OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 38 BYU men’s tennis team fell to No. 32 Memphis 4-0 in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center on Friday.
The Cougars finished the year 21-7, including 11-0 at home, notched another undefeated campaign in the mountain region and earned second place in the West Coast Conference.
“We had a good opportunity to be in post-season play which was earned through a great season,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “We had a great achievement to get this far. Obviously, we’re disappointed but I felt like our preparation was great. I felt like our guys gave it everything they had, but it just didn’t go our way today. Give credit to Memphis, we wish them success in their next round. We appreciate the hospitality of Ole Miss, they ran a first-class regional.”
Memphis’ team of Johnny Grimal and Luks Vrnak grabbed an 8-3 decision over sophomore Keaton Cullimore and freshman Nikki Rae at the No. 2 doubles position to earn the first win of the day.
Then on court 1, BYU’s Andrey Goryachkov and Francis Sargeant gave the No. 64 nationally ranked duo of Joe Salisbury and David O’Hare all they could handle but were unable to come away with the victory, 8-6, giving the Tigers a 1-0 advantage.
In singles play, the bright spot for the Cougars was Cullimore at the No. 2 position where the sophomore came from behind to claim the first set, 7-5. Despite a valiant effort, he went on to lose the next two sets, 6-3, 6-3, giving the overall victory to Memphis.
In similar fashion, Sargeant narrowly lost on court 1 to Salisbury, 7-5, 6-4. Goryachkov dropped his match at the No. 3 position, 6-2, 6-0, to Johnny Grimal.
Throughout the 2013 season, BYU earned two WCC Player of the Month awards and had three players named to the All-WCC teams.
Doubles 1. No. 64 Salisbury/O’Hare (UM) def. Goryachkov/Sargeant (BYU) 8-6 2. Grimal/Vrnak (UM) def. Cullimore/Rae (BYU) 8-3 3. Fillmore/Pearce (BYU) vs. O’Leary/Zutter (BYU) 7-7 DNF Order of finish: 2, 1
Singles 1. Joe Salisbury (UM) def. Francis Sargeant (BYU) 7-5, 6-4 2. Luks Vrnak (UM) def. Keaton Cullimore (BYU) 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 3. Johnny Grimal (UM) def. Andrey Goryachkov (BYU) 6-2, 6-0 4. John Pearce (BYU) vs. David O’Leary (UM) 5-7, 1-2 DNF 5. Travis Fillmore (BYU) vs. David O’Hare (UM) 2-6, 0-2 DNF 6. Nikki Rae (BYU) vs. Cedric De Zutter (UM) DNF Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
Aaron Sorenson is the tennis sports information director at BYU.