Columbus OH.- The University of Utah Men’s Tennis team will be traveling to Columbus, Ohio this weekend to compete in the ITA Kick Off Weekend.
The Utes will face No. 3 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday. Depending on the result, the Utes will then face either Old Dominion or Denver.
The Utes are one of seven Pac-12 schools to qualify, joining USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, and Washington.
“It’s a great honor to be selected to play in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend and to face such a storied program in Ohio State in the 1st round.” said Utes Head Coach Roeland Brateanu. “It’s a great opportunity for us and we lokk forward to a great weekend of tennis.”
Coming off a pair of sweeps this past weekend, the Utes will face their first major test of 2017.
The 15 universities hosting ITA Kick-Off Weekend events, including Ohio State, were designated as host sites in order of their year-end 2016 ITA team rankings.
Three visiting schools will travel to each host site for a four-team tournament with the host school facing the No. 4 seed and the No. 2 seed playing the No. 3 seed.
The winners will come back the following day to play for a berth at the 2017 ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Want to stream the ITA Kick Off Weekend Live? Click here.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are ranked no. 3 in the latest ITA rankings. Ohio State opened the 2017 season with quick victories over Toledo, Cleveland State, Butler and Xavier. The Buckeyes have four players are ranked in the top-60, with two players ranked in the top-10 including no.2 Mikael Torpegaard.
Old Dominion has raced-out to a 5-0 start to the season including a pair of sweeps last weekend in the Pre-ITA Kick Off.ODU started the year with a 6-1 win at NC State and beat Richmond and Howard at home. Last week, the Monarchs swept San Francisco and Harvard in Boston. Old Dominion is led by No. 24 Adam Moundir, who has already been named a Conference USA Player of the Week this season after opening the year 3-0 in singles play, while taking down two nationally ranked players in the process.
Denver opened the 2017 season with a 5-2 at Boise State last weekend. The Pioneers have won the Summit League regular season and tournament titles each of the last three seasons and are picked as the preseason favorite again. The doubles team of Alex Gasson and Yannik James made an appearance at the National Doubles Championships last fall and opened the spring at the No. 18-ranked doubles team in the country. The Pioneers will travel to Salt Lake City next week to face the Utes on Feb. 4th at 1pm.