Jan. 11, 2014
PROVO, Utah - Utah State's men's tennis team opened up the spring season with dual match against BYU in Provo, Utah Saturday. The Aggies pushed the No. 45-ranked team in the country all the way to the final match, but ultimately fell 4-3.
"We let this one slip through our fingers," said head coach Clancy Shields. "Hats off to BYU for finding a way to win. There is a reason they have been undefeated in the mountain region the past four years, and today they didn't want that streak to end. I'm proud of our guys; they fought to the very end. The only loss that can come from this match is if we let the learning lesson pass. We are going to take a lot away from this match and return home next week against Idaho State even stronger."
The matched started with doubles play, where senior Andrew Whiting and junior Matt Sweet lost a close set to Matthew Pearce and Jacob Sullivan 6-3. Shortly after, BYU's Sterling Galli and Francis Sargeant defeated senior Fredrik Peterson and junior Marcus Fritz by the same 6-3 score. After finishing and winning two out of the three doubles matches, BYU took the doubles point and the Aggies and Cougars agreed to end the third match between the Utah State duo of junior Sean Levesque and freshman Dennis Baumgartner and BYU's Juan Canales and Jeremy Bourgeois.
Once singles play began, Fritz quickly evened the score from the third singles position and put Utah State on the board with a 6-2, 6-3 straight-set victory over Galli.
BYU took the lead back shortly after Fritz's win when Sargeant took a two-set, 6-5, 6-1 over Baumgartner in the first singles position. Baumgartner played in his first dual match for the Aggies.
With BYU holding on to a 2-1 lead, Sweet squared off against Canales in the fourth singles position. Canales took the first set, but Sweet battled back to force three sets, and ultimately edged out a one-point win in the third set to win the match 5-6, 6-3, 6-5. Sweet's win tied the overall score, 2-2.
In the battle for the critical third point in a race to four, Peterson earned a three-set victory over Bourgeois in the second singles position, 5-6, 6-4, 6-5. The third set came down to a 5-5 tie, but Peterson scored the final point after a back-and-forth third set to give Utah State the 3-2 team lead.
With BYU one singles match away from losing the dual match, Levesque and Pearce faced off in the fifth singles position. Pearce took the first set 6-1, but Levesque battled back and took the second set, 6-4, to force the third set. Levesque and Pearce ended up tied at four before Pearce took the last two games to win the third set, 6-4, against Levesque and tie the dual match, 3-3.
With the score tied 3-3, freshman Tomas Cosmai squared off with Aidan Carrazedo for the dual match-deciding fourth point. Cosmai took the first set 6-3, but fell in the second set 6-2. In the final set of the entire dual match, Cosmai jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Carrazedo, however, tied the final set up at 4-4 before taking the set, 6-4, and giving BYU the team win 4-3.
The Aggies' next match is against Idaho State on Jan. 20 in Logan at 11 a.m. at the Sports Academy & Racquet Club, as Utah State competes in its first home match of the season.
Fans can follow Utah State Athletics, including both USU tennis teams, at http://twitter.com/USUMensTennis or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/UtahStateMensTennis.
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