BYU men’s tennis: a semester in review

While the men’s tennis season officially starts in January, the tennis team and staff have been hard at work, both on and off the court.

The players opened their fall off-season on Sept. 22, traveling to the Air Force Academy in Colorado to compete in the ITA Bedford Cup in the Mountains.

Redd Owen and Wally Thayne both won twice in singles, and Jack Barnett and Zach Fuchs each had one singles win. In the doubles bracket, BYU had three doubles teams compete. After a first-round bye, Redd Owen and Jack Barnett reached the final round but withdrew because it was scheduled on a Sunday.

The team poses for a picture after their second day in the ITA Bedford Cup. Photo courtesy of Air Force Athletics.

On Sept. 28, the men once again traveled to the Air Force Academy for the ITA Mountain Region Championship. Jack Barnett made it to the semifinals in singles and withdrew due to a Sunday match.

Zach Fuchs and Wally Thayne won in the finals for doubles, qualifying for the ITA All-American Championships. They traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma at the start of October and lost two close three-set matches. Thayne also competed in singles and lost a three-set match in the round of 128.

Zach Fuchs and Wally Thayne celebrate after winning a point. Photo courtesy of Air Force Athletics.

On Oct. 20, the team traveled to Boise, Idaho to compete in the General Patton Fall Invitational. Redd Owen and TJ Wells won in the first round of doubles, and both Owen and Wells also won their first round of singles matches. After being defeated in the second round, Owen and Wells played in the singles consolation draws, and Wells won in flight B’s consolation final.

On Nov. 1, Zach Fuchs and Wally Thayne participated in the ITA National Fall Championships in doubles. In the round of 32, Fuchs and Thayne defeated the duo from Xavier University in straight sets. In the round of 16, the pair lost a close match to a highly-ranked duo from Ohio State University.

The Cougars’ final campaign of the fall was the Ralston/Neufeld Coaches Challenge, held in Dallas, Texas from Nov. 3 to Nov. 4. Jack Barnett, Redd Owen, TJ Wells and Brian Chen represented BYU in both singles and doubles.

While the men had trouble finding their footing in day one of competition, they came back on day two and racked up four wins, two in doubles and two in singles.

Redd Owen prepares to return a hit. Photo courtesy of Air Force Athletics.

In mid-November, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranked doubles team Zach Fuchs and Wally Thayne No. 35 in Division I in the country. Their fall season record ended at 8-3 after their appearances at several ITA championships.

Head coach Zack Warren brought former BYU teammate Jonathan Sanchez onto the coaching staff as an assistant coach in October. Warren also announced the signing of Tygen Goldammer and David Duon in early November, and both men will join the team in January.

The Cougars are prepared to take the Big 12 Conference by storm, starting in January.

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