Sunday, August 9, 2020

New doubles partnership brought new success for BYU men’s tennis

A new doubles partnership sparked success for the Cougars as they continued their home match winning streak.

Seniors David Ball and Sean Hill played on the same team for the last three years and both players spoke about their chemistry off the court having spent long hours with each other. Over the last three years, the pair became good friends but never had the opportunity to play together on the court before this season. 

“Before the home opener, we decided to try putting Sean and I together because we are good friends and we have good chemistry,” Ball said. “We definitely came together in a roundabout way, but it has been a good partnership so far.”

After a series of hard matches against ranked opponents on the road, the Cougars came home wanting to refresh. Due to injury, the team reorganized doubles partnerships. In all of the transition, the coaches alongside the players decided that Ball and Hill would be a promising partnership. 

Sean Hill practices his forehand during an outdoor practice that took place prior to the BYU athletics cancelation to due COVID-19. (Hannah Miner)

In their debut match together against East Tennessee and Weber State on Feb.1, Ball and Hill won both of their matches — the only doubles pair to do so. After their doubles victory, the pair was nominated as WCC Doubles Team of the Week, which was the first WCC nomination for the Cougars this season. This was Ball’s first nomination in doubles and Hill’s fifth time as part of a doubles team of the week. Previously, Hill was nominated with teammate Jeffrey Hsu, who graduated after the 2019 season. 

“We are having a good start, and it is showcasing how good of a doubles team we can be and hopefully there is more to come,” Hill said.

Since their debut as partners, this new team had only lost one of the six matches they played together. The pair claimed victories over New Mexico and UNLV on the road along with a home win against Utah State. BYU assistant coach Aidan Carrazedo said Ball and Hill’s success can’t just be attributed to them being great tennis players; instead, Carrazedo said they each have different strengths that complement each other. 

“David is a really good leader on and off the court and he brings out the best in Sean and brings the energy. I think Sean is really calm and relaxed on the court and I think that helps David stay in the moment,” Carrazedo said.

Before BYU canceled sports due to COVID-19, both seniors had hoped to continue having success together. 

“One of the biggest things that we are trying to do is have a lot of fun with this,” Ball said. “We have the mentality of leaving everything on the court, and I think that has showed with the success we have been having.” 

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