Albuquerque, NM – After a week long of great tennis, Dan Little was within reach of his second tournament win of the fall, but fell just shy to No. 2 seeded Diogo Rocha (Denver), 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.
“I’m very proud of Dan’s accomplishments,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “Even though he couldn’t reach his level of the previous days, he never gave up and fought his heart out. He can leave Albuquerque with his head up high.”
The Ute freshman started the day off very slow and lost the first set within 20 minutes, but fought his way back into the match in the 2nd set. Battling back from a break down, the Ute faced a match point down 3-5 and another one down 4-5, but ended up capturing the set 7-5.
With momentum on his side he quickly gained a 3-1 lead in the 3rd set, but was unable to capitalize on his lead. At 4-4, Little was broken at a sudden death point and Rocha never looked back to close out the match, 6-4.
With the loss, the Utes close out a very successful Regional Championships. The Utes saw 2 doubles teams reach the quarterfinals, with Santiago Sierra and Freddie McGeehan reaching the semifinals. In singles play, Matt Cowley was two points away from making it an all Ute final, but his quest for the tournament title ended in the semifinals on Saturday.
“It’s been a long week, full of great tennis and I think we have had one of the best Regional Championships in quite some time,” said Brateanu. I think we can look back at a fairly successful fall with 5 tournament titles and a great showing at regionals. We still have a lot of work to do, but we are on the right track.”
With the fall competition schedule concluded, the Utes can now start preparing for their season opener against the University of San Francisco in Honolulu, Hawaii, January 15, 2016.
(2) Diogo Rocha (Denver) def. (8) Dan Little 6-0, 5-7, 6-4
Santiago Sierra def. Zach Fryer (Denver) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2