Matt Cowley Returns to the U

Cowley Press Conference

Matt Cowley has been named the Director of Tennis Operations at the University of Utah.

Salt Lake City, UT – The University of Utah men’s tennis program announced that Matt Cowley will become their new Director of Tennis Operations effective immediately. Cowley becomes the first Director of Tennis Operations in the history of the program. In his new role Cowley will assist the men’s and women’s tennis teams and will help manage the George S. Eccles Tennis Center under supervision of head men’s tennis coach Roeland Brateanu.

“Part of our tremendous growth here at the University of Utah is the addition of a Director of Tennis Operations and Matt Cowley is the perfect fit for that job,” said Coach Brateanu. “He knows the ins and outs of the tennis community and our tennis program and his coaching experience at BYU have prepared him in a tremendous way to help propel Utah tennis to the next level.”

Matt Roeland Holy War

Assistant Coach Matt Cowley congratulating Coach Brateanu on Utah’s victory in the 2017 Holy War in Provo, UT.

Cowley recently resigned from his position as the assistant men’s tennis coach at BYU, a position he held for one season in which the Cougars finished a program best 3rd in the West Coast Conference.

Prior to his coaching stint in Provo, Cowley played No. 1 singles and doubles at the University of Utah and graduated from the U in 2016 with a bachelors degree in Psychology. During his tenure at Utah, Cowley was the first Ute in program history to receive Pac-12 All Academic status three consecutive years.

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Cowley in action during his senior year in 2016

In 2016, during his senior year, Cowley was named the ITA Mountain Region Most Improved Player, while he was also All Pac-12 Honorable Mentioned for his performances on the court. For his achievements in the classroom he named to the All Pac-12 Academic First Team and honored by the ITA as a Scholar Athlete.

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, Cowley comes from a rich Utah tennis history as both his uncle and his grandfather played for the U. Prior to becoming a Ute, Cowley won a state championship at No. 1 singles competing for Woods Cross.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to return to my alma mater,” said a humbled Cowley. “I would like to thank the search committee for giving me this opportunity and look forward to helping Coach Iandolo and Coach Brateanu raise Utah tennis to new heights.”

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Fall Camp Registration Kicks Off Today

Dee-Dee Fan Fest

Camp Director Dee-Dee Nelson

After announcing a stellar coaching staff last week, head men’s tennis coach Roeland Brateanu, today announced the beginning of fall camp registration.

“My staff has been doing a fantastic job working on improving our junior development camp format,” said Coach Brateanu. “It’s a very exciting program that will not only promote the great sport of tennis in our community, but help raise the level of tennis in a fun and educational environment.”

Other than in previous years the Utes will run one continuous camp throughout the entire fall semester, Mondays through Thursdays and players can choose to come once, twice, three or four times per week.

“We have a program for every age,” said brand new Camp Director Dee-Dee Nelson. “From 3 year old kids who have never picked up a racquet to 18 year old competitive players. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

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“To have collegiate and high performance coaches working with every age group to built tennis from the ground up should be very exciting for the tennis community,” concluded Nelson.

The Utes’ fall camp will run September 5 through December 14, 2017 Mondays through Thursdays at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center. For more information on the format, pricing and everything else, please click here.

Returning customers who already have an account with the Eccles Tennis Center can login and register through their account. New customers first need to create profile with the tennis center here.

By NCAA rules and regulations all Ute camps are open to any and all entrants.

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Utes Announce All-Star Camp Staff

Salt Lake City, UT – After yet another record breaking season for the University of Utah Tennis Camps, head men’s tennis coach Roeland Brateanu today announced some major changes to the camp program.

Associate head coach Dan Pollock has stepped down from his position as camp director, but will continue his duties on the men’s tennis team, as well as private lessons at the Eccles Tennis Center.

“I’d like to thank Coach Pollock for all his hard work these past few years with our camps,” Coach Roeland Brateanu. “Dan has laid a great foundation and has done a great job connecting with our tennis community, but has chosen to focus on his duties with the men’s team, where we need him the most!”

Dee-Dee Fan Fest

4-time Utah State Champion and former Ute Dee-Dee Nelson has always had a passion for kids and tennis.

Effective immediately, Coach Pollock is being replaced by new camp director Dee-Dee Nelson. A former member of the University of Utah women’s tennis team, Coach Dee-Dee was recently employed by the Salt Lake Swim and Health Club as a Junior High Performance Tennis Director and has been a high performance coach for 3 years. She is a national USTA High Performance Coach and has led Team Intermountain in the USTA Zonals Championships for two consecutive years and named the 2017 Zonals Coach of the Year.

She is an expert in early development coaching and has been an integral part of the United States Tennis Association EDC (Early Development Camp) and RTC (Regional Training Camp) programs.

As a player, Nelson was a 4-time Utah State singles champion at No. 1 singles. She was a Arthur Ashe Scholar Winner, the recipient of the Coca Cola Scholarship and a Presidential Scholar. After two years playing for the Utah State Aggies, Nelson joined the Utes in 2007 and played her junior and senior year for head Coach Mat Iandolo. She captained the Aggie and the Ute teams for one year each.

“I am tremendously proud to have Dee-Dee head up our camps,” said head men’s tennis coach Roeland Brateanu. “She has done an outstanding job wherever she has been and has made the difference in the tennis lives of many in our tennis community already. Her energy and tireless work ethic are very conducive in our camp environment and I know our kids will absolutely love her. Above and beyond, she knows what it means to be a Ute!”

Jason Weir-Smith Action

Jason Weir-Smith was named an All-American in 1996 & 1997 and reached as high as No. 81 on the ATP World Tour

Former ATP top 100 doubles player in the world Jason Weir-Smith will join the Ute Camp Program as the new Director of High Performance and will head up the Grand Slam Ute program. Weir-Smith has been a local pro for 2 years at the Eagleridge Tennis and Swim Club, but prior to that has had an extensive and successful career as a tennis player.

Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Weir-Smith played for Hall of Fame Coach Tut Bartzen at TCU, reaching the Final Four in 1997 and was named an All-American in 1996 and 1997. After his career at TCU, he reached as high as No. 81 on the ATP Doubles Tour, winning 5 Challenger events and reaching the semifinals in 3 ATP Tournaments. He qualified for the main draw in every Grand Slam and won rounds at the 2001 US Open and 2001 French Open.

“I think Jason’s resume speaks volumes,” said Brateanu. “He breathes tennis and has been successful at every single level of the game. I couldn’t think of a better person to head up our high performance program than him. He has an energy and competitiveness about him that many of the juniors in our state can learn from.”

Cowley Press Conference

After serving one year as an assistant coach at BYU, former Ute No. 1 singles and doubles player Matt Cowley returns to his roots.

After serving one year as the assistant men’s tennis coach at BYU, Matt Cowley has decided to move back to Pac-12 country and serve in the Utes camp program as an instructor.

“I don’t think our kids will quite realize how lucky they are to have yet another coach with collegiate coaching experience join our program,” continued Brateanu. “Matt is a young, stand up guy that comes from a very rich tennis background and has found a passion for the game of tennis that needs to be shared.”

Throughout his collegiate tennis career at the University of Utah, Cowley worked his way up to No. 1 singles and doubles with a 23-16 singles record and ranked as high as No. 75 in the nation with doubles partner Dan Little. In 2016 he was named the ITA Mountain Region Most Improved Player and is Utah’s first, and so far only student-athlete to receive Pac-12 All-Academic honors three consecutive years. He was an ITA Scholar Athlete twice and a Pac-12 All-Conference Team Honorable Mentioned in 2016.

Besides the new full time staff, Utah Tennis Camps will also continue to be coached by members of the University of Utah men’s and women’s tennis programs.

“I’m incredibly proud of our growing camp program,” concludes Brateanu. “We have the best tennis staff in state, access to the best facility in the state and our campers get access to the best men’s and women’s tennis programs and coaches in the state. I think we are doing a great job of promoting the sport of tennis in our community and introducing them to a sport anyone can play for a lifetime.”

Utah’s fall camp program will kick off September 5 through December 14, 2017 and will run Mondays through Thursdays from 4-8pm in five different programs, starting at only $15 per hour. Registration for the fall program starts August 15. By NCAA rules, all Utah camps are available to all and any entrants, but availability is limited.

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3 Utes Earn ITA All-Academic Honors

Utah Men's Tennis Egbert Weverink

Egbert Weverink, Utah Men’s Tennis August 28, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

SALT LAKE CITY, UT– Utah Men’s Tennis was named as an Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic Team this afternoon. Student-athletes Egbert Weverink, David Micevski and Slava Shainyan were all selected as ITA Scholar Athletes.

Weverink, a First Team Pac-12 All-Academic honoree in 2017, was honored for the second straight season by the ITA. Micevski, who was a Pac-12 honorable mention selection this season, and Shainyan, a freshman, earned their first ITA academic honors as Utes.

Utah was one of six Pac-12 men’s tennis programs to earn an ITA Academic Award and was one of three teams to have three or more student-athletes recognized (Stanford 8, UCLA 5).

In order to earn ITA Scholar Athlete status a player must be a varsity letter winner, have a GPA of 3.5 or better for the current academic year and been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters.

The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.2 or above (on a 4.0 scale). All varsity letter winners should be factored into the cumulative team GPA for the current academic year (including fall 2016 and spring 2017).

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4-Star Recruit Randy Cory Joins Utah

Randy Cory 1

4-star Recruit Randy Cory Joins the Utes

Salt Lake City, UT – He committed to the U a long time ago, but today the Utes can finally announce the latest addition to their program as Randy Cory becomes the third American prospect to join the Utes for the 2017/2018 season.

Cory, a 6’4″ left handed serve and volleyer, is born and raised in Salinas, California. He is currently the No. 6 ranked doubles player in the nation. In the USTA Northern California Section he is currently ranked No. 1 in singles and doubles and has a career high UTR of 12.60.

“I really feel that Randy is a diamond in the rough,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “He is a real down to earth type of guy, but plays a big, offensive game and is a tremendous doubles player. He’s a player to my heart and I can’t wait to start working with him.”

In singles competition, Cory ranked as high as No. 72 in the nation in the 18 and under category and in April captained Team Northern California in a historic upset victory over Team Southern California in the 44th Annual Maze Cup.

Randy Cory Action

Cory is currently ranked No. 6 in the nation in doubles, and No. 1 in singles and doubles in Northern California.

To be a Ute is one of the most exciting things that has come across my life so far. I get fulfill my number one dream as Pac-12 athlete, so it really can’t get any better than that,” said an elated Cory. “I chose the U to chase my dream to be either a businessman or an entrepreneur. It has been my academic dream to stay with sports as my profession whether that be sports marking or management, or to invent the next great sporting equipment/apparel. It has always been a dream of mine to play PAC-12 tennis sincee I was 4 years old and I get the chance to fulfill my number one goal. The warm welcome and great team chemistry I saw on my recruiting trip was a huge sale to me. Its important to me that I find the coaches that will help take my game to the next level. The team really felt like a team to me, which is a huge part of being apart of a college sport. I really got the sensation that these group of guys are the ones I want to be with for the next 4 years.”

Cory joins two other American recruits, Sami Soufi and Russell Benkaim, to a Utah team that only lost Parker McGuiness out of its starting line up.

“I think we will have a great team this year,” said Coach Brateanu. “Not only do we have great depth this year, but we have added much needed quality, especially in doubles play. It should be an exciting year!”

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Five-Star Recruit Russell Benkaim Signs NLI with Utes

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Russell Benkaim

Salt Lake City, UT – The University of Utah men’s tennis team has announced that Russell
Benkaim of Bradenton, Florida has signed a National Letter of Intent. The 5-star recruit currently trains out of the IMG Tennis Academy in Florida and will join the Utes for the 2017/2018 school year.

“We are very excited to announce Russell’s commitment to our program, said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “Russell has a proven track record throughout his junior career and I expect him to make an immediate impact on both our singles and doubles line ups this season. On top of that, he has a great personality and will bring some flair to our seasoned team.”

Benkaim Action ShotBenkaim has ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation in the USTA National Rankings and has won 3 Florida State Doubles Championships, as well as 2 ITFs in doubles. He has furthermore qualified for three main draw Challenger events, most recently losing to Leonardo Meyer and Maximo Gonzalez, 7-5, 6-1 in the Sarasota Spring Challenger.

In singles play he finished a personal best 5th place at the USTA Winter Nationals in the boys 16s in 2016.

“I chose Utah because of the amazing tennis, coaches , and academics. The campus and facilities are amazing and the players on the team are awesome,” said an excited Benkaim. “It feels incredible to be a Ute and I can’t wait to be a part of such a great team!”

Benkaim is on track to graduate high school early, with a 3.9 GPA, to join in time for the  2017/2018 season.

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Two Utes Earn All-Pac 12 Honors

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Two Utah’s men’s tennis student-athletes, Dan Little and David Micevski, were selected as All-Pac-12 competitors this afternoon.

Micevski was honored for the second year in a row after going 15-10 in single play for the Utes at the No. 1 spot. During the season, he knocked off nationally-ranked Mitch Stewart of Washington and earned another Pac-12 victory over Will Kneale of Arizona.

The Utah sophomore also earned six doubles wins and with Egbert Weverink, had leads in contests against pairs from No. 10 Cal, No. 16 USC, No. 6 USC and Washington before those matches were halted.

Little was named the 2017 ITA Mountain Region Player to Watch after completing a 13-3 singles season. He topped a pair of nationally ranked UW student-athletes in Mitch Stewart (6-4, 6-1) and Enzo Sommer (6-4, 6-2), as well as nationally ranked Martin Redlicki of No. 5 UCLA

Little also captured 10 victories in doubles play, eight with fellow Brit Joe Woolley and a pair with Parker McGuiness, including a 6-1 victory over Kawika Lam and Sommer of Washington

Utah has had five student-athletes earn All-Pac-12 status since joining the conference in 2012 and has had multiple honorees the last two seasons

 

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