TUCSON -- BYU men's tennis team was able to defeat the No. 48 ranked Arizona Wildcats 4-3 on Saturday, despite losing the doubles point.
"This was a big win for us today," said BYU head coach Jim Osborne. "Arizona has been playing really tough lately. They were 3-0 coming into this match with some big wins over No. 30 San Diego St. and No. 53 San Diego last weekend. This win will definitely give us a lot of confidence."
In doubles action, Alonso Medina and Jeff Olsen lost to Colin O'Grady and Roger Matolonga 8-5 at the No. 3 spot, despite the fact they were up 4-1. At the No. 2 position, Anton Rudjuk and Jose Lechuga lost to Whi Kim and Daniel Andrus 8-5. The lone victory for the Cougars came at No. 1 when Carlos Lozano and Erik Nyman beat Carl Hagman and Paul Warkentin 9-7 in a tough match.
Although BYU lost the doubles point, they came back strong in singles and won four of the six matches to steal the win from the Wildcats. Nyman, Lechuga and Olsen all came away with wins in singles, but the match came down to No. 2 singles to decide which team would walk away with the victory. Lozano was able to clinch the match by defeating Hagman, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, in a hard-fought match at the No. 2 slot.
"I thought we really played well today," Osborne said. "We executed like we wanted to and played to win. I thought the top of our singles lineup played really well and that is what pushed us up over the top."
The Cougars will have the next week off before they resume play on Friday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. against Utah State in Provo.
1. Lozano/Nyman (BYU) def Hagman/Warkentin (UA) 9-7
2. Kim/Andrus (UA) def. Lechuga/Rudjuk (BYU) 8-5
3. O'Grady/Matalonga (UA) def. Medina/Olsen (BYU) 8-5
1. Nyman (BYU) def. Kim (UA) 6-3, 6-2
2. Lozano (BYU) def. Hagman (UA) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
3. Lechuga (BYU) def. Warkentin (UA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
4. O'Grady (UA) def. Medina (BYU) 6-2, 6-2
5. Olsen (BYU) def. Andrus (UA) 7-6 (9), 6-1
6. Matalonga (UA) def. Rudjuk (BYU) 6-4, 6
PROVO -- The BYU men's tennis team (3-4) will be on the road this week as they travel to Arizona to take on Northern Arizona (1-4) on Friday and No. 48 Arizona (3-0) on Saturday.
BYU head coach Jim Osborne looks to this weekend as a pivotal one for his team and their season.
"We will be on the road, so both these matches will be a test for us," Osborne said. "We need to win these matches to make progress and to get us going in the right direction."
Northern Arizona is currently 1-4. The lone win for the Lumberjacks came in a 5-2 victory over Azusa Pacific. NAU has lost to New Mexico, a MWC team, and Loyola Marymount, which BYU beat earlier this season.
No. 48 Arizona comes into this weekend's matches on a roll. Last weekend Arizona traveled to San Diego to take on No. 28 SDSU and No. 48 USD. Arizona upset both schools by winning each match by a score of 4-3. In both matches the Wildcats lost the doubles point but used the strength of their individual games to come from behind and defeat their higher-ranked opponents.
With the challenge of this week's upcoming matches, Osborne feels like his team needs to focus better.
"I like our doubles play right now; we are doing a lot better in that spot," Osborne said. "But in singles, we need more energy. We just got a little distracted. I think last weekend, we played not to lose instead of playing to win. We need to work on that this week."
Osborne will be looking to junior Erik Nyman to provide the leadership for his team. Nyman was named as the MWC Player of the Week for his performance last weekend. He posted a 2-0 record in both singles and doubles. On the season, he has a record of 11-4 (5-1 dual) in singles competition and 19-6 (4-3 dual) in doubles play.
After this week, the Cougars will have next week off before resuming play on Feb, 28 at home against Utah State at 5 p.m.