BYU men's tennis advances to second round

By Whitney Weekes

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, April 25 2012 4:49 p.m. MDT

SAN DIEGO — Playing in its first ever West Coast Conference Tennis Championships, the No. 4 seed BYU men’s tennis team routed No. 9 seed Gonzaga 4-0 on Wednesday to advance to the second round.

“We did a great job getting out on the doubles point,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “Our guys played well in singles also. Getting off the courts with a win today is what we were looking for. Now we’re looking forward to playing LMU tomorrow.”

The Cougars (15-8) took all three doubles matches over the Zags (8-13). The No. 86 nationally ranked doubles team of Georgy Batrakov and Patrick Kawka posted an 8-4 victory over their Court 1 opponents before freshman Keaton Cullimore and senior Michael Eraso finished on Court 3 with the same score. Playing on Court 2, junior Spencer Smith and freshman Francis Sargeant held their opponents to winning only one game in their 8-1 win.

BYU carried its solid play into singles, where the Cougars quickly grabbed the first three matches to secure the win. No. 61 Batrakov took a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Alvaro Nazal on Court 1 while No. 118 Kawka topped Olivier Jami 6-3, 6-1. At No. 4 singles, Cullimore followed suit with a straight set victory (6-3, 6-2) over Zhia Hwa Chong.

With the Cougars already advancing, the remaining three matches were not finished.

BYU next faces No. 5 seed LMU Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the Barnes Tennis Center in the second round. LMU (11-13) edged out No. 8 seed San Francisco in its first round matchup. The Cougars recorded a 6-1 win over the Lions earlier this season.

The winner of the Tennis Championships will be crowned on Saturday and will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Follow tournament updates at WCC Tennis Tournament Central.

Men’s First Round

#4 BYU – 4 #9 Gonzaga – 0

Doubles 1. Georgy Batrakov/Patrick Kawka (BYU) def. S. Sullivan/Z. Hwa Chong (GON), 8-4 2. Francis Sargeant/Spencer Smith (BYU) def. V. Mijatovic/O. Jamin (GON), 8-1 3. Keaton Cullimore/Michael Eraso (BYU) def. J. Davis/M. Ismath (GON), 8-4

Singles 1. Georgy Batrakov (BYU) def. Alvaro Nazal (GON) 6-2, 6-1 2. Spencer Smith (BYU) vs. Levin Guillermo (GON) DNF 3. Patrick Kawka (BYU) def. Olivier Jami (GON) 6-3, 6-1 4. Keaton Cullimore (BYU) def. Zhia Hwa Chong (GON) 6-3, 6-2 5. Francis Sargeant (BYU) vs. Vladimir Mijatovic (GON) DNF 6. Michael Eraso (BYU) vs. Scott Sullivan (GON) DNF

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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