In a close match of regional opponents, No. 49 BYU men’s tennis narrowly fell to Air Force, 4-3, on Friday.
“I certainly want to give Air Force credit. They competed well as they always do,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “We missed Juan (Canales) today who is a very good ball striker, but are going to have to have other guys step up because he is out for the rest of the season. Our desire and effort were there today, but our performance and execution with the basics, especially when given opportunities, were not.”
The Cougars (4-3) fell to the Falcons (3-0) as freshman Aidan Carrazedo lost in tiebreakers to Andrew Parks in the last match of the day. The South African took the first set, 3-6, before the momentum changed with Parks taking the final two sets, 6-5(3), 6-5(5).
The Falcons took the doubles point to begin the match. Captain Francis Sargeant and freshman Sterling Galli took care of Andy Jackson and Steven Young, 6-3, while freshmen Jacob Sullivan and Matthew Pearce had the opposite fortune, losing 6-3 to Lucas Fumagalli and Grant Taylor.
BYU fought back, taking three of the next four matches. Freshman Robin Pfister came up big stepping in for the injured Juan Canales, securing the first point for the Cougars with his victory over McCullers, 6-3, 6-1.
Sargeant also came through with a solid win over Jackson, 6-3, 6-5(5). Goryachkov had a come-from-behind victory over Young. After losing the first set 2-6, the sophomore dug deep to take the final two, 6-3, 6-5(4).
Bourgeois could not overcome falling behind to his opponent, losing to Grubbs in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Pearce also fell to his opponent, 6-4, 6-4.
“Being young was not an excuse in today's outcome,” coach Pearce said. “Playing at Air Force presents some unique challenges because of the extreme altitude, but we're better than what we produced today. We'll have to regroup for Denver tomorrow.”
BYU continues its two-game road trip Saturday against No. 54 Denver at 4 p.m. MST.
McKay Perry is the sports information director for BYU men's and women's tennis. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org