Columbus, OH – In its first real test of the 2017 season, the University of Utah men’s tennis team was defeated by No. 3 ranked Ohio State, 4-0, in the first round of the 2017 ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
“I never like to lose, but I’m very proud of my team’s efforts today,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “Ohio State has a very good team, but we gave them a good run for their money in doubles and split sets in three singles matches. We still have a lot of room for improvement, but I’m content with the effort today and the outlook for the remainder of the season.”
The Utes knew in advance what they were up against; dating back to 2003, the Ohio State Buckeyes have the best home record in the NCAA going 230-1. In the first ever meeting between the two schools, Utah fought hard and had its chances in doubles play, but saw the Buckeyes take a 1-0 lead after wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. Eggy Weverink and Santiago Sierra were leading No. 25 ranked Martin Joyce and Hugo Di Feo, 5-4, when play was suspended.
In singles play, Joe Woolley struggled against Kyle Seelig, losing 6-0, 6-3. Sophomore David Micevski had the tough challenge of facing No. 2 ranked Mikael Torpegaard, who in 2015 faced 14-time Grand Slam Champion Rafael Nadal in Davis Cup play. In closely contested first set, Torpegaard only needed one break and held on to win the first set 6-4. In the second set, the raining Big Ten Player of the Year turned into a different gear and put the Buckeyes up 3-0.
Hugo di Feo clinched the match for Ohio State with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Mexican Davis Cup member Santiago Sierra, thereby suspending play in the three remaining matches. All three matches were in a third set. Freshman Slava Shainyan was making an impressive comeback at No. 6 singles, while sophomore Dan Little and senior Parker McGuiness split sets after winning their respective first sets.
The Utes will face Denver in a consolation match Sunday at 9am ET, before heading back to Salt Lake City Sunday evening.
#3 Ohio State 4, Utah 0
1. #2 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. David Micevski (UU) 6-4, 6-2
2.Dan Little (UU) vs. JJ Wolf (OSU) 6-3, 4-6, DNF
3. #5 Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. Santiago Sierra (UU) 6-2, 6-3
4. Parker McGuiness (UU) vs. #34 Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 6-3, 3-6, DNF
5. Kyle Seelig (OSU) def. Joe Woolley (UU) 6-0, 6-3
6. Slava Shainyan (UU) vs. #53 Martin Joyce (OSU) 2-6, 6-3, 1-1 DNF
1. #55 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. Joe Woolley/Dan Little (UTAH) 6-4
2.Egbert Weverink/Santiago Sierra (UU) vs. #25 Martin Joyce/Hugo Di Feo (OSU) 5-4, DNF
3. Hunter Tubert/Matt Mendez (OSU) def. Slava Shainyan/Parker McGuiness (UTAH) 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (5,1,3)
Official: Marcus Lee T-1:59 A-47