Men’s tennis to face No. 18 Stanford and Air Force this weekend

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The No. 48 BYU men’s tennis team will travel to California to play No. 18 Stanford on Friday before returning to Provo to host Air Force on Saturday.

BYU (5–1) takes on Stanford (2–1) Friday at 1 :30 p.m. PST and BYU head coach Brad Pearce is expecting a very difficult match against the Cardinals. 

BYU junior Patrick Kawka returns the ball during a recent home match against Utah State. Kawka remains undefeated on the season. (Photo by Chris Bunker)

“Stanford has the second most NCAA titles,” Pearce said. “They’re a perennial powerhouse in tennis. We’re always expecting a great team.”

The Cougars will look to rebound from their loss on Monday against No. 3 UCLA and take their experience from that game into the match with Stanford.

“I think we put a pretty good scare in UCLA,” Pearce said. “We were a few points away from winning the doubles point, so I’m very encouraged. I think everybody’s excited about the opportunity (to play Stanford).”

BYU junior Patrick Kawka has started off the season undefeated and is coming off a victory over UCLA’s Dennis Novikov — a professionally ranked player.

“Patrick Kawka came up big in beating (UCLA’s) No. 2 player, who’s in the top 500 in the world in professional rankings and won a round in the US Open this summer,” Pearce said.

The quick turnaround from Friday to Saturday will be difficult but Pearce feels his team will be ready to handle it.

“The challenge for us is going to be playing at sea level, outdoors, and then making a quick transition the next day to indoors at altitude,” Pearce said. “I think our guys will be up to it.”

BYU takes on Air Force at 5:30 p.m. at the indoor tennis courts. Admission is free and pizza will be provided for fans.

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