BYU opens season with 6-1 victory over Idaho State
PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s tennis opened the 2023 season with a 6-1 home victory over Idaho State Friday. The Cougars quickly secured the doubles point before only needing a third set in one of the six singles matches.
“We're happy to start the season out with a win,” said head coach Dave Porter. “Idaho State has some very good players and we played well today. There are things that we learned we need to work on before Cal Poly in a couple of weeks, but we're pleased with the win and pleased with what we saw. We’re grateful for the fans that came, appreciate their support and look forward to them returning in two weeks.”
- Thayne/Fuchs (BYU) versus Kramer/De Pellegrin 6-6 (3-5), unf.
- Vereau/Jakovljevic (BYU) def. Robbertse/Sklenka 6-1
- Barnett/Andrus (BYU) def. Fujita/Cankus 7-5
Order of finish: 2, 3
Vereau and Jakovljevic started the match off strong for BYU at no. 2 doubles, earning two breaks to go up 4-0. The duo held serve throughout the match before getting a third break without conceding a point to secure the 6-1 victory.
Barnett and Andrus’ match at no. 3 doubles was much closer. The two teams held serve to a 4-4 tie before each earning a break and another tie at 5-all. The Cougars would continue to battle, earning the match’s third-straight break to go up 6-5. A Barnett ace in the final set secured the 7-5 victory and the double point for BYU.
No. 1 doubles was just as close, with neither side being broken en route to a 6-6 tie. ISU’s Kramer and De Pellegrin were leading 5-3, with BYU set to serve, when the match ended after the Cougars secured the doubles point.
- Wally Thayne (BYU) def. Patrick Kristensen 6-2, 6-3
- Mateo Vereau (BYU) def. Andreas Kramer 6-3, 7-5
- Valentino De Pellegrin (ISU) def. Dominik Jakovljevic 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4)
- Zach Fuchs (BYU) def. Wikus Robbertse 6-2, 7-5
- Redd Owen (BYU) def. Victor Sklenka 7-6 (6), 6-2
- Brighan Andrus (BYU) def. Hiroki Fujita 6-7 (6), 6-1, 10-4
Order of finish: 1, 2, 4, 3, 5, 6
Thayne jumped out to a quick lead at no. 1 singles, going up 3-0 after an early break. The sophomore continued the hard hitting he showcased in doubles, earning another break for the 6-2 set one win. He served strong as well, including landing back-to-back aces to go up 2-1 early in set two. A subsequent break gave Thayne a comfortable advantage to see out the rest of the set for a 6-3 win.
Vereau started his no. 2 singles match as quickly as he did in doubles, racing out to a 5-1 lead in set one. ISU’s Kramer fought back to take two-straight games, but Vereau was able to hold one for a 6-3 win in set one. The set point came as Kramer seemed poised to have an advantage at the net, but Vereau was able to power his winner past Kramer’s outstretched racket.
The second set was much closer, as this time Kramer got out to an early advantage, 3-0. Vereau finished off a strong sequence with an ace to win his first game of the set, later getting a break to storm back and tie the set at 4. He completed the comeback with another break before eventually hammering home another ace on match point to take set two 7-5.
Fuchs had a similar match at No. 4 singles, starting out with a 4-1 advantage after a pair of breaks, eventually cruising to a 6-2 set one win. The Bengals then saw themselves go up early again in set two, with Robbertse starting out with a 3-1 advantage. Fuchs rallied to tie the set at three, with the tie continuing until the set was at 5-all. The final games both ended in deuces, with Fuchs winning a long rally to go up 6-5 before hitting an ace for the 7-5 set win. His win also gave the Cougars their fourth team point, securing the dual match victory.
BYU’s lone loss on the day came at No. 3 singles, where Jakovljevic battled through two set tiebreakers. In the first set Jakovljevic was up 5-3 before ISU’s De Pellegrin came back, with Jakovljevic also holding a 5-1 lead in set two. Both tiebreakers ended 7-4.
Owen made his dual match debut for the Cougars on Friday, securing a win at no. 5 singles to add to his team’s tally. He faced an early hole after going down 5-2 in set one but won three straight games to come back. The closely contested set also had a closely contested tiebreaker, which largely stayed within one point throughout before Owen put together two straight points to win 8-6. The second set was a different story, as Owen rode his momentum from set one to a 6-2 victory. He won the final three games, two of which came from breaks.
The final match of the afternoon was also the only one to go to three sets. Andrus, competing at no. 6 singles, lost the first set in a tiebreaker after a double fault. He used that disappointment to turn the match around, exploding for a 6-1 set two win. Set three was decided by a first-to-10 tiebreaker, where Andrus once again jumped out in front. He opened up a 6-0 lead before eventually winning 10-4.
Freshman Brian Chen also played an exhibition match, which he won 3-6, 6-4, 10-4.
The Cougars return to action in two weeks on Friday, Feb. 3 against Cal Poly. The home match will begin at 11:00 a.m. MST.
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