Despite a strong singles effort, Utah defeated the Cougars, 4-2, in the Deseret First Duel at the BYU indoor tennis courts Thursday night.

"First of all, what an incredible, fun atmosphere for a collegiate tennis match and I really want to thank our fans for the support," BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. "I have to give credit to Utah for the way they played. In rivalry situations like this, the doubles point is so crucial and I didn't feel like we played our best tennis during the doubles. Nevertheless, I was proud of the way our guys fought back as a team. There were some great individual performances in singles play and I couldn't be more positive, but ultimately we didn't get the win. We're moving forward and excited to play Boise State on Saturday."

Utah (7-1) took control early with wins at first and third doubles to claim the first point of the match over BYU (5-3). Dan Little and Joe Woolley defeated John Pearce and Jacob Sullivan, 6-3, before Keaton Cullimore and Sam Tullis fell 6-3 to Slava Shainyan and Santiago Sierra.

The Utes fed on the momentum to secure a win at No. 2 singles as Jeremy Bourgeois dropped his match, 6-3, 6-2, to Little. The Cougars fought back with a close victory at fourth singles as Matthew Pearce topped Sierra, 7-5, 7-6(8). Utah’s David Micevski pulled out a 6-4, 7-5 win over Cullimore before Sullivan battled back to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 against Parker McGuiness at third singles.

With BYU trailing 3-2, John Pearce had an impressive comeback after losing his first set, 6-1, but ultimately couldn’t outlast Woolley who took the third set and clinched the match, 4-2, for Utah.

The Cougars hit the road for Idaho to take on regional opponent Boise State on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m. MST. Results will be posted to the men’s tennis schedule page.

Sydney Jorgensen is the men's tennis SID at Brigham Young University. Contact her at tennis_sid@byu.edu