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BYU tennis: men's team falls in heartbreaker to No. 45 Boise State

By McKay Perry

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 8 2014 11:18 p.m. MST

The No. 66 BYU men's tennis team came out strong before falling to No. 45 Boise State, 4-3, in a heartbreaker Saturday night at the Indoor Tennis Courts.

"Overall I was really proud of our guys," BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. "Our goal was to come out and be shock-and-awe in the doubles point. We came out and we took it to them."

The Cougars (4-5) suffered their first home loss of the season at the hands of the Broncos (6-2).

With the match knotted at 3-3, freshman Matthew Pearce held his own against Brendan McClain, taking him to three sets before falling 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

"I was really proud of Matthew that he hung tough up until the last game of the third set and Brendan stepped up and beat him," coach Pearce said. "He hit some big shots. I was really proud that he didn't beat himself."

BYU took the doubles point to begin the match, winning two of the three. After junior Francis Sargeant and sophomore Andrey Goryachkov lost 6-3, the other two pairs followed quickly with victories.

Freshmen Sterling Galli and Jeremy Bourgeois took it to their opponents 6-2, while fellow freshmen Pearce and Robin Pfister clinched the point for the Cougars with a 6-2 win of their own.

In singles, the captain Sargeant put BYU on top again as he bested Andy Bettles in two sets, including a comeback in the first, 6-5 (7-4), 6-3. The junior avenged a previous loss to Bettles in the quarterfinals of the ITA Mountain Region championships in October.

Goryachkov also rallied to beat his opponent. After losing the first set, 3-6, he swung the momentum his way, ousting Nathan Sereke 6-4, 6-4 in the final two.

Pfister fought hard but was bested in a close match against Thomas Tenreiro, 6-5 (7-4), 6-3, while Bourgeois and Aidan Carrazedo both fell in two sets.

"I was really encouraged by how much we've improved in a week," coach Pearce said. "We're disappointed. We were right there, but I think I'm encouraged as well because we're getting better."

The Cougars travel to Las Vegas for two matches at the Fertitta Tennis Complex, one against UNLV on Friday at noon PST and another against No. 53 San Diego State on Saturday at 10 a.m.

McKay Perry is the sports information director for BYU men's and women's tennis. Contact him at tennis_sid@byu.edu

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