PROVO, Utah—The No. 36 BYU men’s tennis team started its season off with a bang, downing Weber State 7-0 Friday in the 2012 home opener.
“I think Weber State played a good match,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “There was competition at every position. Fortunately we came through, and I was pleased with that. We need to keep on working hard now that we have our first win. Next week will be a big test for us.”
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Junior Spencer Smith, a native of Salt Lake City, blew through the first set against Dave Hintze, a senior from Bountiful, Utah, for a 6-1 finish. He pressed on to score the first singles point for BYU with a 6-0 victory in the second set.
No. 43 Georgy Batrakov overcame an early deficit in his first set to win 6-2 and took the match on a 6-2, 6-0 win in the second against Simon Unger. No. 106 Patrick Kawka won the match point for the Cougars with his 6-3, 6-3 victory against Oliver Good, putting BYU ahead 4-0.
No. 67 Keaton Cullimore, Francis Sargeant and Travis Fillmore topped off the Cougar victory with three more singles wins for the final score of 7-0. Cullimore, a freshman from Sandy, Utah, fought through a tough second set to sweep Peter Ramstromer Pello, 6-2, 6-4. Freshman Sargeant made quick work of his match against Caio Poitena for a 6-2, 6-1 victory at the No. 5 position.
At position No. 6, Fillmore came back after losing the first set to tie the match at one set all, going on to win the tie breaker 13-11.
BYU started competition with a solid showing in doubles play, taking the wins on courts 2 and 3. Cougars Smith and Sargeant took down their Wildcat opponents in a quick 10 games, defeating Caio Poitena and Ramstromer Pello 8-2. With doubles play tied after a loss on Court 1, Cullimore and Michael Eraso overcame a tie to win their match 8-3.
Fans overflowed the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts to watch the team compete.
“The crowd was great,” Pearce said. “I told the guys we only have one home opener. If people come out and have a good time, it defines how much support we get the rest of the season. It’s a whole different feeling if only families are there and maybe a few friends.”
Next up, the team travels to California for back-to-back matches against UC Santa Barbara and UCLA. The Cougars play UCSB Thursday at 1 p.m. PST and UCLA Friday at 2 p.m. PST. Their next home match is against Idaho State Feb. 3.
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