Cougars Come Up Short At Regional Championships
BOISE, Idaho, (Jan. 21, 2006) -- The BYU men's tennis team fought hard but came up short in the Mountain Region Championship Playoff on Saturday, losing to Colorado 4-2 and failing to qualify for the ITA National Indoor Championships. A Cougar win would have allowed the team to advance to the National Indoor Championships for the first time in school history.
The Cougars came out ready to play, starting with the singles points. James Ludlow defeated No. 60 Eric Molnar 6-4, 6-1 on court No.1 to get the Cougars off on the right foot. At the other end Jose Lechuga beat Marek Dvorak 6-3, 6-4, wrapping up the only two points BYU would score in the playoff. Junior Chip Hand did all he could do to keep the Cougars close, taking Peter Bjork the full three sets. Hand came out strong, winning his first set and seeming in control. But Bjork came storming back, controlling the second set and cruising to a 6-1 win. The third set saw both competitors playing their hardest and exchanging points until Bjork was able to squeak out the victory and win the match 4-6, 6-1, 7-6.
Because Colorado earned the four points necessary to win during singles play, no doubles matches took place.
BYU will stay on the road through next week, heading to California to play Santa Barbara on Jan. 23, No. 5 UCLA on Jan. 25 and Pepperdine on Jan. 27.
Colorado v.s. Brigham Young
Colorado 4 BYU 2
1 -- James Ludlow, BYU def. Eric Molnar (No. 60), Colo. (6-4, 6-1)
2 -- Peter Bjork, Colo. def. Chip Hand, BYU (4-6, 6-1, 7-6)
3 --Jan Zelezny, Colo. def Jonathan Sanchez, BYU (6-3, 6-3)
4 --Marko Bundalo, Colo. def. Dominik Kaufhold, BYU (6-4, 7-5)
5 --Chad Tsuda, Colo. def. Ivan Kokurin, BYU (6-2, 6-3)
6 -- Jose Lechuga, BYU def. Marek Dvorak, Colo. (6-3, 6-4)
(No doubles matches were played)
PROVO -- BYU's tennis team controls its own destiny this week as it travels to Boise, Idaho to compete in the Region Playoffs. By winning the playoff the Cougars would qualify for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the first time in the school's history.
"Every team wants to go to National Indoors, so it's an honor to have the chance to go," Coach Brad Pearce said. "It will take a great effort from our guys to get there."
The Cougars qualified for the playoff in October by placing second at the Region VII Championships. Every team in the Mountain Region competed, and the top four teams were chosen for the playoff. Boise State placed first at the competition, earning the opportunity to host this week's matches. The University of Colorado and the University of Utah make up the other two teams competing in Boise this week.
Not all regions use the playoff system to choose their representative, as some simply send the top ranked team in their region. But Pearce said he likes the playoff the Mountain Region uses because it sends the best team from this season, as opposed to using rankings from last season.
"I enjoy this format," Pearce said. "It's more fair and gives everyone the opportunity to qualify."
BYU opens the playoff against Colorado on Saturday Jan. 21 at 12:30 p.m. By winning that match they would advance to play the winner of Boise State and Utah at 6 p.m.
"This is one of the reasons we started our season with a double header," Pearce said. "We wanted to be well prepared for these matches."
Only 16 teams in the nation will be invited to the National Team Indoor Championships.