PROVO — The West Coast Conference has announced the seeding for the 2012 West Coast Conference Tennis Championships, with the No. 52 BYU men’s tennis team earning a No. 4 seed in its inaugural year of the WCC.
For the fourth year in a row, the championships will be hosted at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif., beginning on Wednesday, April 25, and continuing through the championships on Saturday, April 28.
With the No. 4 seed in hand, the Cougars take on No. 9 Gonzaga in the first round on Wednesday, April 25, at 9:30 a.m. Gonzaga enters the tournament 9-12 overall and 1-7 in conference play. The Cougars routed the Zags at home earlier this season, 6-1.
“We’re looking forward to a great week and we’re excited about our first-round opponent, Gonzaga,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “The team is taking it one day at a time, so Gonzaga is all we’re focused on right now.”
BYU finished the regular season with a 14-8 overall record and a 4-3 mark in WCC action. Junior Spencer Smith leads the Cougars with a team-best 28-9 overall singles record. Senior Georgy Batrakov, coming off a win over No. 20 Finn Tearney of Pepperdine, has compiled a 21-11 overall record while freshman Keaton Cullimore is 25-11 on the season. Sophomore Patrick Kawka leads the team this spring with a 15-6 mark.
Batrakov and Kawka team up at the No. 1 doubles position with a 24-8 record. The duo is on a six-match winning streak, with their most recent win over No. 6 A. Llompart and F. Tearney of Pepperdine (8-3).
The winner of Wednesday’s match will advance to play the winner of No. 5 LMU/No. 8 San Francisco on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
Undefeated in conference play, Pepperdine garnered the top seed in the tournament. Santa Clara and San Diego earned the second and third seeds, respectively. The winner of the Tennis Championships will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Follow tournament updates at WCC Tennis Tournament Central.
2012 West Coast Conference Men's Tennis Standings
1 Pepperdine 8-0 1.000 21-6 .778
2 Santa Clara 7-1 .875 21-4 .840
3 San Diego 5-2 .714 15-7 .682
4 BYU 4-3 .571 14-8 .636
5 LMU 3-4 .429 10-13 .435
6 Portland 3-5 .375 12-8 .600
7 Saint Mary's 1-5 .167 5-16 .238
8 San Francisco 1-6 .143 4-16 .200
9 Gonzaga 1-7 .125 8-12 .444
Whitney Weekes works in BYU Athletic Communications as the tennis sports information director. She can be reached at [email protected].