The University of Utah and Brigham Young University didn't exactly burn up the courts in their respective matches Thursday in the WAC Tennis Championships. If either team hopes to go for the title, it'll need to do better today.
The Utes, seeded No. 3, lost all three doubles and were pressed to the full three sets in three of their four singles wins in beating UTEP, the No. 6 seed, by a score of 4-3. The Cougars, seeded No. 4, did slightly better in winning doubles, then four of the six singles to beat San Diego State, the No. 5 seed, by a score of 5-2.Today, however, BYU faced No. 1 New Mexico, 7-0 winners over Hawaii, and Utah faced No. 2 Fresno State, 7-0 winners over Air Force.
The Utes started off poorly by losing all three doubles, which gave the Miners a one-point advantage going into singles.
Utah's No. 1 player Toby Curtis beat Alen Galic, 7-5, 6-4, but the rest of the matches went the limit. Finally, Brian Conner beat Ralph Scholten, 6-7 (7-4), 6-1, 7-5; Ryan Johnston beat Jose Lopez, 6-3, 6-7 (7-3), 6-2; and Christian Svensson beat Ken Nijbert, 6-0, 0-6, 6-0.
BYU took some of the pressure off by beating SDS in two of the three doubles for a one-point advantage. In singles, the Cougars got wins from Herman Vandecastelle over Robert Malkuist, 6-4, 6-4; Micah Rideout over Marc Lamonica, 6-2, 6-4; Brian Hardin over Ali Esna, 6-4, 6-0; and Craig Manning over Frank Morgan, 7-5, 6-7 (6-2), 6-3.
The semifinals were scheduled today at 2 p.m. on the Cougars' new court complex. Finals are scheduled Saturday at 2 p.m.