BYU men's tennis: Cougars rout Loyola Marymount in second-to-last match of regular season

By Whitney Weekes

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, April 21 2012 12:10 a.m. MDT

PROVO — Winning the doubles point for its fifth consecutive match, the No. 52 BYU men’s tennis team routed conference opponent Loyola Marymount 6-1 Friday at the BYU Outdoor Tennis Courts.

“I thought the key was getting a win today,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “It’s been awhile since we’ve had a match. The guys worked hard through finals but I knew we’d be a little bit rusty. It was a great match to get under our belt for tomorrow against Pepperdine.”

The Cougars (14-7, 4-2 WCC) continued to dominate in doubles, never trailing on any of the three courts. Senior co-captain Georgy Batrakov and sophomore Patrick Kawka went on a 6-0 run to grab the first doubles win on Court 1, 8-2. Junior Spencer Smith and freshman Francis Sargeant followed suit, capturing an 8-4 decision over their Court 2 opponents. Freshman Keaton Cullimore and senior co-captain Michael Eraso wrapped up the sweep with a victory on Court 3.

BYU carried its momentum into singles, posting first-set wins on five of the six courts. No. 74 Batrakov only dropped two games to Todd Volmari in his 6-1, 6-1 win to put the Cougars up 2-0 over the Lions (10-12, 3-3 WCC).

Playing on Court 5, Sargeant won a swift 6-0 first set before closing out the second 6-3. Eraso secured the match win for BYU, topping Robin Kiyabu 6-4, 6-0 on Court 6.

Cullimore and Kawka extended the Cougars’ margin of victory after battling through grueling tiebreakers. Cullimore posted a Court 4 win, 6-4, 7-6 (12-10), before Kawka fought back after dropping the first set to defeat his Court 3 opponent, 6-7(5), 6-3, 10-4.

Playing on Court 1, Alex Wilton recorded the lone LMU point. After splitting sets, Wilton edged out Smith in a third set tiebreaker for a 4-6, 7-6(3), 10-7 win.

BYU concludes regular-season play at home Saturday against perennial powerhouse No. 7 Pepperdine (20-6, 7-0 WCC). The match is Senior Day, honoring Batrakov and Eraso.

Match play begins at noon at the BYU Outdoor Tennis Courts. Pizza and prizes will be provided, including an autographed Jimmer Fredette basketball, a limited edition Roger Federer poster and a brand new tennis racquet.

Whitney Weekes works in BYU Athletic Communications as the tennis sports information director. She can be reached at tennis_sid@byu.edu.

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