Just like they did in the team portion of the Western Athletic Conference tennis tournament, players from Utah and BYU dominated the individual portion of the competition Thursday.
The Utes advanced three players to the quarterfinals, while BYU advanced two players in matches at the University of New Mexico courts. By Friday evening there will be just two players left to battle in Saturday's finals.The Utes' No. 2 player, Brendan Bowyer, had two fairly easy matches, including a 6-2, 6-3 victory over higher-seeded Jim Murray of Hawaii. He was scheduled to meet UTEP's Emeka Igbenebor. The winner of that match was to face the winner of the match between New Mexico's Alan Dils and Tom Jahn of Air Force.
In the other bracket, one quarterfinal was to match two Utes, Chris Entzel and Eric Chin. Entzel, the Utes' No. 1 player, had to struggle to a 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 victory over BYU's No. 6 player, Greg Skollar. Chin, Utah's No. 4 player, upset 4th-seeded Joe McDonough of San Diego State and eliminated BYU's George Chingas.
Another quarterfinal featured BYU's No. 1 and No. 4 players, doubles partners David Harkness and Johnny Mattice. Harkness, the defending champion and No. 1 seed, had no trouble in a pair of straight-set matches, while Mattice knocked off Utah's Johan Hogstedt and upset New Mexico's Jorge Ortega, the No. 7 seed, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Harkness had mixed feelings about meeting his teammate and partner.
"You want him to win his match, but you don't want to have to play your partner. At least one of us will get to the semifinals," he said.
Harkness and Mattice also advanced to the doubles quarterfinals, along with the Ute teams of Entzel and Bowyer and Chin and Hogstedt.
The doubles finals will be played Saturday at 3 p.m. after semifinals at noon.