BYU men’s tennis defeats rival Utah, wins Deseret Duel trophy

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Natalie Bothwell
Keaton Cullimore runs to return a ball during a doubles match at home earlier this season. The Cougars beat the Utah Utes on Saturday 5-2. (Natalie Bothwell)

The Cougars beat the previously undefeated University of Utah 5-2 and secured the Deseret Duel trophy on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

The Deseret Duel represents a long-standing rivalry between the Utes and the Cougars, and BYU head coach John Pearce said the rivalry tennis match is no different.

“I have great respect for this rivalry match; it’s bigger than the players and the coaches, and it’s great for the fan bases of both universities,” he said. “It brings out great passion and energy and thus builds lasting memories for our student-athletes. I’m delighted that our rivalry match is going to continue.”

The Cougars got the ball rolling early with a victory from doubles team Jacob Sullivan and John Pearce (6-2). Despite Shane Monroe and Jeremy Bourgeois’ 2-6 loss, Keaton Cullimore and Andrey Goryachkov were able to secure the doubles point with their 6-4 win.

In the singles play, Goryachkov and John Pearce dropped their matches, but BYU pulled ahead with victories from Monroe and Sullivan. Bourgeois’s drawn out, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 win secured the Cougar victory with Cullimore’s 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 win only adding to the BYU victory.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my players and my coaching and support staff,” said Brad Pearce. “Utah is a very good team, and their 11-0 record speaks to that. We knew it would be a battle, but I thought our preparation was excellent and we focused on the right things in the build up to this match.”

BYU returns home next weekend to begin West Coast Conference play, hosting the University of Portland on Friday, February 26 at 5:30 P.M. MST and Gonzaga University on Saturday, February 27 at 2:00 P.M. MST.

To see pictures from tonight’s match, click here.

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