BYU sweeps Zags

BYU tennis sweeps Gonzaga; sets up WCC opportunity vs. ranked Portland

2014-04-18T18:45:00Z 2014-04-18T22:29:31Z BYU tennis sweeps Gonzaga; sets up WCC opportunity vs. ranked PortlandJason Franchuk DAILY HERALD Daily Herald
April 18, 2014 6:45 pm  • 

BYU is young but sure looked "hungry" on the tennis courts Friday, coach Brad Pearce thought.

The Cougars had no problem with Gonzaga at their indoor facility, winning all seven matches and setting up a nice opportunity Saturday when nationally ranked Portland visits for a 1 p.m. clash.

"I think we were prepared," Pearce said. "It looked like we were hungry, which we should be."

BYU received a solid start from the team's best player and the coach's son, as Francis Sargeant and Matthew Pearce combined for a No. 2 doubles win (8-3).

The England-raised Sargeant also won his singles match in straight sets, only surrendering four games.

"I think it’ll be great for everybody to feel what it's like to get this win," coach Pearce said. "We want to be ready for tomorrow. Our goal was to go into the conference tournament with two wins behind us and be dangerous next week. We hope to build on the momentum of today."

Gonzaga has lost all eight matches in West Coast Conference play.

Portland should present a wholly different challenge. It is ranked No. 75 nationally.

BYU improved to 9-14 (3-5 WCC) while UP — which has never won in six tries against the Cougars — is coming off a Friday loss at San Diego, which is ranked 45th.

The Pilots aren't at full strength, either.

Portland was again without injured senior Alex Ferrero (No. 4 singles), while fellow senior Ratan Gill participated in doubles but not his typical No. 3 singles post due to a nagging injury, according to a press release issued by the school.

"San Diego is a very good team," Portland head coach Aaron Gross said. "At full strength it would be a tough ask to beat them on their home court. With two of our top four singles guys out, too many things were going to need to go right today. Our young guys did the best they could at the bottom of the lineup, but the reality is they just don't have enough experience to step in to this situation and expect success against this level of team."

Daily Herald sports reporter Jason Franchuk can be reached at Twitter: @harkthefranchuk.

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