PROVO -- In the last home match of the season, the No. 35 BYU men’s tennis team notched a 7-0 win over No. 58 UNLV. With the win, the Cougars remain the only undefeated team in the Mountain West Conference.
Saturday’s victory marks the 20th of the year for BYU. This is the first time the men’s tennis team has tallied 20 wins in a season since 1988.
“Our guys played inspired tennis Saturday,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “Our goal was to come out and compete at every position, and I couldn’t be more proud of our players.”
UNLV took the first doubles match with an 8-5 victory on court three, but BYU bounced back to capture the other two and win the point. Thomas Shubert and Cassidy Mears defeated their Rebel opponents 8-5 at the No. 1 position. Georgy Batrakov and Daniel Hwang notched their 20th doubles victory of the season with an 8-6 decision at the No. 2 spot.
“We played a little tight in doubles but got the point, which is the goal,” Pearce said.
The first singles win of the day came from Spencer Smith. The freshman was in the middle of his first set when UNLV’s Bernard Schoeman retired with an arm injury. Batrakov put BYU on the edge of victory with a 6-0, 6-3 on court three. Shubert clinched the match by overcoming Mehdi Bouras in straight sets.
“No person let up after we clinched the match,” Pearce said. “Everybody kept fighting and competing.”
Hwang tallied another win for the Cougars at the No. 6 position to extend BYU’s lead to 5-0. In his last home match of his collegiate career, senior Mears won a first-set tiebreak and then the second set 6-4.
“I couldn’t say enough good things about Cassidy, his leadership on and off the court has meant so much to this team,” Pearce said. “Each player wanted to get his individual job done to make this last home match special for Cassidy.”
Evan Urbina was the last BYU player left on the court. He won his first set against Rebel Luca Barlocchi 6-4 but lost the second 5-7. Urbina and Barlocchi played a 10-point tiebreak because the match result was set. The Cougar won 10-3 to complete the sweep for BYU.
“Our goal was to win the regular season championship and follow it up with the tournament championship,” Pearce said. “We have just one match ahead of us. We’re going to be prepared, stay focused and do the things we’ve been doing in all of our other matches.”
That final match will be next Saturday against Utah in Salt Lake City. First serve is set for noon at Liberty Park.
No. 35 BYU-7
No. 58 UNLV-0
1. Mears/Shubert (BYU) def. Barlocchi/Bouras (UNLV) 8-5
2. Batrakov/Hwang (BYU) def. Markel/Schoeman (UNLV) 8-6
3. Konyves/Toth (UNLV) def. Campos/Urbina (BYU) 8-5
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. T. Shubert (BYU) def. No. 121 M. Bouras (UNLV) 7-6(7-3), 6-4
2. E. Urbina (BYU) def. L. Barlocchi (UNLV) 6-4, 5-7, 10-3
3. G. Batrakov (BYU) def. J. Markel (UNLV) 6-0, 6-3
4. C. Mears (BYU) def. A. Toth (UNLV) 7-6 (7-1), 6-4
5. S. Smith (BYU) def. B. Schoeman (UNLV) 2-5 (ret.)
6. D. Hwang (BYU) def. K. Konyves (UNLV) 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 5, 3, 1, 6, 4, 2
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