FORT WORTH -- The No. 34 BYU men’s tennis team edged out No. 56 TCU 4-3 to remain unbeaten in conference play Saturday. The Cougars improved to 3-0 against Mountain West Conference opponents and 18-5 overall with the road win.
“This win is a testament to competing no matter what the score,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “Beating a good team like TCU at home lets us know we’re capable of playing with anyone.”
Doubles play was a battle from the start, with evenly matched pairs on all courts. Playing together for the first time, Ricardo Campos and Evan Urbina earned a 9-8 victory for BYU on court three. Their win came after Georgy Batrakov and Daniel Hwang dropped a match for only the third time this spring (8-5). The doubles point came down to the contest at the No. 1 position. Cassidy Mears and Thomas Shubert led No. 61 Emanu Brighiu and Christopher Price 8-7 but fell in the tiebreak to give the Horned Frogs the advantage going into singles.
“The players competed well in doubles,” Pearce said. “We had our backs against the wall in singles. It’s a credit to the team and its fitness that we were able to come back and get the win.”
Brighiu earned another point for TCU in singles with a 6-2, 6-4 win. Spencer Smith was the first to put BYU on the board with a straight-set victory on court five. The Horned Frogs were only one match away from upsetting the Cougars after another win at the No. 6 spot.
“This shows the team that it’s not over until it’s over,” Pearce said. “We have to keep fighting.”
Mears turned things around for BYU by winning a third-set tiebreak on court four. Batrakov lost the first set and trailed his opponent 5-2 in the second before rallying back to force a third and tie the score with his victory. Urbina clinched the win for the Cougars with his three-set triumph at the No. 2 position.
Next week, the team will return to Provo for the last two home matches of the season. The Cougars face San Diego State Friday and UNLV Saturday.
No. 34 BYU-4
No. 56 TCU-3
1. #61 E. Brighiu/C. Price (TCU) def. C. Mears/T. Shubert (BYU) 9-8 (7-4)
2. S. Mbarek/C. Nash (TCU) def. G. Batrakov/D. Hwang (BYU) 8-5
3. R. Campos/E. Urbina (BYU) def. P. Chappell/Z. Nichols (TCU) 9-8 (8-6)
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1. Emanuel Brighiu (TCU) def. Thomas Shubert (BYU) 6-2, 6-4
2. Evan Urbina (BYU) def. Zach Nichols (TCU) 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3
3. Georgy Batrakov (BYU) def. Slah Mbarek (TCU) 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
4. Cassidy Mears (BYU) def. Marius Cirstea (TCU) 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4)
5. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. Christopher Price (TCU) 6-4, 6-1
6. Sren Goritzka (TCU) def. Ricardo Campos (BYU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 5, 6, 4, 3, 2
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