BYU men’s tennis excited for fall campaign

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Ari Davis
Matthew Pearce hits the ball during the Cougars’ match against Utah on Feb. 9, 2017. Pearce is one of seven returning members of the team for the 2017-18 season. (Ari Davis)

The BYU men’s tennis team had its Fall Classic intra-squad competition on Sept. 21-23 with Sam Tullis winning the singles draw.

In order to win the singles draw, Tullis beat teammate John Pearce in two sets (6-2, 6-4).

Jeffrey Hsu, a junior at BYU, and Sean Hill, a sophomore, won the doubles title by beating out teammates John Pearce and Ben Gajardo (8-5).

“I think it’s terrific during this time of the year to have an opportunity to see where each guy is at with his game and their competitiveness,” said BYU coach Brad Pearce. “Our guys handled it really well, especially playing against each other which can be hard. I’m really impressed by the performances I saw, and I think guys got better. I told the guys as we finished, that the sky is the limit this year if we keep working, pulling and pushing each other to get better.”

The team uses the fall to prepare for its winter season when the Cougars will be playing a number of teams from the West Coast Conference.

“The fall season does a good job of getting us back in shape; and not just running shape, but match shape, so getting used to mentally playing two out of three sets,” said John Pearce.

The men’s tennis players voted for their team captains and chose John Pearce, Matt Pearce, David Ball and Sam Tullis.

John Pearce was on the tennis team last year when BYU finished the season third in conference.

“It takes good players from (positions) one to six. You’ve got to have six good players that are ready to play every day,” said John Pearce.

Artsiom Ausiyevich, Ben Gajardo and Jacob Tullis are incoming freshmen to the team. David Ball and Victor Brown are recently returned missionaries.

“I’m just really excited about the guys we have and I’m looking forward to working hard through the fall and getting ready for the dual-match season,” Coach Pearce said.

Coach Pearce also talked about the excitement that the younger players bring to the team.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” Coach Pearce said. “I feel like we basically have a whole new team and I’ve loved all the great new attitudes and everybody’s eager and working hard. It’s been a very cohesive group of guys. It’s been a pleasure.”

That team camaraderie has members of the team excited for the fall.

“(The atmosphere) is so vibrant and so happy,” said Jacob Tullis.  “I’m most excited for literally being on the side of the court or being on the court… and just yelling and cheering on the teammates.”

BYU will compete in its next preseason tournament, the Boise Invitational, on Oct. 6-7.