PROVO — In its final two matches of the regular season, the No. 52 BYU men’s tennis team hosts conference foes Loyola Marymount and No. 7 Pepperdine Friday and Saturday, respectively, at the BYU Outdoor Tennis Courts.
“Despite the hectic nature of finals week, our guys have been working hard in preparation for our final home matches and Senior Day,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “They are fired up about the opportunity of having LMU and a top-ranked program like Pepperdine here on our home courts where we are 27-1 over the last three years.”
The Cougars, who are undefeated at home this season, are 13-7 overall and 3-2 in West Coast Conference play. BYU has two seniors that will be honored during Saturday’s match, Georgy Batrakov and Michael Eraso.
Batrakov leads the team as its No. 1 singles player and is ranked 74th nationally in singles. Batrakov has the second-highest career singles winning percentage in BYU history at .736. The Russian netter is fourth in career singles wins with 95 and is only three wins away from passing former teammate Evan Urbina for third place.
Batrakov and sophomore Patrick Kawka team up at the No. 1 doubles position where they are 22-8 overall and 14-5 during spring play.
After grabbing 6-1 wins over conference opponents Gonzaga and Portland, BYU took a week break before heading into the final week of the regular season.
LMU (10-11, 3-2 WCC) is coming off a 5-2 win over Gonzaga. Junior Nicholas Bjerke was February’s WCC player of the month. Bjerke went 5-0 during the month playing No. 2 singles and helped lead the Lions to a three-match winning streak during the month.
Pepperdine (19-6, 6-0 WCC) has three ranked players in No. 9 Sebastian Fanselow, No. 20 Finn Tearney and No. 95 Mousheg Hovhannisyan. The Waves are riding a 16-match win streak. In its last match, Pepperdine swept Abilene Christian 7-0. The Waves challenge Fresno State Wednesday before travelling to BYU.
Both matches kick off at noon MT at the BYU Outdoor Tennis Courts. Admission is free and pizza will be provided.
“We are having a drawing for an autographed Jimmer (Fredette) ball and a brand-new tennis racket, along with a limited edition (Roger) Federer poster and other prizes," said Pearce. "The sun will be out, so it will be a great weekend of tennis.”
Following the end of the regular season, the WCC Championships begin April 25 in San Diego.
Whitney Weekes works in BYU Athletic Communications as the tennis sports information director. She can be reached at [email protected].