SPOKANE, Wash. – After playing three matches in three days, the No. 39 BYU men’s tennis team came away with three wins as it topped Gonzaga 7-0 for the last win Saturday at the Spokane Racquet Club.
With the win over Gonzaga (7-11, 0-5 West Coast Conference), BYU (19-4, 6-0 WCC) remains perfect in league play and marks its eighth consecutive win.
“Gonzaga was a good team. People look at a 7-0 score and might think Gonzaga just wasn’t that good,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “But there were moments where I thought we might not pull it out. But everybody bounced back and showed their resilience. These guys just don’t give in.”
After securing the doubles point with wins on courts 1 and 2, several singles players found themselves down in the first set. No. 42 Patrick Kawka lost his first set but battled back to claim the win at the No. 1 singles position 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.
“PK [Kawka] was down a set, Spencer was down 3-0, but everybody dug in and fought back so we ended up getting a 7-0 win,” coach Pearce said. “I was really pleased for Spencer. I told him that he played a great match yesterday and if he played as well today, he’d have success.”
Smith overcame his 3-0 deficit and topped Levin Guillermo in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. Francis Sargeant was the first singles player to claim a point for BYU as he quickly defeated Olivier Jamin 6-0, 6-3.
With a 7-6, 7-5 victory on court 4, sophomore Keaton Cullimore won his eleventh straight singles match. Freshmen John Pearce and Andrey Goryachkov also contributed points to the match as they each put away their opponents in straight sets.
“In tennis, you need the whole team, and right now everyone has a role and everyone is really fulfilling it, whether on the court or not,” coach Pearce said. “It’s great to see the preparation, camaraderie and outright fight on this team. To see it all combined is very satisfying.”
The Cougars play their last two matches on the road against conference opponents Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
1. No. 86 Kawka/Sargeant (BYU) def. Schoebel/Mijatovic (GU) 8-6
2. Goryachkov/Smith (BYU) def. Smithd/Brandt (GU) 8-4
3. Mosquera Perez/Nazal (GU) def. Cullimore/Pearce (BYU) 8-5
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
1. No. 42 Patrick Kawka (BYU) def. Alvaro Nazal (GU) 2-6, 6-2, 7-5
2. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. Levin Guillermo (GU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Francis Sargeant (BYU) def. Olivier Jamin (GU) 6-0, 6-3
4. Keaton Cullimore (BYU) def. Vladimir Mijatovic (GU) 7-6, 7-5
5. Andrey Goryachkov (BYU) def. Hayden Smith (GU) 6-2, 6-1
6. John Pearce (BYU) def. Jack Schoebel (GU) 6-3, 6-3
Order of finish: 3, 2, 4, 1, 5, 6
Aaron Sorenson is the tennis sports information director at BYU.