BYU falls to Portland in opening round of WCC tournament
SAN DIEGO – BYU men’s tennis saw its season come to an end on Thursday afternoon with a 4-1 setback to Portland in the opening round of the West Coast Conference tournament at the Aztec Tennis Center in San Diego, California.
Dominik Jakovljevic picked up a win at No. 4 singles for the Cougars, while Zach Fuchs and Redd Owen both had leads before their matches went unfinished.
“I'm obviously disappointed with the outcome, but I’m very pleased with the effort and energy the team put out,” said BYU head coach Dave Porter. “Jack Barnett injured his back and Wally Thayne pulled a hamstring early in the second set of both matches to the point where they could hardly walk. But they wouldn't give up; they fought and played hard.
“Zach was up in his third set, Redd was up a set and Dominik won, so we could have won the match had those guys not got injured. But Portland's a good team, we’re happy for them and wish them good luck tomorrow. We finished strong, we played fair, we represented the university well and I'm proud of my team.”
- Sema Pankin/Eleftherios Neos (POR) def. Jack Barnett/Wally Thayne (BYU) 6-3
- Nicolas Ocana/Nikolas Tvedt (POR) def. Zach Fuchs/Brigham Andrus (BYU) 6-2
- Dominik Jakovljevic/Redd Owen (BYU) vs. Issa Yoshida/Cade Fernando (POR) 3-4, unf.
Order of finish: 1, 2
At No. 1 doubles, Wally Thayne and Jack Barnett saw their serve lost twice in a 6-3 setback to Sema Pankin and Eleftherios Neos.
After trailing 5-1 at No. 2 doubles, Fuchs and Brigham Andrus extended the match with a dominant game before falling 6-2.
No. 3 doubles went unfinished with Jakovljevic and Owen trailing 4-3 after winning two straight games to cut into the Pilots lead.
- No. 101 Sema Pankin (POR) def. Jack Barnett (BYU) 6-4, 6-1
- Eleftherios Neos (POR) def. Wally Thayne (BYU) 7-5, 6-1
- Zach Fuchs (BYU) vs. Nicolas Ocana (POR) 6-4, 4-6, 3-0, unf.
- Dominik Jakovljevic (BYU) def. Nikolas Tvedt (POR) 6-4, 6-4
- Redd Owen (BYU) vs. Maxim Groysman (POR) 6-4, 5-5 unf.
- Issa Yoshida (POR) def. Brigham Andrus (BYU) 7-6 (4), 6-1
Order of finish: 1, 2, 4, 6
In No. 1 singles, Barnett fell behind 2-0 against No. 101 Pankin before winning the next three games for a 3-2 advantage. The set was later tied at 5-all before Pankin won the next two games to take the first set. The second set was all Portland as Barnett’s injury caused him to fall behind 5-0 as Pankin ultimately took the set 6-1.
Thayne and Neos battled in the first set to a 5-all tie with each player breaking the others serve. Thayne saw his serve broken for a second time as Neos took the first set, 7-5. Much like Barnett in No. 1 singles, Thayne fell behind early in the second after suffering an injury before falling 6-1.
Jakovljevic picked up the Cougars’ lone point of the match as the junior defeated Nikolas Tvedt in straight sets. The native of Bellevue, Washington jumped ahead, 3-1, in the first set and maintained that momentum for a 6-4 victory. He had another fast start in the second set, 2-0, before holding off a rally from Tvedt to win the set 6-4 to secure a point.
Andrus battled back from a two-point deficit in the opening set to send it to a tiebreaker but would ultimately fall to Issa Yoshida, 7-4. The junior fell behind 3-0 in the second set before winning the next game but dropped the next three games as the Pilots took the victory.
Fuchs took the first set 6-4 before dropping the second set to Nicolas Ocana 6-4. He had the upper hand in the third and final set, 3-0, before the match went unfinished.
Owen had a strong start to his match against Maxim Groysman, winning the first four games before the Pilot responded with four straight games of his own. The freshman from Sandy won back-to-back games to secure the first set, 6-4. He won the first two games of the second set, with Groysman tying it at 2-all just minutes later. Owen had a chance to serve for the match but lost his serve before the match went unfinished.
Wally Thayne has been named No. 12 in the Mountain Regional singles rankings for his 2022-23 season performance, the…