Senior John Pearce led BYU men’s tennis to a 4-3 victory over UNLV on Monday afternoon at the Indoor Tennis Courts.
"UNLV gave us a tough battle today—they have some very good players and are well-coached," BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. "We feel fortunate to have gotten the win today. I cannot say enough about the heart of these guys. With Gonzaga on Friday and a tough rivalry loss on Saturday takes so much out of you physically, emotionally and mentally; to come out and beat a good team like this today is superhuman. It was important for us to get the bitter taste out of our mouth and move forward this next week to a big WCC match with a win behind us. I love these guys and this team."
The Cougars (14-3) came out ready to play after a heartbreaking loss to Utah and claimed the doubles point over the Rebels (9-7). Teammates Matthew Pearce and Jacob Tullis secured a 6-4 win in No. 3 doubles against Jordan Sauer and Ruben Alberts, while BYU duo John Pearce and Ben Gajardo earned a 7-6 win over Clayton Alenik and Eric Samuelsson in the No. 2 slot.
Up 1-0, BYU won the first two finishes in singles. John Pearce defeated Alberts, 6-4, 6-4, in the No. 3 slot, after making a comeback in the second set. In No. 4 singles, Sam Tullis earned a 7-6, 6-3 win against Samuelsson to bump the Cougars up 3-0 over the Rebels.
UNLV claimed wins in No. 1 and No. 2 singles. Alexandr Cozbinov defeated Sean Hill, 7-6, 4-6, 6-2, while Courtney Lock earned a victory over Jeffrey Hsu, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1.
BYU secured its 4-3 match win with Gajardo ousting Richard Solberg, 6-3, 6-3, in No. 5 singles. Alenik defeated Matthew Pearce, 2-6, 7-6, 10-6, to give the Rebels their third singles win.
The Cougars hit the road for 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.