Freshman Ben Gajardo’s three-set win clinched a 4-3 defeat of Boise State on Saturday at the Indoor Tennis Courts.
With the Cougars (7-0) tied 3-3 with the Broncos (1-3), Gajardo won the first set, 6-3, against Kyle Butters. Making a comeback, Butters won the second set, 6-3. Both players battled back and forth in the third set, but Gajardo clinched the win with a 7-5 third set to take the match and lead the undefeated Cougars to victory.
“First off, the Boise State team and coaches did a great job today and gave us everything they had,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “It was one of the best college matches I’ve ever been a part of. It was decided on both players raising their game. Fortunately, we came out on top this time. Ben was the last one on the court, but we can’t overlook the other players who gave him an opportunity to be in that position as a freshman. He’ll never forget that moment.”
Boise State came out strong and took control early with victories at second and third doubles to claim the doubles point. John Pearce and Gajardo fell to Matteo Tinelli and Ryland McDermott, 6-4, in the No. 2 slot, while Matthew Pearce and David Ball dropped their match against Wyatt DeMulling and Stefan Lalovic, 6-3.
Duo Sean Hill and Jeffrey Hsu defeated Kyle Butters and Jack Heslin, 6-4, in No. 1 doubles, moving forward 6-0 in regular-season play.
BYU brought momentum in singles with three-straight wins over Boise State. Hill quickly earned a victory in the No. 1 singles slot over Heslin, 6-3, 7-5. Sam Tullis defeated Lalovic 6-3, 7-5, and Hsu came out on top 7-5, 7-5 against Tinelli.
John Pearce dropped his match in three sets against DeMulling, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3, in No. 3 singles. Matthew Pearce fell short, 6-3, 7-5, against Max Blancaneaux, tying the Cougars and Broncos at 3-3.
Gajardo came in with the clinch in his singles match, securing the BYU victory.
The Cougars are off next week and will be prepping to host in-state rival Utah State on Friday, Feb. 16, at 5:30 p.m. MST. BYU opens conference play hosting Portland on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 5:30 p.m. The matches will be played at the Indoor Tennis Courts.
Genny Hickman is a PR student at Brigham Young University. She currently interns with the Athletic Communications office on campus.
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