Zags Set To Play BYU In First Round Of WCC Championships
SPOKANE, Wash. - Coming off a non-conference win over Lewis-Clark State College in the regular-season finale last Sunday, the Gonzaga University men's tennis team will look to keep the momentum going this week at the West Coast Conference Championships, presented by the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, held at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif.
The No. 9 seed Bulldogs will open the tournament taking on No. 4 seed BYU in the first round Wednesday at 9 a.m. The winner of the match will face the winner of No. 5 seed Loyola Marymount University and No. 8 seed University of San Francisco Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
Since all conference teams competed in a round robin schedule for the first time in conference history, the WCC will now use a single elimination format in its tournament to determine the champion. The conference used a double elimination format in the previous years.
The Bulldogs and Cougars met for the first time in men's tennis in Provo, Utah, April 6. Although the then-ranked No. 45 Cougars won the inaugural meeting 6-1, freshman Alvaro Nazal was the highlight for the Bulldogs as he upset the Cougars top singles player Georgy Batrakov. Batrakov, who entered the match ranked No. 45 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top 125 singles rankings, won the first set 6-2, but Nazal bounced back and won the next two sets 6-2, 10-6 to clinch the match.
Gonzaga, which finished the regular-season 9-12 overall and 1-7 in WCC play, will look for leadership in senior Scott Sullivan and Nazal in singles play. Sullivan leads the team with a 23-12 record with Nazal behind him at 21-11. Senior Zhia Hwa Chong will also be looking for his 20th win on the year against the Cougars.
The Bulldogs will also look for leadership from Chong and Sullivan in doubles competition. The two seniors are 13-7 together in the spring season, having split time between courts one and two throughout the season.