Brigham Young University
Feb 22 | 05:00 PM
2 - 5
University of Utah
mperry | Posted: 22 Feb 2014 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars almost make it five in a row over Utes


SALT LAKE CITY — In the annual rivalry match, the story was bitter to sweet to bitter as No. 70 BYU fell to Utah, 5-2, in the Deseret First Duel Saturday at the Eccles Tennis Center.

In unlikely fashion after losing the doubles point, the Cougars (5-7) almost pulled off the comeback against the Utes (9-2) for what would have been the fifth win in a row in the rivalry match.

“First, we want to congratulate Utah on the win,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “We felt that we were the underdog coming in. Our No. 1 player from last season decided to forego his senior year of eligibility and turned pro, we lost two key players from last year’s lineup to missions, and we have a young team with eight freshmen. Our goal was to come out with a lot of energy and team spirit in doubles, but I felt we fell far short of that.”

The match began bitterly as Utah claimed wins at second and third doubles to take the doubles point.

BYU fought back in singles and into the position to record the huge comeback.

“After regrouping, we refocused on the game plan with great energy and great team spirit,” coach Pearce said. “I was extremely proud of the way we fought back in singles. We were in a sweet position to have a comeback for the books, but unfortunately it turned to bitter.”

At third singles, freshman Robin Pfister fell to Alejandro Medinilla, 6-4, 6-1, but fellow freshman Jeremy Bourgeois put BYU on the board with his victory at No. 4 singles over Cedric Willems, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

With the match at 2-1 in favor of the Utes, No. 91 Francis Sargeant overpowered No. 87 Slim Hamza in two sets, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, knotting the match at 2-2.

Utah regained the lead as Matthew Pearce fell in three sets, 6-1, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1.

The Cougars then put themselves in position at second and sixth singles to close out a possible sweet comeback victory, but the match trended toward bitter as both BYU players fell in three sets.

Andrey Goryachkov and Jacob Sullivan both were simultaneously on the verge of closing out their opponents, but within a matter of minutes the hopes of comeback faded.

At No. 2 singles, sophomore Andrey Goryachkov was leading 5-2 in the third set before falling to Ben Tasevac, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5.

 After winning the first set at No. 6 singles, Jacob Sullivan also had the chance to finish his opponent as he led 3-1 in the tiebreaker of the second. The freshman ultimately lost to Matt Cowley in the set, and could not swing the momentum in the third, falling 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.

“We have to give credit where credit is due,” coach Pearce said. “But we have a lot to look forward to with a great recruiting class next year and missionaries returning home in the future. The only way we’ll get better is by working hard in preparation for Idaho.”

Next up, BYU returns home against Idaho, Saturday at 5:30 p.m. MST at the Indoor Tennis Courts.

Tennis Match Results

Brigham Young University vs University of Utah

Feb 22, 2014 at Salt Lake City

(Eccles Tennis Center)

University of Utah 5, #70 Brigham Young University 2

Singles competition

1. #91 Francis Sargeant (BYU) def. #87 Slim Hamza (UTAH) 7-6 (8-6), 6-4

2. Ben Tasevec (UTAH) def. Andrey Goryachkov (BYU) 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5

3. Alejandro Medinilla (UTAH) def. Robin Pfister (BYU) 6-4, 6-1

4. Jeremy Bourgeois (BYU) def. Cedric Willems (UTAH) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4

5. Devin Lane (UTAH) def. Matthew Pearce (BYU) 6-1, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1

6. Matt Cowley (UTAH) def. Jacob Sullivan (BYU) 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-1

Doubles competition

1. Cedric Willems/Slim Hamza (UTAH) vs. Francis Sargeant/Andrey Goryachkov (BYU) 7-5, unfinished

2. Ben Tasevec/Devin Lane (UTAH) def. Jeremy Bourgeois/Sterling Galli (BYU) 8-5

3. Alejandro Medinilla/Matt Cowley (UTAH) def. Robin Pfister/Matthew Pearce (BYU) 8-3

Match Notes:

Brigham Young University 5-7; National ranking #70

University of Utah 9-2

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,4,1,5,2,6)


mperry | Posted: 20 Feb 2014 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars face Utes in Deseret First Duel rivalry match

PROVO, Utah--In the annual Deseret First Duel, No. 70 BYU men’s tennis will face in-state foe Utah, Saturday at 5 p.m. MST at the Eccles Tennis Center in Salt Lake City.
“We only have two players in our current lineup that have been a part of our domination over Utah the last four years; the rest are true freshmen,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “We also lost a key player due to injury in Juan Canales, so this year we're clearly the underdogs. However, it doesn't mean we're not dangerous. We'll be ready to rumble.”
With their last loss against Utah coming in 2009, the Cougars (5-6) hope to continue their win streak against the Utes (8-2). BYU is 49-57 in all-time head-to-head meetings with Utah.
No. 91 Francis Sargeant leads the Cougars at the first singles slot with a 9-1 record this season, including wins against three nationally-ranked opponents. The captain has also worked his way into the all-time top 10 in singles winning percentage at BYU with a career record of 74-30 (.712).
Fans can follow the Live scoring for the match by going to
Next, the Cougars return home to take on Idaho, Mar. 1 at 5:30 p.m. MST.