It’s been a team goal all season to complete a perfect home slate and with a convincing 6–1 victory over Saint Mary’s in Provo on Saturday, the BYU men’s tennis team did just that.
“What a great accomplishment to have the kind of competition we’ve had at our home this year and to finish 10–0,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “What a tribute to our guys.”
The Cougars now have a 46–2 record since 2009 at the indoor and outdoor tennis courts in Provo.
Friday was also Senior Day for the Cougars and the lone senior on the squad — Spencer Smith — turned in an outstanding performance to finish off his career at home. He and junior Travis Fillmore won their doubles match 8–7 over Samuel Bloore and Tuomas Manner, and Smith dominated in singles with a 6–3, 6–2 victory over Saint Mary’s Joakim Norstrom at the No. 2 spot.
“I was so happy for Spencer in his last home match of his career,” Coach Pearce said. “He really won in a convincing way; he played really good tennis today.”
With the win, BYU (15–4, 4–0) maintains its lead at the top of the West Coast Conference and handed Saint Mary’s its first conference lost of the season.
“Everything just clicked today,” freshman John Pearce said.
After a disappointing display last week with new doubles partnerships, Coach Pearce returned to his original doubles lineup and the Cougars thrived. They won all three doubles matches against the Gaels and really set the tone for the remainder of the match.
BYU’s No. 1 partnership, junior Patrick Kawka and sophomore Francis Sargeant, defeated the Gaels duo, Jesse Kiuru and Joakim Norstrom, 8–4. BYU’s Keaton Cullimore and John Pearce won their match against Thomas Hunt and Seif El Sherbini, 8–6.
In singles the Cougars swept through the Gaels lineup winning five consecutive matches.
John Pearce had a quick 6–1, 6–1 victory over Bloore. Cullimore kept his hot streak alive with another win, this time against El Sherbini, 6–3, 6–1. Freshman Andrey Goryachkov finished next for the Cougars after he dispatched Hunt 6–0, 6–3.
Smith finished next, followed by another convincing win from BYU, this time by Sargeant. On court three he took care of Manner 6–1, 6–3.
With the overall score 6–0 in favor of the Cougars and only Kawka and Kiuru remaining, the Cougars were on the brink of a 7–0 victory. Kiuru was having none of that though. Kiuru picked up the first set victory in a tie-break before Kawka came back to win the second set 6–3. In the third set Kawka had Kiuru to a match point, but the Gael’s No. 1 held him off and picked up two straight points to give Saint Mary’s its only point of the afternoon and Kawka his first home defeat since February.
The Cougars will travel to Boise State and play the Broncos next Saturday for the USTA College Matchday.