Cougars top Utes

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The BYU men’s tennis team took on in-state rival, the University of Utah, Wednesday at Eccles Tennis Center in Salt Lake City.

The Cougars improve to 4-5 on the season after the 5-2 win, which was their first road win of the season.

BYU coach Brad Pearce said his team had played well in a loss to Stanford and came into the rivalry match against Utah confident and excited to compete.

“We love rivalry matches,” Pearce said. “It’s something to get excited about above and beyond your every day matches. It’s important to us, and we’re just going to go out and continue the same processes that we’ve been doing to be prepared for every match a little bit more.”

Junior Spencer Smith from Salt Lake City grew up watching tennis matches at Utah and knew it was not just one match on the line on Wednesday.

“The matches are always tough and intense and a lot of fun because it’s such a big rivalry,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of pressure on the line. Also we’re playing for our school because [of the rivalry] … so we help our school by winning this match.”

BYU now leads Utah in the Deseret First Duel, 26-13

No. 67 Freshman Keaton Cullimore from Sandy grew up a BYU fan and was looking forward to an intense rivalry match.

“I’m excited because it’s always a good feeling beating the U,” Cullimore said.

In his first rivalry match with the U, Cullimore came away with a singles win topping Utah’s Ace Matias 6-2, 7-5.

The Cougars got the doubles match early on, winning on courts one and two, 8-0 and 8-1 respectively.

The Utes tied the match when Devin Lane defeated Michael Eraso 6-3, 6-2, but the Cougars pulled away after that winning four matches in a row.

Along with Cullimore, No. 43 Georgy Batrakov, No. 106 Patrick Kawka and Francis Sargeant put up the remaining points for the Cougars.

The Utes snagged one more point in the match when Dmytro Mamedov defeated Smith in a long tie-breaking battle 6-4, 4-6, 10-4.

The Cougars brought the Utes their first loss of the season and hope to continue this win streak as they return to their home courts.

The Cougars take to the courts again on Friday against Nevada at 5:30 p.m. on the indoor tennis courts with free admission and pizza.

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