BYU suffers 5-2 defeat at Utah State
LOGAN, Utah – BYU men’s tennis lost on the road at Utah State Saturday, dropping a 5-2 contest.
The Cougars got singles wins from Dominik Jakovljevic and Redd Owen. The Aggies won the doubles point in two matches and won the top four singles matches as well.
"Tough loss today," said BYU head coach Dave Porter. "We need to look at our doubles combinations and get healthy. Back to work on Monday."
- Wally Thayne/Zach Fuchs (BYU) vs. David Cierny/Bodin Zarkovic (USU) 4-5, unf.
- Stijn Paardekooper/Nuno Pinheiro (USU) def. Mateo Vereau/Dominik Jakovljevic (BYU) 6-3
- Javier Ruiz/Roko Savin (USU) def. Jack Barnett/Brigham Andrus (BYU) 6-3
Order of finish: 3, 2
The Aggies started with a win at No. 3 doubles. Ruiz and Savin earned an early break to go up 3-1, with Barnett and Andrus unable to close the gap despite several close games.
USU also started with an early lead at No. 2 doubles, going up 2-0. Vereau and Jakovljevic responded with two-straight games of their own, but Paardekooper and Pinheiro added another break to go up 4-2. That would be the difference as USU went on to win 6-3.
No. 1 doubles had yet to see either side gain an advantage when the match went unfinished after USU secured the doubles point. Cierny and Zarkovic were leading 5-4, but Thayne and Fuchs were set to serve.
- David Cierny (USU) def. Wally Thayne (BYU) 6-4, 6-4
- Bodin Zarkovic (USU) def. Jack Barnett (BYU) 6-3, 6-0
- Stijn Paardekooper (USU) def. Mateo Vereau (BYU) 6-7 (6), 7-5, 1-1 (retired)
- Roko Savin (USU) def. Zach Fuchs (BYU) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
- Dominik Jakovljevic (BYU) def. Nuno Pinheiro (USU) 6-4, 6-3
- Redd Owen (BYU) def. Javier Ruiz (USU) 1-6, 6-3, 10-5
Order of finish: 2, 1, 4, 3, 5, 6
The Aggies also started off singles with a win at the No. 2 spot. Barnett had an early break to go up 2-1, but lost the next game on deuce point. Zarkovic went on to win two more games for a 4-2 advantage, eventually taking the set 6-3. The second set saw Zarkovic continue to expand his lead, ultimately winning 6-0.
No. 1 singles saw Thayne go down 3-1 after an early break by Cierny. Thayne nearly got a break in return but lost two different games on deuce point. Cierny took set one 6-4, the same margin he won the second set by. Thayne once again lost an early break in the second but responded with one of his own to tie the set at 2-2. The set would remain close before Cierny won the final two games.
The dual match win was secured for USU at No. 4 singles, which was decided in three close sets. Fuchs won the first 6-3 after his strong serving helped him maintain a late advantage. The second set saw Fuchs almost go up again, losing three different break opportunities on deuce point. Savin ultimately got a break of his own to take the second 6-4, adding another late break in the third to win 7-5.
With the dual match already decided, Vereau retired in the third set at No. 3 singles. He won the first set in a tiebreaker, recovering from being down 2-0. Vereau later secured the tiebreaker 8-6 after a backhand return gave him the two-point advantage necessary to win the set. In the second set Vereau led 5-2, but Paardekooper won five-straight games to win 7-5. Vereau’s retirement then came with the score tied 1-1 in the third.
Jakovljevic earned BYU’s first win of the match at No. 5 singles with a straight-set victory. He went up 3-1 in the first before Pinheiro tied the set at 3. Both players then held their serves until Jakovljevic lead 5-4, with a forehand return securing a break and the 6-4 set win for Jakovljevic.
Pinheiro went up 2-0 to start the second set, but Jakovljevic responded with five-straight games to lead 5-2. Both players held their serves to give Jakovljevic a 6-3 result. The win was Jakovljevic’s first of the season.
Owen grabbed a second win for the Cougars at No. 6 singles. He lost the first set 6-1 but rallied to take five of the last seven games in set two to win 6-3. Ruiz almost survived with a deuce on set point, but Owen won the rally to force a match tiebreaker.
The first-to-10 tiebreaker for set three also went Owen’s way as he took an early 3-1 lead. Ruiz came back to earn a 4-4 tie, but Owen responded with four-straight points to lead 8-4. After Ruiz held his serve Owen held two of his own, good for the 10-5 final.
The Cougars return home next week with matches on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s contest is against Weber State and will begin at 11:00 a.m. MST on BYU’s Indoor Tennis Courts.
Cougars prepare to host Lobos, visit Aggies
PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s tennis returns to action this week with two matches, the second of which will be the team’s first road contest of the year. The Cougars (1-1) host New Mexico on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 11:00 a.m. MST before traveling to in-state foe Utah State on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 12:00 p.m. MST.
Thursday’s home match will be played at the BYU Indoor Tennis Courts. Attendance is free.
Saturday’s match in Logan will be hosted by the Sports Academy & Racquet Club. Further details will be announced when available.
- Sophomores Wally Thayne and Zach Fuchs were named WCC Doubles Team of the Week after their 6-3 win at No. 1 doubles versus Cal Poly last Friday.
- Fuchs is also 2-0 in singles this season, with freshman Redd Owen and senior Mateo Vereau also starting the year undefeated.
- BYU faced some UNM and USU players in the fall at the ITA Mountain Regional. Fuchs defeated UNM’s Ryoma Matsushita 6-4, 7-6 (5) in singles. He also teamed with Vereau to defeat UNM’s Daniil Kakhniuk and Aram Noroozian 8-6 in doubles.
- At the same tournament Thayne defeated USU’s Stijn Paardeooper 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in singles.
New Mexico Notes
- The Lobos are 3-0 after wins over UT Arlington, Gonzaga and New Mexico State.
- UNM is lead by sophomore Arda Azkara, who is 3-0 at No. 1 singles thus far.
- Head coach Chris Russell is in his second season with New Mexico. Last year his team finished 11-13.
- Series Record: BYU leads 34-23
- Last Meeting: New Mexico won two matches on Feb. 18 and 19, 2022, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both matches finished 4-0 for the Lobos.
Utah State Notes
- The Aggies are 2-2 on the season. They lost on the road against Oregon and Portland before winning at home versus Eastern Washington and Grand Canyon.
- USU will play Utah on Wednesday in Salt Lake City before hosting BYU.
- Head coach Aaron Paajanen is in his fourth season in Logan. He is 28-33 all-time with the Aggies.
- Series Record: BYU leads 53-5
- Last Meeting: BYU won 4-3 in Provo on March 26, 2022