After a promising first day at the ITF Futures event in Costa Mesa, California, the Utes had a tough second day of competition, losing all three matches.
“We came here to play some tough competition and to measure ourselves against some very good players. We had some tough draws, but competed extremely well,” said first year head coach Roeland Brateanu.
15th seeded Slim Hamza lost to Christopher Helliard (GBR), 7-6(4), 6-3, and returned to Salt Lake City immediately after his match to have his injured knee evaluated. Matt Cowley played a solid match against 2013 ITA All-American Andre Dome, but came up a touch short, 7-5, 6-3 and Cedric Willems lost to UCLA’s Ryoto Tachi (JPN) in a tough three set match; 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
The remaining half of the team closed out competition at the Utah Fall Classic at BYU on Saturday. Redshirt junior Justin Archer notched his first singles win of the season, with a 6-2, 7-6 win over BYU’s Jeremy Bourgeois, while Santiago Sierra continues to impress with a 6-2, 7-6 win over fellow teammate Jamey Swiggart.
“It was great to see all our players in action these past few days at various events. There is a lot of work to be done, but we are excited to get started with this crew and to help them improve both on and off the court,” concluded Brateanu.
Next up for the Utes is a trip to the All-American Championships in Tulsa, OK. Cedric Willems, Parker McGuiness and Matt Cowley will represent the team at the pre-qualifying singles event starting September 27, while senior Slim Hamza, ranked No. 51 in the nation, will compete in the main draw.