Cougar men’s tennis sweeps NAU Lumberjacks 7-0

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Doubles partners Keaton Cullimore and John Pearce celebrate after a successful point. Pearce won both of his matches against NAU, despite being sick with bronchitis. (Natalie Bothwell)

The BYU men’s tennis team swept the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks on Friday night to improve to 6-0 on the season.

The Cougars have only lost two points this season, the doubles point against Nevada and a singles point to Hawaii. The Cougars are now 36-2 in their matches. BYU head coach Brad Pearce attributed his team’s success to solid preparation.

“We’re taking it one match at a time and trying to do our best to prepare for every match that we play,” Pearce said. “I think the expectation is that we come out prepared and that we do what we’re supposed to do. If we’re prepared for the match, then the results will show for themselves.”

The Cougars secured the doubles point with a quick 6-2 win from Shane Monroe and Jeremy Bourgeois, followed by a 6-2 win from Keaton Cullimore and John Pearce, who is still recovering from a bout of illness. Jacob Sullivan and Andrey Goryachkov were unable to finish their match, but were up 5-3 when time was called.

Bronchitis hasn’t seemed to slow down John, who won both of his matches tonight.

“You’re not going to feel good every day, but you have to go out and compete,” John said. “Sometimes it’s your forehand, other times it’s your health. It’s just about giving your best effort, no matter what.”

The singles play brought out the first injury of the season, with Lumberjack Tim Handel rolling his ankle during an intense rally with Monroe. BYU athletic trainer Heather Melanson taped it up and play continued.

Melanson explained that tennis players face more overuse injuries, or chronic injuries as opposed to acute, or sudden in-play injuries.

“While they’re playing, (we mostly see) things like cuts from falling, or sometimes they roll their ankles,” Melanson said.

Meanwhile, the match play carried on with a 6-0, 6-1 victory from Cullimore and then a 6-4, 6-0 victory from Monroe. Goryachkov won his match as well (6-3, 6-4) bringing the score to 4-0.

After a grueling three set match (3-6, 6-2, 6-6), Sullivan closed up the tiebreaker with a 10-8 victory, clinching the match for the Cougars. Pearce and Bourgeois also won their matches in two sets each, further adding to Cougars’ victory.

BYU will head to Colorado to play the Air Force Academy on Friday, Feb 5 and the University of Denver on Saturday, Feb 6. They’ll return to home court on Friday, Feb 13 to take on Boise State at 5:30pm MST.

Free pizza will be provided for the fans, and admission is free.