Cougars sweep New Mexico, UC Irvine
PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s tennis logged consecutive 4-0 victories over New Mexico and UC Irvine in a doubleheader Friday at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts.
“We want to give credit to both New Mexico and Irvine; both teams came in and competed hard and with a lot of intensity,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “We commend them for coming in and giving us a huge battle. I can’t say enough about what we saw here tonight. If someone would’ve told me that we would’ve gone through a doubleheader against two very solid teams without dropping a match, I would’ve said, ‘That’s not likely to happen.’ But it did happen.”
Juniors Sean Hill and Sam Tullis and sophomore Ben Gajardo led BYU (8-2) to wins in singles and doubles against New Mexico (1-4) and UC Irvine (2-3). Hill defeated No. 35 Ricky Hernandez Tong in two sets at No. 1 singles, and Tullis and Gajardo logged two doubles victories for the Cougars.
New Mexico Lobos
In the first match of the day, BYU claimed early victories in second and third doubles. Matthew Pearce and Mateo Vereau Melendez defeated New Mexico’s Facundo Bermejo and Dominic West 6-1, while Tullis and Gajardo teamed up for a 6-1 win over Tim Buttner and Casey Recci.
The Cougars continued to dominate the Lobos on the court with three straight singles victories. Tullis struck first for BYU in the No. 4 singles spot, topping Buttner 6-3, 6-3. Hill took a 7-6, 6-3 win over Hernandez Tong. Vereau grabbed the final point for BYU with a three-set 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 victory over Stepan Holis.
UC Irvine Anteaters
BYU came off a strong win with energy and confidence, which showed in doubles against UC Irvine. Hill and Hsu bested Daniel Gealer and Mason Hasen 6-2 at the No. 1 slot. In second doubles, Tullis and Gajardo logged their second victory of the day over Vatsal Bajpai and Mateusz Smolicki 7-6, to remain undefeated in the season.
In singles, Hill and Tullis started the Cougars off with two-set wins over the Anteaters. Hill defeated Sasha Krasnov 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 singles while at No. 4 singles, Tullis topped Hansen 6-3, 6-4. Vereau battled until the end to pull out a competitive 2-6, 6-0, 7-6 win over Smolicki to solidify a 4-0 BYU win over UC Irvine.
The Cougars remain at home to face the Air Force Academy on Friday, Feb. 22, and Denver on Saturday, Feb. 23, with both matches beginning at 5:30 p.m. MDT.
BYU 4, UNM 0
- Sean Hill/Jeffrey Hsu (BYU) vs. HERNANDEZ TONG Ricky/HOLIS, Stepan (NM) 4-4, unfinished
- Sam Tullis/Ben Gajardo (BYU) def. RECCI, Casey/BUTTNER, Tim (NM) 6-1
- Matthew Pearce/Mateo Vereau (BYU) def. WEST, Dominic/BERMEJO, Facundo (NM) 6-1
Order of finish: (3, 2)
- Sean Hill (BYU) def. HERNANDEZ TONG Ricky (NM) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
- Jeffrey Hsu (BYU) vs. WEST, Dominic (NM) 6-4, 5-6, unfinished
- Mateo Vereau (BYU) def. HOLIS, Stepan (NM) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
- Sam Tullis (BYU) def. BUTTNER, Tim (NM) 6-3, 6-3
- Ben Gajardo (BYU) vs. BERMEJO, Facundo (NM) 2-2, unfinished
- RECCI, Casey (NM) vs. Matthew Pearce (BYU) no result
Order of finish: (4, 1, 3)
BYU 4, UC Irvine 0
- Sean Hill/Jeffrey Hsu (BYU) def. Daniel Gealer/Mason Hansen (UCI) 6-2
- Sam Tullis/Ben Gajardo (BYU) def. Vatsal Bajpai/Mateusz Smolicki (UCI) 7-6
- Matthew Pearce/Mateo Vereau (BYU) vs. Luis Lopez/Bruce Man-Son-Hing (UCI) 5-6, unfinished
Order of finish: (1, 2)
- Sean Hill (BYU) def. Sasha Krasnov (UCI) 6-1, 6-4
- Jeffrey Hsu (BYU) vs. Luis Lopez (UCI) 7-6, 5-4, unfinished
- Mateo Vereau (BYU) def. Mateusz Smolicki (UCI) 2-6, 6-0, 7-6
- Sam Tullis (BYU) def. Mason Hansen (UCI) 6-3, 6-4
- Ben Gajardo (BYU) vs. Aaron Bailey (UCI) 4-0, unfinished
- Matthew Pearce (BYU) vs. Daniel Gealer (UCI) 1-1, unfinished
Order of finish: (1, 4, 3)
Additional Coach Pearce Quotes
“I just think it shows how much fight and great competitive pride that every guy on this team has, to the man. No one wants to be the guy to give up a point. More importantly, they’re all playing to win and I’m sure they’re exhausted because playing a doubleheader against two very good teams is a big challenge, but this will help us become a better team going forward. I just can’t say enough good things about them.“