BYU men’s tennis honors seniors during final home match of the season

The last men’s tennis home match of the season was unforgettable.

Seniors Jack Barnett and Kobe Tran were first honored for their athletic and academic accomplishments while at BYU. Following their celebration, Barnett and Tran led the Cougars, on and off the court, against the No. 27 Baylor Bears.

After several intense doubles rallies on all three courts, doubles teams Zachs Fuchs and Wally Thayne along with Jack Barnett and Redd Owen lost their matches 6-7 and 5-7. Baylor won the first two doubles matches, so Tygen Goldammer and TJ Wells suspended their doubles match at 6-5.

The close doubles games got even closer in singles, with both Fuchs and Thayne playing three full sets. Both players lost their first set and rallied to win the second, the crowd cheering them on with each point won. Thayne won his third set 6-4 against No. 74 Zsombor Velcz, while Fuchs lost an even closer set 6-7, with a 7-9 tiebreak score.

On court one, Jack Barnett won 6-2 6-2 against Tadeas Paroulek, who is currently ranked 50th in Division I of men’s singles. While the score itself suggests a quick win for Barnett, the drama that followed made it more memorable than most 6-2 6-2 matches.

Barnett’s game-winning point was off a serve that barely went over the net, making it nearly impossible for Paroulek to return the ball. Barnett drew Paroulek in for a handshake across the net after securing his win, and Paroulek pushed him mid-handshake.

The audience immediately erupted in yells of shock, many spectators standing up to make their anger known. The line judge soon got involved, as did both teams’ coaches. Baylor’s coach started yelling at Jack, and Paroulek had to be held back by his teammates to keep him from going after Barnett again.

Amidst the chaos, Barnett turned to the crowd, lifted his arms, and yelled victoriously. The crowd stood and roared in return, drowning out any sound of Baylor’s complaints.

Down on court four, Redd Owen put up a fight against Louis Bowden, starting the match with a 3-0 lead. The odds seemed to be stacked against him as the referee took two points away due to the “interference” of a cheering crowd. After losing the first set 6-3, Owen fought hard against Bowden, who was up 4-0 in the second set. Owen broke back and won the next two games but lost the match 6-2.

Freshmen Tygen Goldammer and David Duong played on courts one and four after Barnett and Owen. Goldammer fought hard against opponent Luc Koenig but lost 4-6 2-6. Duong lost his first set and left the second set unfinished 1-1.

While the Cougars didn’t win against the Bears, their real win was in the sportsmanship they displayed throughout the match. Players and coaches alike kept their cool against Baylor and supported their teammates until the end.

Although the matches lasted over four hours, fans supported the Cougars the whole way, maybe as a thank you for the free pizza. While the home matches are over, be sure to follow the live stats of their next match on Apr. 4 against TCU.

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