Five-Star Recruit Russell Benkaim Signs NLI with Utes


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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6 Utes Earn Academic Awards

pac-12-logoSAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Utah men’s tennis team had six student-athletes honored with academic awards from the Pac-12 Conference this afternoon.

For the second year in a row, junior Santiago Sierra was named to the first team and this time he was joined by classmate Egbert Weverink. That gave Utah a pair of first-team selections for the second year in a row after having just one during its first four years in the Pac-12

Sophomore Dan Little picked up a spot on the second team while his classmates David Micevski and Joe Woolley both received honorable mention. Senior Parker McGuiness capped his career with a second-straight recognition from the conference after also gaining honorable mention status.

Utah has had 24 student-athletes earn Pac-12 All-Academic honors since joining the conference in 2012 and the six selected today sets a new program mark.

To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and compete in at least 50% of the team’s matches.


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Summer Camp Registration Information

Salt Lake City, UT – With most schools in the valley already in summer recess, the Utes wanted to send out one final friendly reminder to sign up for this year’s summer camps and junior development programs.

“Our summer camps have been a huge success over the past few years and we are so excited to be hosting them again this year,” said head men’s tennis coach Roeland Brateanu. “This year we offer a variety of programs and options, so there will be enough options for everyone, including adults.”

For the third year in a row, the Utes will offer two full-day junior summer camps:

Summer Camp Week 1: June 12-16 (9am-4pm*) – $500
Summer Camp Week 2: June 19-23 (9am-4pm*) – $500
*Friday session will be from 9am-2pm

These camps include lunch and a camp T-shirt and are intended for children 4th grade and above.

Half day options are available for the little tennis stars in 3rd grade and below. That option costs $240.

Pro-rating, as well as day passes are available. For more information and/or to register, please click here. Spaces are limited and registration is filling up quickly!

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Men’s Tennis Announces Team Awards

Salt Lake City, UT – As it does at the end of every season, the University of Utah men’s tennis team today announced the 2016/2017 team awards. Coach Brateanu and his staff annually award five awards, and the winners are:

MVP Little

Dan Little

MVP: Dan Little
In his second year at Utah, Dan Little ended the year with a 13-3 dual match record from the No. 2 singles position, with ranked wins over UCLA’s Martin Redlick (#60) and Washington’s Mitch Stewart (#100). He added another 9 singles wins in the fall and has now accumulated a total of 44 singles wins in the course of his career at Utah, quickly climbing the career win charts. Little added another 21 wins in doubles over the course of the school year. Last week, the Brit was named the ITA Mountain Region Player to Watch.





Improved Shainyan

Slava Shainyan

Most Improved: Slava Shainyan
Svyatoslav ‘Slava’ Shainyan started the year winning at No. 6 singles and ended the year competing at the Pac-12 Championships with the nation’s best at No. 3 singles. With a 24-8 singles record, the freshman has set the bar very high for what is already a successful career at the University. Shainyan, was also named the ITA Mountain Region Rookie of the Year.


Reliable Weverink

Egbert Weverink

Mr. Reliable: Egbert Weverink
Egbert Weverink transferred after his freshman year from Mississippi State and has made a terrific impact both on and off the court for the Utes this season. In his second year as a team captain, he has led the Utes to a combined 34-20 record, both seasons tying the best combined team record since 1988. Even though he lost his starting position this season, “The Egg” never wavered and continued his positive attitude towards his teammates. He earned an 18-8 singles record on the year, earning a career best win percentage.

Inspirational Sierra

Santiago Sierra

Most Inspirational: Santiago Sierra
Hard work, relentless dedication, and team spirit are mantras that come natural to Santiago Sierra. The junior has been part of an amazing revolution at the U over the past three years; from an 11-12 team record his freshman year, to two consecutive record breaking 17-10 records.
This season, Sierra reached the semifinals of the ITA Regional Championships, was named to the Mexican Davis Cup and competed most of the year at No. 3 singles.

Academic Weverink

Egbert Weverink


Academic Achievement: Egbert Weverink
In true fashion, the captain didn’t only set the example on the tennis court, but also in the class room. Junior Eggy Weverink, a Business major, earned a 3.61 GPA taking upper division courses and is a member of the prestigious Business Scholar Program at the David Eccles School of Business. With an emphasis on experiential learning, Business Scholars work with top faculty members to explore the challenges facing companies in marketing, entrepreneurship, accounting, finance, data analytics, and management. As part of the program, Weverink and his peers visited and studied many companies in Rome, Italy in the summer of 2016.

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Little, Shainyan and Brateanu Honored by ITA

2017 ITA Award Winners

Sophomore Dan Little (left), Head Coach Roeland Brateanu (middle) and Freshman Slava Shainyan receive ITA Recognitions

Phoenix, AZ
– Utah’s Slava Shainyan, Dan Little and head coach Roeland Brateanu all earned ITA Mountain Region awards this evening.

“It’s always a great honor to receive recognition from the ITA and I would like to congratulate Slava and Dan on their respective awards, “said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “Our recognitions are a testament to everyone’s hard work and I’m very proud of the team’s efforts.”

Third year head coach Roeland Brateanu was honored as the ITA Wilson Coach of the Year after guiding the Utes to a second-straight winning campaign (17-10) tying last year for the best record since 1988. The Utes finished 6th in the Pac-12 Conference, losing a close battle to USC in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Championships in Ojai, CA.

It’s the third ITA recognition for Brateanu. He was earlier recognized by the ITA in 2014 as the Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year and received the prestigious Arthur Ashe Leadership Award in 2004.

Sophomore Dan Little was named the 2017 Player to Watch after completing a 13-3 dual record in singles. He topped a pair of nationally ranked Huskies 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 McGuiness, including a 6-1 victory over UW’s Kawika Lam and Sommer.

Freshman Slava Shainyan was named Rookie of the Year after compiling a 15-3 record in dual matches this season and was a perfect 8-0 in regional competition. In singles play, amongst others, he defeated Gal Hakak of nationally ranked Washington, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.

He was a part of 11 doubles victories, four with Parker McGuiness and Santiago Sierra and three with Azat Hankuliyev.

After another year of progress, the Utes return 5 of 6 starters next season.


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Utes Fall in PAC-12 Quarters

Utah men's tennis

Utah men’s tennis August 25, 2016 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

OJAI, Calif. – A day after knocking no. 47 Washington out of the PAC-12 tournament, The Utah Utes (17-10)  lost its quarterfinal match at the Pac-12 Championships to No. 3 seeded USC 4-0.

Despite the shutout on the score sheet, the Utes did receive some good performances from their young core. Dan Little and Santiago Sierra had leads in the third set at the No. 2 and No. 4 spot and Slava Shainyan was tied with his opponent.

The Utes will now wait to see if they receive an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Utes have not been to the NCAA’s in over twenty years.

No. 3 USC 4, No. 6 Utah 0
1. Brandon Holt/Riley Smith, USC def. Egbert Weverink/David Micevski, UTAH 6-2
2. Nick Crystal/Laurens Verboven, USC vs. Parker Mcguiness/Dan Little, UTAH 4-3 Abandoned
3. Rob Belamy/Jack Jaede, USC def. Joe Woolley/Santiago Sierra, UTAH 6-0
Order of finish: 3, 1

1. Brandon Holt, USC def. David Micevski, UTAH, 6-4, 6-4
2. Dan Little, UTAH vs. Nick Crystal, USC, 2-6, 6-3, 5-3, unf.
3. Logan Smith, USC vs. Slava Shainyan, UTAH, 7-6, 3-6, 1-1, unf.
4. Sanitago Sierra, UTAH vs. Jack Jaede, USC, 2-6, 6-4, 4-2, unf.
5. Thibault Forget, USC def. Parker Mcguiness, UTAH, 7-6, 6-3
6. Riley Smith, USC def. Joe Woolley, UTAH, 6-1, 7-6
Order of finish: 1, 6, 4, 5

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