Posted: Apr 07, 2018
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Playing in his final home stand as a Bronco, senior Sebastien Mathieu clinched Santa Clara's 4-3 win over BYU in a three-set thriller at a raucous Degheri Tennis Center on Saturday.
With the match all squared at 3-3, the deciding match came down to court No. 6 between Mathieu and BYU's David Ball. Mathieu came back from a set down to force a tiebreaker in the second set. Feeding off the energy from the home crowd and his teammates, Mathieu won the tiebreaker, 7-2, to force a third and deciding set. The senior took command in the third set, jumping to a 4-1 lead before winning 6-4. On match point, Mathieu hit a cross-court winner before crumpling to the ground before being mobbed by his teammates.
It was a seesaw affair between the Broncos (10-8, 2-3 WCC) and the Cougars (16-6, 5-2 WCC) in a match that started 30 minutes late to allow the courts to dry from the overnight rain.
BYU won the doubles point when Jeffrey Hsu and Sean Hill defeated Andrew Gu and Robert Seby, 6-2, on court No. 1. Santa Clara doubles team of Vasileios Iliopoulos and Jesus Tapiador Barajas beat John Pearce and Matthew Pearce, 6-3, on court No. 2 to force the doubles clincher on court one.
In singles play, Connor Garnett quickly took care of John Pearce on court No. 4, 6-4, 6-1, to get the first point for the Broncos.
Barajas followed with a 7-6(4), 6-1 straight set victory over Hsu on court No. 2 to put the Broncos up 2-1 in the match.
BYU's Sam Tullis evened the match at 2-2, defeating Robert Seby 6-2, 6-3.
Santa Clara's number one player, Andrew Gu, got his revenge in his singles victory over Hsu after losing to Hsu earlier in doubles play.
The Cougars leveled the match 3-3 on court No. 5 when Ben Gajardo defeated Iliopoulos, 7-5, 6-4, setting the stage for Mathieu's clincher.
For Mathieu, it was his third match clinching win in his career, and first since his freshman year when he helped take down Sacramento State and Gonzaga.
The Broncos will host No.39-ranked San Diego on Sunday. Sunday's match will be senior day for Mathieu who will be recognized prior to the match.