Going home early wasn’t an option for the BYU men’s this past weekend as several individuals and doubles teams progressed to advanced rounds in the Southern California Championships.
In the main draw of the singles bracket, three Cougars — Geogry Batrakov, Patrick Kawka and Keaton Cullimore — moved through the first two rounds with relative ease.
In the first round, Batrakov jumped out on Andrew Raphaelson of UC San Diego before Raphaelson withdrew because of an injury.
Cullimore had a similar experience in the second round as he went up on Hugh Clarke of Pepperdine 6-4 when Clarke also withdrew because of an injury.
Batrakov and Cullimore ended their runs in the quarterfinals, losing to the first and third seeds in the tournament.
Kawka, however, upset the No. 4 seed, Warren Hardie of UCLA, (7-6, 6-3) in order to advance to the semifinals where he competed against Alex Brigham of UCLA. Bingham upset Emilio Gomez of USC in the second round (6-2, 4-6, 6-1). Matching up against Bingham gave Kawka an opportunity to knock out a second player of UCLA’s team, which he did in two sets (6-4, 6-2).
“Patrick did well in this tournament last year,” BYU assistant coach Zach Warren said in a news release, “upsetting UCLA’s Daniel Kosakowski. For him to do this well again this year says a lot about him and where his game is.”
Kawka is set to play another UCLA player, Clay Thompson, the No. 3 seed, today in the championship round.
The success Kawka had did not end in the singles bracket. In the doubles bracket, Kawka teamed up with Batrakov and together they advanced to the semifinal round. The duo beat opponents from UC Riverside and Azusa Pacific University.
The Cougars were scheduled to play against Brigham and Thompson on Sunday in the semifinal round. Because of BYU’s no-Sunday play rule, Brigham and Thompson moved onto the final round.
“For us to have three guys in the quarterfinals of this tournament says a lot about where out team is at,” Warren said. “You’ve got UCLA, USC and several other teams … in the tournament. Those are some of the best schools in country.”