PORTLAND – The longest road trip since 2006 for BYU men’s tennis came to a close Saturday afternoon with a 4-0 loss to Portland. The Cougars (3-10, 1-2 WCC) had several close singles matches but ultimately fell short in each.
- Eleftherios Neos/Sema Pankin (POR) def. Wally Thayne/Zach Fuchs (BYU) 6-2
- Jack Barnett/Dominik Jakovljevic (BYU) vs. Nicolas Ocana/Nikolas Tvedt (POR) 2-5, unf.
- Issa Yoshida/Cade Fernando (POR) def. Brigham Andrus/Redd Owen (BYU) 6-1
Order of finish: 3, 1
The Pilots controlled doubles from the jump, taking an early 3-1 lead at No. 3 doubles. Andrus and Owen almost answered with a break of their own, but Yoshida and Fernando held on to win that game and another later in the match on deuce points on their way to a 6-1 victory.
No. 1 doubles also went Portland’s way with a 3-0 lead that held strong throughout the match. Thayne and Fuchs were down 5-2 later in the contest, with Neos and Pankin winning a game while receiving to win the match 6-2 and lock up the doubles point.
The remaining match on the No. 2 court went unfinished. Barnett and Jakovljevic were broken twice, with both coming on a deuce point, to trail 5-2.
- Sema Pankin (POR) def. Jack Barnett (BYU) 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
- Eleftherios Neos (POR) def. Wally Thayne (BYU) 7-5, 6-4
- Nicolas Ocana (POR) def. Zach Fuchs (BYU) 6-4, 6-4
- Dominik Jakovljevic (BYU) vs. Nikolas Tvedt (POR) 2-5, unf.
- Redd Owen (BYU) vs. Maxim Groysman (POR) 2-3, unf.
- Brigham Andrus (BYU) vs. Issa Yoshida (POR) 0-0, unf.
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
Singles action saw several tight matches including at No. 3 singles where Fuchs lost both sets on a one break margin. Ocana went up 3-1 in set one and eventually won 6-4. In the second Fuchs was tied 3-all before only being broken on a deuce point. That game ended up being the difference as Portland once again took the set 6-4.
The Pilots took a 3-0 lead in the dual match at No. 2 singles. Set one was locked at 5-5 before Neos narrowly took two games to win 7-5. Set two ended up being close as well, although Neos had two-straight breaks to lead 5-2. Thayne did not go down easily, breaking back and holding his serve to only trail 5-4. He then survived one match point but was unable to survive another on deuce point, giving Neos a 6-4 set win.
No. 1 singles went to three sets but was ultimately won by Portland to secure the dual match. Pankin took set one by a narrow 6-4 score but set two was all Barnett. A 1-1 tie gave way to five-straight games for Barnett, giving him a 6-1 win. Set three was much closer. Barnett took the lead after a break point put him up 3-2, but Pankin grabbed a break of his own to earn a 3-3 tie.
Pankin was later up 5-4 with Barnett serving. Portland had two match points but BYU won them both, with Barnett landing an ace on the second to extend the match. He nearly went ahead in the next game but lost on deuce point. The final game also went to 40-all, with Pankin victorious again to take the set 7-5.
The remaining matches went unfinished. Jakovljevic fell behind 5-2 in his first set at No. 4 singles, while neither side had an advantage at No. 5. Owen was down 3-2 but set to serve when the match was decided. Andrus’ match on the No. 6 court never started.
BYU returns home for the first time in six weeks next Thursday, March 30, at 11:00 a.m. MDT against No. 16 Stanford.