The No. 50 BYU men’s tennis team overcame a slow start against No. 37 Santa Clara to win its first conference match of the season Saturday afternoon in front of a packed house at the indoor tennis courts.
“It was a good match for us, Santa Clara is a good team” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said in a release. “It was a good win not only because we beat a conference opponent, but a highly ranked conference opponent that has great wins over good programs already this year.”
Santa Clara (5–3, 0–1) is the third ranked team the Cougars (7–2, 1–0) have defeated this season. All of Santa Clara’s losses this season have come by teams ranked in the top 50 nationally.
Early on it didn’t look like the Cougars would pick up their seventh win of the season after Santa Clara opened up doubles play by winning all three matches and consequently the doubles point.
As they’ve done all season though, BYU played well in singles, winning four of the six matches giving them the narrow 4-3 victory over the Broncos.
BYU sophomore Keaton Cullimore got the Cougars on the board with 6–3, 6–1 win over Tom Pham.
Junior Patrick Kawka, BYU’s No. 1, battled back from two losses last week to upend the Bronco’s John Lamble, ranked No. 65 in the country 7–6, 6–3 to give the Cougars a 2–1 lead.
The Cougars picked up a third straight point when sophomore Francis Sargeant defeated Matt Kecki 6–4, 6–1.
Santa Clara battled back with two wins of its own to bring the score level at 3–3 with just one match remaining between BYU’s freshman Andrey Goryachkov and the Broncos Eugene Muchynski. Goryachkov won the first set 6–4. The second set went down to the wire, but Goryachkov overcome Muchynski 7–5 to win his match and give BYU the match.
BYU will remain at home this week to face UNLV on Friday, Feb. 15 and Denver University on Saturday, Feb. 16.