The BYU men’s tennis team finished another successful season that included a first place finish in the Mountain Region, as announced by the ITA Thursday. The Cougars tallied their fourth consecutive undefeated season in regional play.
Junior Patrick Kawka was named Singles Player of the Year, while Kawka and sophomore Francis Sargeant were voted in as the Doubles Team of the Year in the Mountain Region. In May, head coach Brad Pearce was named the Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year for the region.
With a lineup that featured five underclassmen, the Cougars notched a 21-7 mark, including 12 wins over ranked teams. Most notably, BYU upset No. 37 Santa Clara on February 9 at home and ended No. 45 Boise State’s 28-home match win streak with a 4-3 victory at the USTA’s College Matchday in Idaho.
The No. 41 nationally ranked team finished second in the West Coast Conference with a 7-1 mark during the regular season and narrowly lost to Pepperdine in the conference tournament championship. The team also earned a bid to the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years.
BYU again proved to be dominant at home as it went undefeated in Provo this season. Over the past five years, the team is 46-2 under coach Pearce at home.
On an individual basis, Kawka was named to the Preseason All-WCC Team and did not disappoint, earning a 21-5 mark and finishing the year with the No. 39 ranking in the country. With four wins over ranked opponents, including No. 8 Sebastian Fanselow from Pepperdine, he was named the WCC Player of the Month in January and April and earned a spot on the All-WCC First Team. The Nevada native currently stands as the top BYU player in all-time win percentage (.758).
As a doubles team, Sargeant and Kawka earned the No. 66 ranking with their 16-5 record in 2013. The duo was also named to the All-WCC First Team.
Sophomores Sargeant and Keaton Cullimore were named Honorable Mentions for the All-WCC singles team.
BYU will lose its lone senior in Spencer Smith and three other players, Cullimore, John Pearce and Scott Bohne, who will each serve two-year church missions. The Cougars will look to take the top spot in the conference, maintain a top national ranking and a strong finish in the NCAA postseason for 2014.
Aaron Sorenson is the tennis sports information director at BYU.
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