Mike Miller | Posted: 15 Oct 2022 | Updated: 1 Dec 2022

Thayne's upset of No. 9 punctuates the end of regional championships

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Redd Owen prepares to hit a backhand
Redd Owen prepares to hit a backhand Brian Chen after a shot

Albuquerque, N.M. - BYU men’s tennis has concluded its time at the ITA Mountain Regional Championships, which featured 26 matches across three days for the Cougars. Saturday’s 4-2 record was the team’s best of the week and was punctuated by Wally Thayne going 2-0, including an upset over the ninth-ranked player in the tournament.

"This week's ITA Regional was filled with opportunities, challenges and successes.  Wally Thayne continues to step up and get big wins for the Cougars. Zach Fuchs also continues to show steady improvement after a long, injury-riddled spring and summer. All in all it was a good week that will help prepare us for the Rice Fall Challenge later this month," said head coach Dave Porter.

In total, the Cougars secured 12 wins in New Mexico. Freshman Redd Owen had a combined 3-1 record in singles and doubles, while Thayne was 3-1 in singles, including winning three straight to end the tournament.

Thursday’s Results

Friday’s Results

Saturday's Results

Main Draw Singles

  • Wally Thayne def. No. 9 Berk Bugarikj (Utah) 2-6, 6-3, 10-4
  • Wally Thayne def. Valentino De Pellegrin (Idaho State) 6-2, 6-4
  • Victor Sklenka (Idaho State) def. Mateo Vereau 3-6 (retired)
  • Maikel de Boes (NAU) def. Zach Fuchs 6-7 (5), 7-5, 10-5

Main Draw Doubles

  • Fuchs/Vereau def. Kakhniuk/Noroozian (New Mexico) 8-6

No. 5 Barnett and Thayne were given an automatic advancement as their opponents, Buxman and Zulch (Weber State), withdrew prior to the match.

Lobo Doubles

  • No. 4 Owen/Chen def. Moore/Brown (Air Force) 8-7 (3)
  • Galus/Donovan (NAU) def. No. 2 Lakovljevic/Lin 8-5

Thayne’s victory over Bugarikj was his first career win over a ranked regional opponent. It also came against his former school, having transferred from Utah after his freshman 2020-21 season. He has now won five of his last six singles matches.

After dropping a two-break first set, Thayne seized momentum with a one-break set two win. He expanded the margins even further in set three, which was a condensed first to ten-point frame. Thayne then carried his strong play into his evening match, where he earned a comfortable straight-set victory.

Owen and Chen’s doubles match needed a tiebreaker to decide a winner, but the Cougars almost never made it to that point. The pair faced two Air Force match points before rallying to force a match tiebreaker, with their momentum fueling a four-point win.

BYU has a week off before traveling to Texas for the Rice Invitational Oct. 27-29. That competition will conclude the team’s fall schedule, with the spring dual match portion beginning in January.

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