Cougars come up short against Cal Poly
PROVO, Utah – Visiting Cal Poly defeated BYU men’s tennis 4-3 Friday afternoon after multiple tightly-contested matches. The Mustangs took the doubles point on a tiebreaker before securing three more wins in singles, two of which went to three sets.
The Cougars (1-1) picked up a win from Wally Thayne and Zach Fuchs at No. 1 doubles, but ultimately lost the other two contests and the point. Fuchs also secured a win at No. 4 singles, with Mateo Vereau and Redd Owen adding victories at No. 3 and No. 5 singles to account for BYU’s three points.
“Cal Poly has got a good team, it was a tough loss today,” said BYU head coach Dave Porter. “I thought that we played well enough to win but there's a few things we need to do a little bit better job of. We're going to go back to work on Monday to get ready for New Mexico here on Thursday and Utah State in Logan on Saturday. We're looking forward to a great season, this is just a steppingstone to get there.”
- Wally Thayne/Zach Fuchs (BYU) def. Joe Leather/Bastiaan Weststrate (Cal Poly) 6-3
- Noah Berry/Colter Smith (Cal Poly) def. Mateo Vereau/Dominik Jakovljevic (BYU) 7-6 (3)
- Fernando Fonseca/Ben Keyser (Cal Poly) def. Jack Barnett/Brigham Andrus (BYU) 6-4
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
Cal Poly got an early advantage at No. 3 doubles with Fonseca and Keyser’s 6-4 win. The match was tied at 3 before the Mustangs got the game’s only break to go up 4-3. They then held serve the rest of the way to earn a narrow victory.
The Cougars responded with a doubles win of their own just minutes later, with Thayne and Fuchs taking care of business in the No. 1 slot. After Fuchs held his serve to put the duo up 3-2, he raced up from the back to split the Cal Poly pair and earn a break point. The subsequent 4-2 advantage would hold throughout the match, with Thayne spiking a return at the net for the 6-3 win.
The doubles point then came down to the No. 2 match. Vereau and Jakovljevic started off strong with a break in their first game before holding serve to go up 2-0. Berry and Smith kept the match close before getting a break of their own to tie the game at 4-all, with the match ultimately being decided by a tiebreaker. The Mustangs took an early 5-1 advantage in the first-to-seven contest, eventually taking it 7-3 to secure the doubles point for the visitors.
- No. 55 Noah Berry (Cal Poly) def. Wally Thayne (BYU) 6-2, 7-6 (6)
- Joe Leather (Cal Poly) def. Jack Barnett (BYU) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
- Mateo Vereau (BYU) def. Colter Smith (Cal Poly) 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-2
- Zach Fuchs (BYU) def. Fernando Fonseca (Cal Poly) 6-3, 6-4
- Bastiaan Weststrate (Cal Poly) def. Dominik Jakovljevic (BYU) 6-7 (10), 6-4, 6-4
- Redd Owen (BYU) def. Zachary Pellouchoud 6-1, 6-3
Order of finish: 4, 1, 2, 3, 6, 5
Fuchs helped the Cougars start off strong at No. 4 singles, getting early breaks to lead 3-1 in both sets. In the first set Fonseca almost got a break off his own but Fuchs won the deuce point with a powerful ace. Strong serves remained a theme in the second as well, with another ace giving Fuchs the match with a 6-3, 6-4 advantage.
Thayne gave nationally ranked Noah Berry (No. 55) a close match at No. 1 singles but ultimately fell in straight sets. Berry got two breaks in the first for a comfortable 6-2 win before Thayne nearly took the second after securing a break with a nice drop shot to go up 5-3. Berry then broke him back, with both players subsequently holding their serves for a 6-6 tie.
In the tiebreaker Thayne fell behind early, 4-1. He then got a second-serve ace and strong winner at the net to come back within one, 4-3. Thayne later tied the tiebreaker at 6 with another ace and a shot into the net from Berry, but Berry responded with two straight points to win the tiebreaker and the match, 6-2, 7-6 (6).
The Mustangs expanded their lead to 3-1 at No. 2 singles, which turned into a tight three-set contest. Barnett won the first set 6-3 after a strong forehand return gave him a break in the final game. Leather responded with an early break in set two, which ended up being the difference as he would go on to win 6-4.
Barnett took a 3-1 advantage in set three after Leather double faulted, with both players holding their serves until the match was 5-2 in Barnett’s favor. He then held a 40-30 advantage in the next game but was unable to convert two match points as Leather held serve to cut the lead to 5-3. Leather survived another match point with Barnett serving, shortening the set lead once again to 5-4. Cal Poly rode the comeback through three more games, holding serving in two of those games to ultimately win the set 7-5.
Vereau got BYU back in the win column with a three-set contest of his own, the first of which went to a tiebreaker after neither player was broken. The tiebreaker was not as close as the rest of the set, however, as Vereau jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Smith proceeded to hold his serve, but that would be his only point as his strike in the next rally went long for a 7-1 Vereau victory.
Smith responded with a 4-2 lead in the second, which Vereau cut to 5-4 after a break. Vereau was unable to extend the set, however, with Smith securing a break in return to take the set, 6-4. The third set then ended up being Vereau’s easiest of the match, as he strung together two consecutive breaks for a 4-1 advantage. He would go on to win 6-2.
Owen tied the dual match at No. 6 singles with a quick straight-set victory. He took the first 6-1, only giving up 10 points in the entire set. Owen also had three breaks in the first. The second set was much closer, with six of the nine games being decided on deuce points. Both players had an early break, with Owen holding a 4-3 lead as Pellouchoud was set to serve. Owen was able to convert another break to go up 5-3 before winning yet another deuce point to take the set 6-3.
The dual match then came down to No. 5 singles, which also went to three sets. A tightly contested first set saw neither player pick up a break, forcing a tiebreaker at 6-6. The tiebreaker was just as close as the rest of the set. Jakovljevic went ahead 4-1 early before Weststrate came back to tie the score at 5. From there it was a race to see who could score two consecutive points. Jakovljevic survived a set point down 7-6 and later had four set point opportunities of his own, converting on the final for a 12-10 advantage.
Set two saw Weststrate survive 6-4 after a late double fault by Jakovljevic. In the third, Jakovljevic fell behind 0-4 before rallying to bring the set to 4-5. Unfortunately he was unable to get one more break, with Weststrate once again winning the set 6-4.
The Cougars next host New Mexico on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 11:00 a.m. MST to conclude their three-match home stand.
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