No. 56 Utah to Host Three Home Matches

The 56th ranked University of Utah men’s tennis team (1-1) will open play at Eccles Tennis Center this weekend, hosting Montana State (0-0) and No. 70 Utah State (6-0) on Saturday in a double header, followed by a match on Sunday against the University of Montana (0-0). Utah is coming off 4-3 win over No. 55 Elon and a 4-0 loss to No. 7 Georgia in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

“After a positive weekend in Georgia, we are excited to come home and play three strong regional opponents to kick off our 2015 home schedule,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “The Montana schools haven’t played yet this season, but are always good opponents. Utah State, on the other hand, has played a lot of tennis and is undefeated on the season, including quality wins over BYU and San Diego State. We’ll have to play some very good tennis to earn three wins this weekend.”

UtahStateMontanaState2015The Utes will face Montana State on Saturday, January 31st at 12 p.m. MT. The Bobcats have yet to play a dual-match this season, but they will play BYU in Provo on Friday. Last year, Utah swept Montana State 7-0 in Salt Lake City.

No. 70 Utah State will make the short trip from Logan to play the Utes at 5 p.m. MT on Saturday. The Aggies have had a hot start to the season, and they have earned their highest ranking in school history. Utah State has netted a road victory over BYU and an upset at home over then 70th ranked San Diego State. Last year, Utah defeated Utah State 7-0 at home.

vs MontanaOn Sunday at 11 a.m. MT, Utah will contest the Montana Grizzlies. The Grizzlies have not yet played a dual-match this season, but they will travel to Logan to play No. 70 Utah State on Friday. Utah clinched a 5-2 win over Montana at Eccles Tennis Center last year.

As always, admission and parking, in the university lot only, are free.

Match Information
Montana State (0-0) at No. 56 Utah (1-1)
Date: Saturday January 31, 2015
First Serve: 12 p.m. MT
Coverage: Live Stats

No. 70 Utah State (6-0) at No. 56 Utah (1-1)
Date: Saturday January 31, 2015
First Serve: 5 p.m. MT
Coverage: Live Stats

Montana (0-0) at No. 56 Utah (1-1)
Date: Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015
First Serve: 11 a.m. MT
Coverage: Live Stats

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Utes Climb in National Rankings

ITA LogoThe University of Utah men’s tennis team (1-1) has moved up in the ITA Men’s National Team Rankings. The Utes are now ranked No. 56. Click here for the entire ITA ranking list.

The Pac-12 currently has very strong representation in the rankings, including No. 1 USC and No. 4 UCLA. California is ranked 12th, Stanford is 36th, Oregon is 43rd and Washington comes in at No. 63.

After beating Elon last week in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, the Phoenix fell to No. 64, while Georgia moved up to No. 7 after defeating the Utes last Sunday.

The Utes are back in action this weekend with a double header on Saturday when they face Montana State (12pm) and Utah State (5pm). Admission is free.

 

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Utah’s Recruiting Class Ranked No. 16 in the Nation

The Utah men’s tennis team has the No. 16 recruiting class in the nation for the 2015 season according to The Tennis Recruiting Network. Utah’s 2015 recruiting class includes Joe Woolley (GBR), Dan Little (GBR), David Micevski (MCD) and Azat Hankuliyev (Utah).

“We are extremely excited about the players that have committed to our program and it’s a great honor to be recognized by The Tennis Recruiting Network,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “Combined with our returners from this year, we’ll have a really exciting team for years to come.”

Woolley in action at the AEGON Nottingham Challenge in 2013

Woolley in action at the AEGON Nottingham Challenge in 2013

Joey Woolley has been ranked 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. Woolley has found success against ATP ranked opponents. Last September, he beat former Duke Blue Devil Torsten Wietoska (career high No. 533 ATP). Woolley also lost in 3 tough sets to world’s No. 383 Marcus Willis. Joe is currently ranked No. 56 in the Nike British Open Tennis rankings.

Dan Little from Sussex, UK

Dan Little from Sussex, UK

Daniel Little, also from Great Britain, 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. He has also previously competed in the Junior Wimbledon Championships.

David Micevski

David Micevski

 

 

 

David Micevski has produced a very impressive resume in Macedonia. He 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. Micevski reached a career high ITF combined singles and doubles ranking of 353 in 2014. David has also earned wins over Aziz Dougaz (TUN – ITF #90) and Kenneth Raisma (EST – ITF #119).

Hankuliyev in action at the USTA Zonals at the Salt Lake Swim & Tennis Club

Hankuliyev in action at the USTA Zonals at the Salt Lake Swim & Tennis Club

Azat Hankuliyev, Utah’s recent local 3-star commitment, was born and raised in Turkmenistan. Hankuliyev started playing tennis at age 7 and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah at age 9. He has reached an ITA national ranking as high as No. 130 and No. 2 in the state of Utah. In January 2014 Hankuliyev won the Intermountain Winter Masters in the 16 and under age division.

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No. 60 Utah falls to No. 8 Geogia

Senior Slim Hamza

Senior Slim Hamza

ATHENS, Ga. – The 60th-ranked University of Utah men’s tennis team (1-1) suffered its first loss of the season Sunday against No. 8 Georgia (2-0), 4-0 in the ITA Kick-Off Championship Game.

“Congrats to Georgia. They are a great team and deserved to win today,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “Georgia is a finished product, a top 10 team in the country. It’s very good for our guys to see what the difference is and what we need to do to reach that level of play.”

Utah dropped the doubles point, but senior captain Slim Hamza and freshman Freddie McGeehan earned a 6-3 upset of the 34th ranked doubles tandem of Eric Diaz and Austin Smith.

“I thought we played a lot better doubles today than last friday,” continued Brateanu. “We put ourselves in a position to win. If you want to beat a top 10 team on the road, you need to win that doubles point.”

In singles play, Junior Matt Cowley was defeated by No. 32 Wayne Montgomery, 6-0, 6-1, while sophomore Parker McGuiness fell to No. 101 Nick Wood, 6-2, 6-0. The Georgia Bulldogs clinched the overall match when No. 11 Austin Smith defeated senior Cedric Willems 6-3, 6-4.

Senior Slim Hamza started the third set, but was unable to finish his singles match at No.1 singles against No. 15 ranked Nathan Pasha when the dual match was clinched.

Utah’s home opener at the Eccles Tennis Center is on Saturday, Jan. 31. The Utes will host Montana State at 12 p.m. and Utah State at 5 p.m. MT.

#8 Georgia 4, #60 Utah 0
Singles

1. #15 Nathan Pasha (UGA) vs. Slim Hamza (UTAH) 6-3, 3-6, unfinished
2. #11 Austin Smith (UGA) def. Cedric Willems (UTAH) 6-3, 6-4
3. #32 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Matt Cowley (UTAH) 6-0, 6-1
4. #101 Nick Wood (UGA) def. Parker McGuiness (UTAH) 6-2, 6-0
5. Freddie McGeehan (UU) vs. Ben Wagland (UGA) 2-2 DNF
6. Johan Jonhagen (UU) vs. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) DNS

Order of finish: (3,4,2)

Doubles
1. #16 Paul Oosterbaan/Ben Wagland (UGA) def. Matt Cowley/Cedric Willems (UTAH) 7-5
2. Slim Hamza/Freddie McGeehan (UTAH) def. #34 Eric Diaz/Austin Smith (UGA) 6-3
3. Nathan Pasha/Nick Wood (UGA) def. Johan Jonhagen/Santiago Sierra (UTAH) 6-2

Order of finish: (3,2,1)

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Utes to Face No. 8 Georgia in ITA Kick-Off Championship Game

2015-KOW-Map-LogoComing off a 4-3 win over No. 55 Elon, the 60th University of Utah men’s tennis team (1-0) will face No. 8 Georgia (1-0) in the championship game at of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The dual match will be played tomorrow, Sunday January 23rd at 1 p.m. in Athens, Georgia with a birth in the Sweet 16 of the National Team Indoor Championships on the line. Georgia defeated Michigan State 4-1 on Friday, losing the doubles point but winning four consecutive singles matches.

“Georgia has a great team and we’ll have to play very well to beat them. It’s a great opportunity to play such a storied program on the road,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “Playing a top 10 program this early in the season will help us improve and better prepare us for Pac-12 play.”

Scouting the University of Georgia
Georgia has four nationally ranked players in singles. Austin Smith is ranked No. 11, Nathan Pasha No. 15, Wayne Montgomery No. 32 and Nick Wood No. 101, while all three of the Bulldogs’ doubles teams are ranked: Paul Oosterbaan and Ben Wagland are ranked 16th, Eric Diaz and Austin Smith are 34th, while Wayne Montgomery and Nathan Pasha are 53rd.

“It’s important that we continue to focus on ourselves and only play the guy across the net, but I know our guys will give it their very best effort tomorrow,” concluded Brateanu.

Live stats and video streaming for the match will be available here.

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Utes Beat Elon, Advance at ITA Kick-Off Weekend

Freshman Santiago Sierra

Freshman Santiago Sierra

Athens, GA – For the first time in program history the University of Utah men’s tennis team (1-0) advanced to the 2nd round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Athens, Georgia. The 60th ranked Utes beat 55th ranked Elon University (0-3), 4-3, on Friday afternoon.

“This is a great way to start our season,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “We didn’t play our best tennis, but we competed unbelievably well, overcame some adversity and came up with a really solid win. I’m really proud of the team’s efforts today.”

The day started off a little shaky for the Utes, who lost the doubles point after losing at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. But, after 5 minute intermission, the Utes came out blazing, quickly taking the lead with victories by sophomore Parker McGuiness and senior Cedric Willems.

The Elon Phoenix briefly tied the match up at 2-2, when Brian Kowalski beat Matt Cowley at No. 3 singles, but the Utes quickly regained the lead when Slim Hamza beat Stefan Fortman in straight sets.

Freshman Freddie McGeehan was unable to clinch the match for the Utes losing to senior Juan Madrid in a closely contested three set match, but the Utes still prevailed with a come from behind victory at No. 6 singles. Freshman Santiago Sierra, who was a last minute substitute, defeated Neal Port 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-3 to clinch the match for the Utes after a 4 hour and 35 minute battle.

The Utes will face the No. 8 ranked University of Georgia Sunday at 1pm ET.

RESULTS:
No. 60 Utah Utes 4, No. 55 Elon Phoenix 3

Doubles:
#1 Willems/Cowley (UU) def. Fortmann/Kowalski (EU) 6-4
#2 Kaufman/Humphreys (EU) def. Hamza/McGeehan (UU) 6-1
#3 Lindgren/Madrid (EU) def. Johan Jonhagen/Sierra (UU) 6-3
Order of finish: 2,1,3

Singles:
#1. Slim Hamza (UU) def. Stefan Fortmann (EU) 6-4, 7-6(3)
#2. Cedric Willems (UU) def. Robert Lindgren (EU) 6-2, 6-1
#3. Brian Kowalski (EU) def. Matt Cowley (UU) 7-5, 6-4
#4. Parker McGuiness (UU) def. Jordan Kaufman 6-0, 6-3
#5. Juan Madrid (EU) def. Freddie McGeehan (UU) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
#6. Santiago Sierra (UU) def. Neal Port (EU) 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-3
Order of finish: 2,4,3,1,5,6

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Azat Hankuliyev Commits to the Utes

Azat Hankuliyev of Salt Lake City, UT, will join the Utes in the fall of 2015.

Azat Hankuliyev of Salt Lake City, UT, will join the Utes in the fall of 2015.

Salt Lake City, UT – Head men’s tennis coach Roeland Brateanu is proud to announce the commitment of Salt Lake City’s Azat Hankuliyev. Hankuliyev, a 3-star recruit, will join the Utes in the fall of 2015.

Azat is a standup young man, great student and is a very hard worker with a tremendous future ahead of him, “said Brateanu. “I’m very excited to welcome him to the Ute tennis family.”

Born and raised in Turkmenistan, Hankuliyev started playing tennis at age 7 and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah at age 9, where he trained at the Liberty Park Tennis Center mainly under tutelage of Debbie Robb. He has reached as high No. 130 in the nation and No. 2 in the state of Utah. In January 2014 Hankuliyev won the Intermountain Winter Masters in the 16 and under age division.

Hankuliyev in action at the USTA Zonals at the Salt Lake Swim & Tennis Club

Hankuliyev in action at the USTA Zonals at the Salt Lake Swim & Tennis Club

“I’m very happy being a Ute and to be a  part of a team that is improving a lot with great coaches and support staff,” said Hankuliyev. “I chose the University of Utah because I felt that this is the school that was going to help me both academically and tennis wise. It’s the perfect place for me and my family and I’d like to thank the Utes for giving me this opportunity in college tennis.”

Hankuliyev is currently attending American Preparatory Academy in West Valley, Utah. He enjoys playing basketball, bowling and hiking and wants to obtain a masters degree in business. His dad, Kakabay, and mom, Gozel, both earned their PhD’s in petroleum engineering. His sister, Anya, attended the University of Utah for 1 year and is currently a senior at Westminster College, earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Hankuliyev joins a great recruiting class for the Utes and becomes the 5th player this year to commit to the program, joining Freddie McGeehan, David MicevskiDan Little and Joe Woolley.

“This is a great recruiting class, probably the best we’ve had in a very long time,” said Brateanu. “We have assembled a very good, young and talented team, but talent alone won’t get us to the promised land. We’ll have to put in a lot of hard work and help these young men become the best tennis players they can be. I’m looking forward to the challenges, but the future sure looks bright.”

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