The No. 59 ranked University of Utah men’s tennis team will travel to Athens, Georgia to participate in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The event, hosted by the University of Georgia, will mark the first time since 2010 that the Utes have qualified for the event.
It’s a great opportunity to start the season against quality teams,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “Elon has a very strong and experienced team that returns five starters from their NCAA tournament team last year. We’ll right away know where we stand.”
The Utes will face No. 55 Elon on Friday, January 23rd at 9:00 a.m. ET. No. 8 Georgia will play No. 63 Michigan State at 1 p.m. ET on Friday as well. Pending results, Utah will compete in the Championship Match on Sunday, January 25 or the Consolation Match on Saturday.
No. 55 Elon lost Cameron Silverman, the 2014 Carolina Region ITA Senior Player of the Year, graduated last season, but they will have five returning singles players in their lineup. The Phoenix have already played against SEC powerhouses No. 17 Tennessee (5-2 loss) and No. 27 South Carolina (5-2 loss).
“Elon has a lot of experience and has already played a couple of matches this year,” Brateanu continued. “They are probably a little bit farther along in the process than we are, so we will have to play a very good match to give ourselves a chance to win.”
No.8 Georgia has two singles plays ranked in the top-25 in the nation, 11th-ranked Austin Smith and 15th-ranked Nathan Pasha. The Bulldogs also have freshman Wayne Montgomery who is ranked 25th in singles and 101st ranked Nick Wood. Georgia touts three ranked doubles teams, including the 16th ranked tandem of Ben Wagland and Paul Oosterbaan.
No. 63 Michigan State has one player in the national rankings, 76th-ranked Gijs Linders. Their doubles team of John Patrick Mullana and Harry Jadon is ranked No. 56.
Schedule of Play:
Fri, Jan 23 – 9am – #55 Elon vs. #59 Utah
Fri, Jan 23 – 1pm – #8 Georgia vs. #63 Michigan State
Sat, Jan 24 – 5pm – Consolation Match
Sun, Jan 25 – 12pm – Championship Match