Aztecs Squeak Past Cougars
USAFA -- The No. 68 BYU men's tennis team took an early 3-0 lead against No. 46 San Diego State Saturday, but was not able to hold on and lost the match 4-3.
The Cougars started with a sweep of the doubles competition, including an 8-5 victory from seniors James Ludlow and Dominik Kaufhold over the No. 14 doubles team in the nation.
Ludlow won the first singles match on court two after SDSU's Christian Groh withdrew from the match after the first set. Junior Jonathan Sanchez also won quickly on court five with a 6-2, 6-2 victory of his own.
Senior Chip Hand's ten-match win streak came to an end on court one with a three set loss to three-time conference player of the week, No. 30 Markus Dickhardt. Kaufhold and freshman Cassidy Mears lost on courts three and four, each in three sets, and left the determining point on the shoulders of sophomore Cale Planck on court six.
Down a set, Planck came back to win the second set convincingly by a score of 6-1, but dropped the third set 6-4 and the Aztecs took home the come-from-behind victory and the regular season Mountain West Conference title.
"We had our opportunities," BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. "We're going to keep on working and I think we just need more people to step up and close out matches. I think we've got a good chance in conference. We were in a position to run the table against one of the top teams in the conference and the No. 46 team in the nation and hopefully we'll close the deal next time."
BYU falls to 10-13 on the season and 1-4 in conference with only one conference match to play. SDSU improves to 15-6 and 6-0 to win its seventh regular season conference title and third in a row.
The Cougars next match will be at home against the No. 70 Utes from rival Utah next Saturday. The team will finish the regular season schedule at home against Utah State on April 18 before heading into the MWC tournament.
No. 46 San Diego State 4, No. 68 Brigham Young 3
1. James Ludlow/Dominik Kaufhold (BYU) def. No. 14 Markus Dickhardt/Christian Groh (SDSU), 8-5
2. Chip Hand/Jonathan Sanchez (BYU) def. Achim Ceban/Billy Timu (SDSU), 8-4
3. Cassidy Mears/Cale Planck (BYU) def. Juan Gomez/Anthony Gomez (SDSU), 8-5
Brigham Young wins doubles point
1. No. 30 Markus Dickhardt (SDSU) def. Chip Hand (BYU), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
2. James Ludlow (BYU) def. Christian Groh (SDSU), 6-2, ret.
3. Anthony Gomez (SDSU) def. Dominik Kaufhold (BYU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
4. Achim Ceban (SDSU) def. Cassidy Mears (BYU), 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
5. Jonathan Sanchez (BYU) def. Juan Gomez (SDSU), 6-2, 6-2
6. Robert Sabo (SDSU) def. Cale Planck (BYU), 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
Order of finish
Doubles: 3, 2, 1
Singles: 2, 1, 5, 4, 3, 6*
* Match-securing victory