By Daniel Singer
The BYU men”s tennis team took two giant leaps forward this weekend (Feb. 7-8) by destroying Northern Arizona 7-0 and dismantling nationally-ranked Arizona 4-3.
The Cougars” win over Arizona is momentous. Arizona was previously unbeaten this season and had beaten Mountain West Conference favorite San Diego State earlier this year.
“Beating a team that beat one of the best teams in our conference is a huge step for us,” sophomore Jose Lechuga said. “Our team is doing really well right now.”
The Cougars” win resulted in part by learning from last week”s mistakes. Last week, the Cougars lost to Oregon after handily defeating its doubles team. The Oregon singles squad rallied back to take the match.
Saturday against Arizona, the Cougars lost the doubles point, but then won four of the six singles points to win the match.
“We decided that if we were going down, we were going down fighting,” coach Jim Osborne said. “As the match wore on, we got louder and louder and they got quiet.”
Coach Osborne attributed the turning point to senior Jeff Olsen winning at the No. 5 singles seed. Soon after, Lechuga won a tough three-set match. MWC player of the week, senior Erik Nyman and nationally ranked senior Carlos Lozano then entered the courts and won their respective matches.
The Cougars also proved a point to the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. Individual members of the Lumberjacks had beaten some of the BYU men”s team players in off-season matches.
“They felt like they had a chance of beating us,” Osborne said.
They didn”t have much of a chance. The Cougars throttled the Lumberjacks 7-0.
“We just dominated them in doubles,” Osborne said. “These matches were the types of matches you coach college tennis for.”
The BYU men”s team will have the week off, then prepare to face Utah State at home Feb. 28.