BYU men's tennis: NCAA berth puts Cougars back on college tennis map

Returning to the NCAA Tournament for theU first time since 2001 is definitely a huge moment for the BYU men's tennis team. It is a goal the Cougars set out to accomplish long before the calendar indicated spring had arrived.

Still, earning an NCAA berth just the first step in what BYU coach Brad Pearce thinks his team can accomplish long term.

"We hope we can capitalize on our success and turn it into helping our recruiting efforts and putting BYU back on the map as one of the top programs in the country," said Pearce, who earned 2010 MWC coach of the year honors.

If any coach knows what an elite tennis program should look like, Pearce is it. He enjoyed a successful career at UCLA before moving onto the professional ranks. The Bruins have won 16 NCAA championships – the third most in NCAA Division I history behind Pac-10 rivals USC and Stanford.

While BYU (21-6) is nowhere that sort of level currently, the Cougars are making strides in ruling the Mountain West Conference. BYU put together one of its finest seasons in a decade. The Cougars posted an 8-0 regular season record in MWC play to claim the conference title and enter the NCAA Tournament ranked no. 33 in the country.

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