Hoping to claim repeat titles in the regional championships, Spencer Smith, paired up with Francis Sargeant, fell shy of that goal in the doubles regional semifinals at the ITA Mountain Region Championships last week in Las Vegas.
Smith and Sargeant fell to the No. 1 team of Phil Anderson and Jadon Phillips of the University of New Mexico 8-5, becoming the last of their team to exit the tournament.
The first day of the tournament consisted of all singles matches where nine BYU players played with 119 other players in the Mountain Region. Of those nine, seven players advanced to the second round. Freshman Dean Ormsby and sophomore Travis Fillmore were the only two to fall early on. After round two, Sargeant and David Doehring joined their fallen teammates leaving five Cougars remaining in the tournament for round three.
Following round three, the only Cougars who remained in the tournament were sophomore Patrick Kawka and Smith. Though there were 14 other opponents the two could have played, the teammates squared off against each other, battling for a position in the quarterfinals.
After the second day, two Cougars remained in the singles bracket, sophomore Patrick Kawka and Smith. All too often in the tournaments the team has played in, teammates compete against each other. In a round of 16, Kawka and Smith competed for advancement to the final eight. Kawka won the battle between the two but went on to lose his next match to Enej Bonin from Denver, 7-5, 6-4.
In doubles play, three of the four teams advanced to the round of 16, where teammates played again in order to advance. Smith and Sargeant played freshman teammate Dean Ormsby and Utah’s Justin Archer, beating them 8-1.
The other two teams to advanced consisted of Keaton Cullimore and Michael Eraso, as well as Georgy Batrakov and Kawka. Unfortunately for the four teammates, both duos fell to their opponents in the final eight.
If both teams would have won, they would have faced each other in the semifinals guaranteeing a position for at least one pair of Cougars in the championship round. Batrakov and Kawka were defeated by Weber State’s Oliver Good and Simon Unger 8-6. Cullimore and Eraso were also defeated in the same round by University of Idaho’s Marius Cirstea and Andrew Dobbs 8-4.
Smith and Sargeant outlasted their teammates in the final eight, advancing to the semifinals after beating Bonin and Jens Vorksfeld 8-6.