CLAREMONT, Calif. – No. 6 seed Santa Clara men's tennis upset No. 3 seed BYU in the opening round of the West Coast Conference Tournament on Thursday afternoon by a score of 4-2. Sophomore Robert Seby clinched the win for SCU on court two at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont, California. Santa Clara faces No. 3 seed Pepperdine tomorrow at 2 p.m. PT in the semifinal round. The final will take place on Saturday at 2 p.m. as well.
"I'm really happy with the guys," head coach Niall Angus said. "We've talked about peaking at the right time of year and hopefully we are peaking right now. We also talked about pouncing on opportunities and we were ready to pounce today."
Santa Clara (15-7, 4-5 WCC) picked up the doubles point with wins on courts one and two over BYU (13-12, 6-3 WCC). Seby and freshman Jesus Tapiador Barajas earned a 6-4 win on court two then freshman Vasileios Iliopoulos and sophomore Connor Garnett clinched the point with a 7-6 (7-5) win on court one.
BYU tied the score at one as it earned a win on court one. Santa Clara retook the lead as Iliopoulos picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win against Aidan Carrazed on court five. Barajas' 7-5, 6-2 win on court four over Sam Tullis extended the SCU lead to 3-1. BYU pulled one back with a win on court six but that was it for the Cougars. Seby clinched the win for the Broncos with his 6-1, 6-5 win against Keaton Cullimore on court two.
"We showed grit and determination in doubles, we were down match point but came back to win which gave us huge momentum going into singles," Angus said.
Pepperdine is 12-9 on the year and went 7-2 in WCC action during the regular season, including a 4-1 win at SCU's Degheri Tennis Center on April 9. Pepperdine, as the No. 2 seed, earned a bye through the first round. Guilherme Hadlich was a All-WCC Singles First Team honoree while Pedro Iamachkine was a second team honoree. The Waves had their top two doubles teams earn second-team accolades from the league as well.
"You always want to play the best teams and in a tourney format anybody can beat anybody," Angus said. "I think it will come down to the team who wants it more and is willing to fight for each other more. Pepperdine is good but we have a match under our belts here and they haven't played yet so hopefully we can take advantage of that."
April 27, 2017 | Biszantz Family Tennis Center (Claremont, Calif.)
1. Vasileios Iliopoulos/Connor Garnett (SCU) def. J. Pearce/Sullivan (BYU) 7-6 (7-5)
2. Robert Seby/Jesus Barajas (SCU) def. M. Pearce/Borgeois (BYU) 6-4
3. Carrazedo/Tullis (BYU) def. Andrew Gu/Kamran Khan (SCU) 6-4
SCU wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
1. Jacob Sullivan (BYU) def. Andrew Gu (SCU) 6-2, 6-4
2. Robert Seby (SCU) def. Keaton Cullimore (BYU) 6-1, 6-4
3. Connor Garnett (SCU) vs. John Pearce (BYU) 6-2, 4-6, 4-2 unfinished
4. Jesus Tapiador Barajas (SCU) def. Sam Tullis (BYU) 7-5, 6-2
5. Vasileios Iliopoulos (SCU) def. Aidan Carrazedo (BYU) 6-2, 6-2
6. Jeremy Bourgeois (BYU) def. Kamran Khan (SCU) 6-4, 6-3
Order of finish: 1, 5, 4, 2*
* - Clinched Victory