By GEOFFREY M. HOWARD
Over the past eight days, the 45th-ranked BYU men’s tennis team has faced six opponents, including two top-five opponents and a 33rd-ranked Fresno State team.
In the midst of it all, Manuel Calvo, a senior from Mexico City ranked No. 80 in the nation, served up some huge wins in singles and doubles play, earning him honors as WAC men’s tennis Athlete of the Week.
But the team lost 7-0 to Fresno State Tuesday. In doubles, BYU took only one of the three matches, giving up the doubles point.
“We dug ourselves too deep a hole,” head coach Jim Osborne said. “If we had won the doubles point, it would’ve given us confidence. There was a momentum sweep.”
In four match points, BYU had some big serves countered by big returns from Fresno State, Osborne said.
The loss compounded the disappointment that came from a 6-1 loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday.
“Virginia Tech was a letdown,” Osborne said. “After SMU, we talked but couldn’t fire them up. We didn’t take Virginia Tech seriously … lack of mental focus.”
Losing the doubles point again set the tone for the night.
But Calvo came out on top against Aaron Marchetti, the No. 13 singles player in the nation, defeating him 7-6, 6-4.
BYU then defeated No. 59 Oregon 4-2 before losing 4-0 to No. 5 SMU in the same day. No doubles matches were played so that both matches could be finished. Rain postponed play the previous day.
BYU may have lost to No. 4 Stanford 7-0, but the daring duo of Calvo and Damien Ward shocked the No. 2 doubles team in the nation. They picked up the only Cougar win, defeating Ryan Wolters and K.J. Hippensteel 8-4.
“We were hungry for that match. We were having fun and all of a sudden we were serving for match 7-4,” Calvo said.
Calvo said the win gave him confidence and a desire to have fun the rest of the season.
“When I have fun … I relax. I don’t think about the match or how good the other guy is,” Calvo said.
The team has two chances to rebound from its losses. No. 53 UNLV will be in town Thursday followed by No. 50 UTEP on Friday.
“We must forget about the loss today,” Calvo said. “Everybody on the team is thinking the other guy is going to win. We must concentrate on our own court and win.”
Both matches will begin at 1 p.m. on the outdoor tennis courts.