Tennis sweeps Weber State, draws large crowds

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BYU head coach Brad Pearce was right to be excited about his team’s growing number of fans and skill of his players.

The men’s tennis team swept Weber State 7-0 Friday night to a packed indoor tennis courts with fans vying for seats.

“This was just fantastic, and that’s what makes it fun for these guys,” Pearce said.

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Among the students, family and friends in the crowd in attendance showing their support were two former head coaches, Wayne Pearce (Brad Pearce’s father) and Jim Osbourne. Also, long-time friend of Pearce, Provo Mayor Jim Curtis, was also in attendance showing his support for the Cougars.

“It was a good opening match for us, competitive at every position. Fortunately, we came through,” Brad Pearce said.

The team won the doubles point by winning two of the three doubles matches. Freshmen Francis Sargeant and junior Spencer Smith won five games in a row before Weber State’s Ciao Poitena and Peter Ramstromer Pello were able to win a game. Smith controlled the match with his serves, serving many well placed aces throughout the night. Sargeant and Smith won 8-2.

Georgy Batrakov and Patrick Kawka were defeated by Oliver Good and No. 43 Simon Unger in a dissapointing 8-1 match.

Many in the crowd converged across the courts to stand on the sidelines to cheer as freshmen Keaton Cullimore and senior Michael Eraso secured the doubles point against Ryan Garner and David Hintse, winning 8-3.

In singles play the Cougars dominated the Wildcats, winning every match.

In his debut in the regular season, Cullimore defeated Pello 6-2, 6-4. Cullimore said he’s excited about the outlook of the team and his growing confidence.

“I just make balls and then start attacking as I gain confidence,” he said.

Batrakov aced his serve to win the fourth game, tying Unger 2-2 in the first set and never lost another game, winning 6-2, 6-0.

Smith continued his barrage of fast and precise serves against Hintze in his singles match, winning 6-1, 6-0.

Sophomore Travis Fillmore had the last match of the night, and the longest. Despite his nerves at his first time playing in the top six singles position Fillmore clinched his match and the sweep for the Cougars in a comeback, tie-breaking set. He won 2-6, 6-2, (13-11).

“I feel really happy I was able to perform under pressure. I was able to pull it out,” Fillmore said.

Kawka attacked the net all night and his aggressive play ended the match quickly at 6-3, 6-3.

“I love the net. I love coming to the net, being aggressive and finishing points off,” Kawka said.

While Kawka said he and Batrakov were disappointed in their doubles match they look forward to improving and were pleased with the outcome of the match.

“It sets a great tone for the rest of the season, and it’s always important to start off on the right foot,” Kawka said.

The Cougars head to California this week playing back-to-back matches against UC Santa Barbara and UCLA on Thursday and Friday.

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