BYU men’s tennis fell 4-3 to in-state rival No. 37 Utah in a close match Saturday afternoon at the Eccles Tennis Center.

“This match today had all the drama that goes along with a rivalry match,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “First of all, I give credit to Utah. They are having a good season and we are having a good season—it was a battle that went down to the last match. After winning the doubles point, we were immediately put on our heels, but we regrouped, we rallied and we were in a position to win. I was extremely proud of the way our guys fought back today and gave us an opportunity to win. Good luck to Utah on the rest of their season.”

BYU (13-3) came out strong and won the doubles point against Utah (17-2). John Pearce and Ben Gajardo defeated Joe Woolley and Egbert Weverink, 6-3, in the No. 2 slot. Securing the doubles point, undefeated duo Sean Hill and Jeffrey Hsu earned a 6-3 win over Russell Benkaim and Randy Cory in No. 1 doubles.

Moving into singles, Utah earned the first three wins with Little defeating Hsu, 6-2, 7-5, in No. 2 singles, Woolley earning a 6-4, 6-4 win in No. 6 singles over David Ball and Santiago Sierra ending Gajardo’s winning streak, 7-6, 6-3.

With BYU down 3-1, the Cougars battled and won the next two lines of singles. Tullis defeated Cory, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2, while Hill came out on top against David Micevksi, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.

Tied at 3-all, the match came down to BYU’s Pearce versus Utah’s Weverink. In a three-set match, Weverink prevailed, 7-6, 6-7, 7-5, giving Utah a 4-3 win.

The Cougars hit the road to California next week. BYU plays UC Irvine on Friday, March 30, at 10 a.m. PST, at the Tennis Stadium. The Cougars then take on conference opponent San Diego on Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m., at the USD West Tennis Courts.

Genny Hickman is a PR student at Brigham Young University. She currently interns with the Athletic Communications office on campus.

EMAIL: gennyhickman@gmail.com