LOS ANGELES – In the Cougars' last match of the regular season and with the score tied at three, senior Spencer Smithcame out with a win to clinch the victory for the No. 39 BYU men’s tennis team over Loyola Marymount at the LMU Tennis Center.
“We knew it would be another tough physical match today,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “Spencer saved his best tennis of the season for this match today. He helped keep our hopes alive for postseason I’m just so proud of his performance today.”
The Cougars, (20-5, 7-1 West Coast Conference) who finished second in the conference, claimed the doubles point to score first. LMU (4-19, 2-6 WCC) struck back with a win at the No. 5 singles position before Francis Sargeant quickly topped Cristobal Rivera on court 3, 6-0, 6-3.
No. 38 Patrick Kawka gave BYU a 3-1 advantage by defeating Othar Kordsachia 6-4, 6-2. The Lions then evened the score as they came away with victories on courts 4 and 6.
On court 2, Smith claimed the first set, but his opponent fought back to win the second set. The senior from Salt Lake City found himself down a break point and serving with the score tied at four in the third set. But he fought back and won the next two games to seal the win for BYU.
“Spencer was carrying a big burden today and he knew it,” Pearce said. “He came through like a champion. It was great leadership on his part and I’m just so happy for him.”
BYU next plays Friday for its first match in the conference tournament.
1. No. 84 Kawka/Sargeant (BYU) def. Kordsachia/Van Kann (LMU) 8-5
2. Bjerke/Bustamante (LMU) def. Goryachkov/Smith (BYU) 8-3
3. Cullimore/Pearce (BYU) def. Zapala/Simko (LMU) 8-4Comment on this story
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1
1. No. 38 Patrick Kawka (BYU) def. Othar Korsachia (LMU) 6-4, 6-2
2. Spencer Smith (BYU) def. Todd Volmari (LMU) 7-6, 3-6, 6-4
3. Francis Sargeant (BYU) def. Cristobal Rivera (LMU) 6-0, 6-3
4. Sebastian Bustamante (LMU) def. Keaton Cullimore (BYU) 6-3, 7-5
5. Felix Van Kann (LMU) def. Andrey Goryachkov (BYU) 6-3, 6-1
6. Daniel Simko (LMU) def. John Pearce (BYU) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
Order of finish: 5, 3, 1, 4, 6, 2
Aaron Sorenson is the tennis sports information director at BYU.