By Daniel Singer
A rested BYU men”s tennis team will be without its top two players as they face the Utah State Aggies Friday Feb. 28 at 5:00.
Due to an NCAA rule that limits players to 25 matches in a season, seniors Erik Nyman and Carlos Lozano will be forced to sit out.
“Utah State is likely the weakest team on our schedule this year,” coach Jim Osborne said. “This is probably the best time for Erik and Carlos to sit out.”
Nyman and Lozano qualified for so many matches before the Cougar”s intercollegiate season started it became necessary to sit out to not violate the 25 match limit.
This move means that other Cougars will need to step up in tonight”s match.
Sophomore Jose Lechuga will play in the No. 1 spot for the first time in his career. Lechuga had previously played in the No. 3 spot.
“This will be a great opportunity for (Jose) to show his talent,” Osborne said.
Lechuga, who won the national doubles title in Mexico during the summer, is not the only player being shifted around to play the Aggies. Rob Sperry a freshman from Provo will play the No. 5 seed and Paul Heapy a freshman from Hamilton, New Zealand will play the No. 6 seed.
“We haven”t had a lot of success with our doubles teams this year,” Osborne said. “We”re going to try out some new combinations tonight.”
The Cougars are coming off of a two and a half week break from matches, but they didn”t get a rest from practice.
“We will be in a pretty brutal stretch of the season from March 20 to April 20,” Osborne said. “These last few weeks have been a good opportunity to work on our conditioning.”
The Cougars are not overlooking tonight”s opponents though. The Aggies are 2-6 this season, but played very well against the Cougars earlier in the year.
“Our guys are pretty excited to show what they”re made of,” Osborne said.
The match will be at 5:00 pm at the BYU indoor courts.