Utes Sign Joe Woolley to NLI

Joe Woolley (GBR) joins Utes

Joe Woolley (GBR) joins Utes

An excited head coach Roeland Brateanu announced that British standout Joe Woolley has signed an NLI with the University of Utah men’s tennis team.

“I can’t begin to tell you how excited coach Pollock and I are right now,” said Brateanu. “Joe is a fantastic player; a born winner, a great competitor who loves the game of tennis. He’s a great fit for our team and program.”

Woolley, who just turned 17 a couple of months ago,  has ranked as high as No. 1 in Great Britain in the U16 and U18 age divisions and has won the British AEGON Masters Series all in the same year. Last year, at age 16 he reached the finals of the Sheffield British tour and qualified for 4 main draw Futures events. In September of this year, on his way to reaching the semifinals at the Cambridge British Tour Event, he beat former Duke Blue Devil Torsten Wietoska (career high No. 533 ATP). Woolley lost in 3 tough sets to world’s No. 383 Marcus Willis and is currently ranked No. 56 in the British Open Tennis Rankings.

Woolley in action at the AEGON Nottingham Challenge in 2013

Woolley in action at the AEGON Nottingham Challenge in 2013

“It feels great to be a Ute and to be part of such an amazing university with such an amazing team and coaches,” expressed Woolley. “I had the choice of two great universities, but after visiting Utah and meeting the team I really felt that it was the right place for me to not only help the team, but to improve my tennis. GO UTES!”

Woolley joins a loaded recruiting class for the Utes, after Freddie McGeehan, Dan Little and David Micevski already committed to playing for the Utes.

“It’s as if Christmas has come early this year,” said Brateanu. “This is the best recruiting class we have had in a very long time. We have an exciting group of young men this year, a great staff, we are building a state-of-the-art outdoor tennis center and we now add a very strong recruiting class for next year. It’s a very exciting time to be a Ute!”

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Dan Little Signs NLI with Utes

Dan Little from Sussex, UK

Dan Little from Sussex, UK

The University of Utah men’s tennis team announced it’s second commitment of the day after receiving a signed National Letter of Intent from British standout Daniel Little.

“Dan is an unbelievable player with a tremendous future ahead of him,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “He will make a huge impact on both our singles and doubles line up, so it goes without saying that we are delighted with his commitment.”

Little has an impressive track record in junior tennis earning one national championship and as well as being a two time finals runner up in Great Britain. This past June he competed in the Junior Wimbledon Championships falling to No. 55 in the world Jordi Arconada, 6-7(6), 7-6(2), 9-11.

He is the winner of 3 ITF junior singles titles (Doha 2014, Abu Dhabi 2014 and Norway 2013) and 4 ITF junior doubles titles (Doha 2014, Abu Dhabi 2014, United Arab Emirates 2014 and Kenya 2013), reaching as high as No. 192 on the ITF Junior World Rankings.

“It feels great to be joining a top university with not only a great tennis program, but other sports as well,” said Little. “I became a Ute because it is an incredible location with great facilities, great coaches and other great players around me that help me improve my tennis.”

Little is the third commitment in an already outstanding recruiting class for the Utes, joining David Micevski (MKD) and fellow Brit Freddie McGeehan (GBR).

“We are incredibly proud of this recruiting class and the best thing is that we are not done yet,” said Brateanu. “It’s an exciting time to be a Ute!”

 

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David Micevski, Macedonian Davis Cup Player, Joins Utes

David Micevski

David Micevski from Skopje, Macedonia

On the first day of the initial signing period, the University of Utah men’s tennis team announced the commitment of Macedonian Davis Cup player David Micevski, who signed a National Letter of Intent.

“I’m very excited to welcome David to our roster,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “He is a fantastic player with a lot of untouched potential. He’s intelligent, super athletic and overall a very dangerous player. We can’t wait to start working with him!”

Micevski is a 7-time Macedonian National Junior Champion and represented Macedonia in the Davis Cup in May 2013, beating Arif Guliyev (AZE) 6-1, 6-0 and winning both of his doubles matches.

He holds a career high ITF Junior World Ranking of No. 353 with a career best win over world’s No. 62 Domagoj Biljesko (CRO) at the European Championships in Klosters, Switzerland in 2014.  Furthermore, he has notable wins over Aziz Dougaz (TUN – ITF #90) Kenneth Raisma (EST – ITF #119). More recently, he qualified for the main draw of the Serbia F10 Futures in Novi Sad, Serbia.

“I chose Utah because it’s a first class university with great facilities and great coaching staff. It’s the best place for me to thrive,” said David Micevski. “I feel very proud and am excited to be a Ute.”

Micevski, who will join the Utes in the fall of 2015, becomes the third Ute in the last five years to have represented his country in the Davis Cup.

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Pac-12 Universities Adopt Sweeping Reforms for Student-athletes

By Pac-12 Conference

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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 27, 2014 – Sweeping reforms for student-athletes, including guaranteed four-year athletic scholarships, continuing education, improved health care, liberalized transfer rules, and more, were adopted today by the Pac-12 Conference in a vote of the presidents and chancellors of the Conference’s 12 member universities.

The changes made today follow closely the reform principles the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors outlined in a letter written to their peer conferences in May 2014.

“This fulfills a promise we made when we announced our agenda for reform earlier this year,” said chairman of the Conference’s CEO Group, Dr. Elson S. Floyd, who is president of Washington State University. “These reforms assure better support for all our student-athletes, reinforce that academics come first, and address the financial and health needs of our students.”

The Conference’s new rules apply to Pac-12 student-athletes across all sports, and include:

  • Athletic scholarships will be guaranteed for four years for student-athletes in all sports.
  • Student-athletes who leave school before graduating will be able to use the remainder of their educational expenses later to earn their degrees.
  • Medical expenses for student-athletes who are injured during their college athletic careers will be covered for up to four years after a student-athlete leaves the institution.
  • Student-athletes who transfer between Pac-12 institutions will be able to receive athletic scholarships immediately.
  • Student-athletes will be represented in the Conference governance structure.

Praising the reform package was University of Washington gymnast McKenzie Fechter, the chair of the Pac-12 Student Athlete Advisory Committee: “I’m proud to be a part of a conference that is pushing reform and doing more for student-athletes,” said Fechter. “These reforms are positive steps not only for those of us who are current student-athletes, but also for those who aspire to be Pac-12 student-athletes in the future.”

The Pac-12 presidents and chancellors also reaffirmed their support for incorporating the full cost of attendance for Pac-12 scholarship student-athletes. The 65 institutions that compose the five major conferences and 15 representative student-athletes will vote on this important issue at the inaugural meeting of the five major conferences in January.

Also discussed were next steps to strengthen protections for student-athletes against excessive time demands of intercollegiate athletics. The Conference will continue to examine this subject with its Council and fellow major conferences.

Conference Commissioner Larry Scott hailed the reform package: “As a former student-athlete myself, I believe these reforms will mean a great deal to student-athletes in the Pac-12. These reforms will ensure they enjoy a positive collegiate sports experience, and graduate with a meaningful college degree. This set of reforms also addresses various health and financial concerns that student-athletes have expressed to me in the many conversations I’ve had with them, while preserving the essence of the collegiate experience that has served so many student-athletes so well. I am very proud of the national leadership position our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, senior women administrators, faculty athletic representatives, and other administrators have taken.”

ABOUT THE PAC-12 CONFERENCE

The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” claiming an incredible 131 NCAA team titles since 1999-2000, including 10 in 2013-14. The Pac-12 has led the nation in NCAA Championships in 48 of the last 54 years, with 469 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University.

PAC-12 STUDENT-ATHLETE REFORM PACKAGE

(i) Guaranteeing four-year scholarships that can neither be reduced nor canceled provided the student-athlete remains in good standing and meets his/her terms of the agreement. Effective in 2015-16, all financial aid agreements offered to incoming student-athletes will be multi-year agreements for no less than four academic years.

(ii) Financially supporting student-athletes who do not graduate in four years and return to school to complete their degrees. Effective 2016-17, if a student-athlete departs the institution in good standing and has completed a reasonable portion of their degree (50%), the student-athlete can return and receive necessary educational expenses for the remaining terms of the agreement.

(iii) Enhancing medical support for both current and former student-athletes. Effective in 2015-16, Conference schools will be required to provide direct medical expenses for documented athletically related injuries to former student-athletes for a period of four years after separation from the team or institution.

(iv) Liberalizing Transfer Rules within the Conference. The CEOs approved elimination of the financial aid penalty of the intra-conference transfer rule. Effective immediately, a student-athlete who transfers between Pac-12 institutions can receive an athletic scholarship from the second school without restriction, provided he or she is otherwise eligible to receive the aid.

(v) Increasing student-athlete representation in Pac-12 governance. The CEOs supported including student-athletes in Council meetings and giving them a meaningful role in its deliberations. Final recommendations will be determined June 2015.PAC12pr141027b

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Utah Men’s Tennis Graduates at 100-Percent Rate

Utah Men's Tennis TeamINDIANAPOLIS – According to the NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for 2013-14 released today, 81-percent of the University of Utah’s varsity athletes will graduate within six years from the time they enrolled as freshmen. Utah men’s tennis received 100-percent scores over the six-year period starting in 2007. This is the fourth straight year of perfect scores for Utah men’s tennis. Gymnastics and women’s tennis also received 100-percent scores over the six-year period starting in 2007, while men’s basketball led the conference at 88-percent. Women’s soccer also placed in the top three in the Pac-12 with 93-percent. Seven sports improved their overall GSR from a year ago, including softball by 12-percent and men’s basketball by 5-percent.

Utah’s 81-percent graduation rate is considered a more accurate reflection of athletic-academic success than its Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) of 64-precent because the GSR allows for a variety of circumstances. For instance, while the GSR begins with the federal cohort, it does not penalize an institution for student-athletes who transfer to another school while in good academic standing or go on missions, and it also tracks midyear enrollees and some non-scholarship athletes.

Additionally, 10 Utah teams met or exceeded the overall Division I GSR for their sport: men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics, baseball, men’s and women’s tennis, soccer and volleyball.

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Freddie McGeehan Joins Utes

Freddie McGeehan of London, UK, will join the Utes in January

Freddie McGeehan of London, UK, will join the Utes in January

The University of Utah men’s tennis team today announced the commitment of Freddie McGeehan to join the Utes in this upcoming spring semester.

“We are very excited with Freddie’s commitment to our program,” said head men’s tennis coach Roeland Brateanu. “He is a tremendous player with a great work ethic, who will bring a great deal of excitement and energy to our program. Freddie is a diamond in the rough with his best tennis still ahead of him. We can’t wait to start working with him.”

Born and raised in London, England, McGeehan has a 12-9 record on the ITF Junior Tour and a world ranking of 465, with a semifinal singles appearance in the ITF event in Abu Dabi (2014) and a doubles finals appearance in the Armenia ITF (2014). At one point he was the 5th highest ranked British player in the world under the age of 17.

Just this past week, McGeehan made it to the quarterfinals of a British Tour event in Swansea after beating Omar Al Awadhi, who ranked as high as 805 on the ATP World Rankings.

IMG_1877“I feel privileged to be a part of such a fantastic set up, so happy be to be a UTE and can’t wait to start fighting for the team,” said McGeehan. “It was not an easy decision at first, as I was weighing all the various options. But the good feeling and honesty that came over from the coaches and the feeling of the place itself on social media made it a very easy decision in the end. I know I will be a proud Ute as I will take full advantage of everything the U has to offer.”

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Utah Wraps Up Play at ITA Regionals

Cedric Willems

Cedric Willems

LAS VEGAS - The Utah men’s tennis concluded play at the ITA Mountain Regionals Saturday at the Darling Tennis Center.

“Although the end of this tournament was sour, I think Cedric can be very proud of his performance and the progression he has made,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “He has showed that he can play at a high caliber against tough opponents.”

After reaching the singles main draw semifinals with four consecutive victories, fifteenth-seeded senior Cedric Willems suffered a hard-fought 6-7, 7-5, 7-5 loss to Denver’s first-seeded Henry Craig.

In consolation doubles action, junior Matt Cowley and freshman Santiago Sierra were defeated in the quarterfinal round to Stefan Cooper and Sanjay Goswami of Weber State, 8-7.

SINGLES 
Main Draw
 
Semifinals 
#1 Henry Craig (Denver) def. #15 Cedric Willems (Utah), 6-7, 7-5, 7-5

DOUBLES 
Consolation Draw
 
Quarterfinals 
Stefan Cooper/Sanjay Goswami (Weber State) def. Matt Cowley/Santiago Sierra (Utah), 8-7 

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