. - Alex Lin (BYU) versus Vassanth Mathan (New Mexico State)
- Dominik Jakovljevic (BYU) bye
Round of 16
- 11:00 a.m. - Chen versus Jack Brown (Air Force) or bye
- 12:15 p.m. - Owen versus TBD
- 12:15 p.m. - Jakovljevic versus TBD
- 1:30 p.m. - Lin versus No. 2 Maciej Ziomber (Northern Arizona) or bye
Lobo Doubles Draw - Saturday
While Lobo doubles begin on Friday, both BYU teams have received byes to Saturday.
- 9:30 a.m. - No. 2 Jakovljevic/Lin (BYU) versus Galus/Donovan (Northern Arizona)
- 9:30 a.m. - No. 4 Owen/Chen (BYU) versus TBD
The team’s social media accounts will post further scheduling announcements, including draws and results, as they occur. All main draws matches will be held at the McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium. Lobo division matches will start at the nearby Lobo Tennis Club before moving to McKinnon later in the week, beginning with the quarterfinal round for singles and semifinal round for doubles.
The tournament is hosted by the University of New Mexico. Streaming will be available for all McKinnon matches at the links below.
Barnett is set for his second appearance back from injury this year. Last season’s No. 1 for the Cougars is in his fourth year and enjoyed a successful regional run in 2021. He advanced to the quarterfinals for both singles and doubles, with his singles loss coming to the eventual champion.
Fuchs is also back from injury, having just made his first appearance of the season last weekend. He compiled a 7-3 singles and 5-3 doubles record in 2021-22, his first with the Cougars. He and Vereau are 2-1 together all-time.
Fresh off two straight-set singles wins to close the UCSB Classic, Thayne will be hoping to continue his good run of form through several more matches. He is also a high-seeded contender in doubles, finishing last season ranked 10th in Mountain Region doubles with teammate Tennyson Whiting.
Fifth-year senior Vereau is looking to return to another regional final after being defeated by teammate Sean Hill in the 2019 singles championship. He will also likely make his 100th career singles appearance in New Mexico, as he sits on 98 entering the tournament.