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.
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.
No. 60 Utah Utes 4, No. 55 Elon Phoenix 3
#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
#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