Utes Head to NCAAs For First Time Since 1997

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men’s tennis team is headed back to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1997.

The Utes will travel to Norman, Oklahoma and play the No. 14-seeded Sooners in the first round on Friday, May 11. The match is set for 1 pm. CT and will follow the contest between No. 18 Georgia and Minnesota

“I am a little shaken up,” senior Santiago Sierra said. “I am just experiencing all these emotions after finding out we qualified about five minutes ago. I am proud of the hard work we have put in the last four years and everyone who has been a part of this program.”

“I am overjoyed at this point,” senior Egbert Weverink said. “We started off really well and then suffered some tough losses. When I came here, I wanted to make an impact and leave it at a different place from where we started. I think it is a testament to the hard work we have all put in.”

“I am incredibly happy for our seniors who have put in so much work during their time here,” head coach Roeland Brateanu said. “I am proud of our staff, our Ute family and congratulations to the team.

We made it back for the first time in 21 years. When I played, we never made it. I think many of my teammates will be shocked that we earned an at-large bid. To come from playing in a public park and needing to win a conference tournament to having our own amazing facility and playing against the best teams in the nation, I am going to let this settle in for the next couple of days.”

Utah went 17-2 in non-conference play and ranked as high as No. 24 in the nation after winning its first two Pac-12 matches for the first time since joining the conference in 2012

Dan Little is Utah’s highest-ranked singles player and has a record of 17-6 this season. Senior Santiago Sierra has also amassed a solid singles record of 18-4.

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Utes Open Pac-12 Play with Win over Arizona

SALT LAKE CITY – Senior Egbert Weverink provided the heroics for a third-straight match as he won at the No. 3 singles spot to clinch the Pac-12 opener vs Arizona on Friday.

With this win, the 39th ranked University of Utah men’s tennis team is now 18-2 overall, and starts off Pac-12 play with a 1-0 record.

“Going 1-0 in Pac-12 play and beating a very tough Arizona team feels really good,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “UA fought very hard and it was a close match that had everything in it. We are lucky to come up with this victory, thanks to Egbert.”

The Utes started the match off by securing the doubles point. Joe Woolley and Weverink recorded the first victory of the day on the No. 2 court, beating out Carlos Hassey and Filip Malbasic with a score of 6-1. Dan Little and Azat Hankuliyev then finished things off with a win at the No. 3 position, defeating Jonas Maier and Alejandro Reguant with a final score of 6-3.

In singles, Woolley got things going with a victory on the No. 6 court, defeating Arizona’s Trent Botha 6-4, 7-6. Then in a very competitive match, David Micevski was able to come away with a 6-1, 6-7, 6-4, win over Aaro Pollanen at the No. 2 position as the Utes pulled ahead in the overall score, 3-2. After the ‘Cats tied the score 3-3, Weverink provided the Utes with a win, defeating Filip Malbasic in three sets, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6, to give the Utah men’s tennis team the victory.

The Utes will be back in action tomorrow at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center to take on 34th ranked Arizona State. The match against the Sun Devils is set to start at 1 p.m., wrapping up play for the weekend for the Utes.

Utah 4, Arizona 3

Doubles (2,3)
Igor Karpovets/Aaro Pollanen (UA) vs. Russell Benkaim/Randy Cory (UTAH), 5-3, unf.
Joe Woolley/Egbert Weverink (UTAH) def. Carlos Hassey/Filip Malbasic (UA), 6-1
Dan Little/Azat Hankuliyev (UTAH) def. Jonas Maier/Alejandro Reguant (UA), 6-3

Singles (6,4,1,5,2,3)
Igor Karpovets (UA) def. Dan Little (UTAH), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3
David Micevski (UTAH) def. Aaro Pollanen (UA), 6-1, 6-7, 6-4
Egbert Weverink (UTAH) def. Filip Malbasic (UA), 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 – 35
Alejandro Reguant (UA) def. Santiago Sierra (UTAH), 5-7, 6-1, 6-2
Jonas Maier (UA) def. Randy Cory (UTAH), 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 – 33
Joe Woolley (UTAH) def. Trent Botha (UA), 6-4, 7-6

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Utes Beat Out BYU in Deseret Duel

SALT LAKE CITY – Senior Egbert Weverink capped a thrilling Deseret First Duel match on Saturday afternoon, sealing the win for the Utes with a 7-6, 6-7, 7-5 win at No. 3 singles.

By capturing the Duel, the Utes, ranked No. 37 in the country, improved to 17-2 on the season.

“First of all, I would like to congratulate BYU for playing an unbelievable match,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “They were better than us in doubles but we fought our way back with three singles wins and had the momentum on our side. The rain delay definitely affected us and made it an incredibly close match. We let up a little bit and let BYU back into the match, we are very fortunate to come away with a win today,”

The Utes fell behind ealy by dropping the doubles point to the Cougars. On the No. 2 court, Joe Woolley and Weverink were defeated 6-3 by BYU’s John Pearce and Ben Gajardo. Russell Benkaim and Randy Cory were then unable to pull off a victory at the No. 1 spot against Sean Hill and Jeffrey Hsu, falling by an identical score.

In singles action, play started on the outside courts of the George S. Eccles Tennis Center but was then moved inside due to rain. Down 1-0, the Utes were able to rally back against the Cougars, starting with a win at the No. 2 position by Dan Little over BYU’s Jeffery Hsu, with a score of 6-2, 7-5. Woolley followed with a win at the No. 2 spot against David Ball, coming away with a score of 6-4, 6-4. Santiago Sierra then pitched in a win of his own on the No. 5 court, beating out Ben Gajardo 7-6, 6-3. After the Cougars won a pair of three-setters to pull even in the match, Weverink capped the difficult day with a fantastic victory for his side.

The Utah men’s tennis team will be back at home next weekend to begin Pac-12 play. They will face off against the University of Arizona on Friday, March 30 at 3 p.m., and will wrap up the weekend with a match against Arizona State the following day at 1 p.m.

Utah 4, BYU 3

Doubles (2,1)
Sean Hill/Jeffrey Hsu (BYU) def. Russell Benkaim/Randy Cory (UTAH), 6-3
John Pearce/Ben Gajardo (BYU) def. Joe Woolley/Egbert Weverink (UTAH), 6-3
Dan Little/Azat Hankuliyev (UTAH) vs. Sam Tullis/David Ball (BYU), 5-3, unf.

Singles (2,6,5,4,1,3)
Sean Hill (BYU) def. David Micevski (UTAH), 4-6, 6-1, 7-5
Dan Little (UTAH) def. Jeffrey Hsu (BYU), 6-2, 7-5
Egbert Weverink (UTAH) def. John Pearce (BYU), 7-6, 6-7, 7-5
Sam Tullis (BYU) def. Randy Cory (UTAH), 7-6, 3-6, 6-2
Santiago Sierra (UTAH) def. Ben Gajardo (BYU), 7-6, 6-3
Joe Woolley (UTAH) def. David Ball (BYU), 6-4, 6-4

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Tennis Utes Outlast UNLV

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The University of Utah men’s tennis team was able to outlast UNLV earlier this evening, with a final score of 4-3. The Utes came into this match ranked 35th in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and with this win, they move to an overall record of 16-2.

“It was a gutsy win today. We survived our first outdoor match and a UNLV team that played very tough,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “We started off very slow, but stayed calm and fought our way back. I’m very proud of the guys and our record. Now we have two weeks to prepare for BYU.”

The Utes were down early as they lost the doubles point to UNLV. Dan Little and Azat Hankuliyev were the only pair able to record a victory, defeating Richard Solberg and Jordan Saur on the No. 3 court with a score of 6-2.

In singles, the Utes were able to rally back, starting with a win at the No. 5 spot by Joe Woolley, as he defeated Richard Solberg with a score of 6-4, 6-4. Dan Little then put in a win of his own at the No. 2 position, topping UNLV’s Ruben Alberts with a score of 6-3, 6-2. A win from Santiago Sierra followed on Court 6, defeating Clayton Alenik 6-4, 6-1, to give the Utes the 3-2 advantage. Egbert Weverink was then able to seal the victory for the Utah men’s tennis team at the No. 3 spot, beating out Courtney Lock with a score of 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

The University of Utah men’s tennis team will be back in action on March 24, as it will face in-state rival, BYU. This will be a home match at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center, with play set to start at 2 p.m.

Singles competition 

1. #89 Alexandr Cozbinov (UNLV) def. David Micevski (Utah) 6-1, 6-3

2. Dan Little (Utah) def. Ruben Alberts (UNLV)  6-3, 6-2

3. Egbert Weverink (Utah) def. Courtney Lock (UNLV) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1

4. Eric Samuelsson (UNLV) def. Slava Shainyan (Utah) 6-3, 6-4

5. Joe Woolley (Utah) def. Richard Solbert (UNLV) 6-3, 6-3

6. Santiago Sierra (Utah) def. Clayton Alenik (UNLV)  6-3, 6-1

Doubles competition

1. Alexandr Cozbinov/Courtney Lock (UNLV) def. Randy Cory/Russel Benkaim (Utah) 6-4

2. Clayton Alenik/Eric Samuelsson (UNLV) def. Joe Woolley/Egbert Weverink (Utah) 6-4

3. Dan Little/Azat Hankuliyev (Utah) def. Richard Solberg/Jordan Sauer (UNLV) 6-2

 
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,2,5,6,4,3)

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Utes Finish Off Road Trip with a Win Over VCU

NORFOLK, V.A. – The University of Utah men’s tennis team ended their road trip to Virginia today with a 4-2 win over Virginia Commonwealth University. With this with, the Utes move to an overall record of 15-2 on the season.

“Today came down to heart,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “We didn’t play great, found ourselves in a hole, but fought very hard and came back for the win over a tough VCU team.”

The Utes were able to take the early advantage, as they were able to earn the double’s point over VCU. Dan Little and Azat Hankuliyev got things started on the No. 3 court, beating out Inigo Torre Martin and Timo Zgraggen with a score of 6-2. Joe Woolley and Egbert Weverinkthen finished things up at the No. 1 position, defeating Victor Lima and Philip Mobius with a final score of 6-2 to give the Utes an early lead heading into singles play.

In singles, VCU was able to take the first two matches, giving the Rams a 2-1 lead over the Utes. Santiago Sierra then evened the score up with a victory at the No. 6 spot, edging out Timo Zgraggen with a score of 7-6, 6-4.  Dan Little then pitched in a win of his own at the No. 1 position, defeating VCU’s Victor Lima with a score of 5-6, 6-1, 6-1. Then to seal the victory for the Utah men’s tennis team, Joe Woolleyfinished off Inigo Torre Martin, 7-5, 2-6, 7-6, to give the Utes the 4-2 victory.

The University of Utah men’s tennis team will be back in action next week for another road trip, this time to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada, to take on the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The match against the Rebels is scheduled for Friday, March 9th, with the time for the match yet to be determined.

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No. 24 Utes to Make Road Trip to Virginia

SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah men’s tennis team will be back in action this weekend, as they will make a road trip to Norfolk, Virginia, to take on Old Dominion (7-5) and Virginia Commonwealth University (7-3).  The Utes will head into this weekend being ranked 24thoverall in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, boasting an overall record of 14-1.

The Utes are scheduled to take on the Old Dominion Monarchs this Friday, March 2nd, at 11 a.m. MST. That match will then be followed by a match on Saturday, March 3rd, against the VCU Rams at 10 a.m. MST, with both matches being held in the Thalhimer Tennis Center.

“It’s a great achievement to be ranked number 24 in the nation, but we haven’t reached our goals yet and still have lots of room for improvement,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “We look forward to an incredibly tough and challenging weekend in Virginia against two very good teams. Two more opportunities to improve and get closer to reaching our overall goals.”

Utah Notes
The University of Utah men’s tennis team is coming off of a weekend consisting of two victories. Their first victory was against the University of New Mexico, where they finished off the Lobos with a final score of 4-2. They then faced off against UC Santa Barbara, coming away with a victory of 5-2. Against Santa Barbara, The Utes started the day off by taking the doubles point, giving them the early advantage. Dan Littleand Azat Hankuliyev were victorious at the No. 3 spot against UCSB’s Joseph Guillin and Victor Krustev, with a final score of 6-3. Joe Woolleyand Egbert Weverink then sealed the doubles point with a win on the No. 2 court over Simon Freund and Joseph Rotheram, with a score of 7-6. In singles, Dan Little got things rolling with a win at the No. 2 position, beating out Simon Freund with a score of 6-4, 6-2. David Micevski then followed with a win of his own at the No. 1 position, cruising by Nicolas Moreno De Alboran, 6-4, 6-1. Then to ensure the victory for the Utes, Joe Woolley earned a win at the No. 6 spot over Hironori Koyanagi, with a final score of 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Santiago Sierra recorded the final victory for the Utes at the No. 5 spot, defeating Victor Krustev with a score of 6-4, 6-4.

Opponent Notes
Over the weekend, the Old Dominion men’s tennis team was able to earn a 4-1 victory over the 14th ranked team in the country, Dartmouth College. After dropping the doubles point, the No. 46 Old Dominion men’s tennis team went on to win four singles matches, all in straight sets, to stun No. 14 Dartmouth at Boss Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon.

Virginia Commonwealth University is coming off a loss to Penn State, VCU battled with the Nittany Lions, but dropped crucial points and ultimately lost 5-0. Freshman duo Inigo Torre Martin and Timo Zgraggen got the Rams off on the right foot, beating Gabriel Nemeth and Matt Galush 6-2 at No. 3 doubles. After Penn State won No. 2 doubles, the point came down to the result on Court 1. Juniors Vitor Lima and Philip Mobius were tied 5-5 with Constant De La Bassetiere and Christian Lakoseljac, but couldn’t find a break point and lost in a tiebreak. The Nittany Lions swept No. 1 through 4 singles to clinch the match. Mobius and junior Arvid Noren forced third sets, but fell in the deciding set. Before VCU’s match against the Utes, the Rams will face off against the University of Saint Louis for an Atlantic 10 tennis match on Friday, March 2nd.

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Utah Defeats UCSB, Improves to 14-1

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of Utah men’s tennis team defeated UC Santa Barbara earlier today with a score of 5-2. With this win, the No. 40 Utes improve to an overall record of 14-1.

“Gutsy performance by our guys today,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “Great win to get us to 14-1 and keep us on track to reach our goals.”

The Utes started the day off by taking the doubles point, giving them the early advantage. Dan Little and Azat Hankuliyev were victorious at the No. 3 spot against UCSB’s Joseph Guillin and Victor Krustev, with a final score of 6-3. Joe Woolley and Egbert Weverink then sealed the doubles point with a win on the No. 2 court over Simon Freund and Joseph Rotheram, with a score of 7-6.

In singles, Dan Little got things rolling with a win at the No. 2 position, beating out Simon Freund with a score of 6-4, 6-2. David Micevski then followed with a win of his own at the No. 1 position, cruising by Nicolas Moreno De Alboran, 6-4, 6-1. Then to ensure the victory for the Utes, Joe Woolley earned a win at the No. 6 spot over Hironori Koyanagi, with a final score of 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Santiago Sierra recorded the final victory for the Utes at the No. 5 spot, defeating Victor Krustev with a score of 6-4, 6-4.

The Utes will be back in action next week, as they will make a road trip to Norfolk, Virginia. They will face off against Old Dominion on Friday, March 2nd, at 11 a.m., followed by a match against Virginia Commonwealth University on Saturday, March 3rd, at 10 a.m., to wrap up competition for the weekend.

Utah 5, UCSB 2

Doubles (3,1,2)
Nicolas Moreno De Alboran/Anders Holm (UCSB) def. Randy Cory/David Micevski (UTAH), 6-2
Joe Woolley/Egbert Weverink (UTAH) def. Simon Freund/Joseph Rotheram (UCSB), 7-6
Dan Little/Azat Hankuliyev (UTAH) def. Joseph Guillin/Victor Krustev (UCSB), 6-3

Singles (4,2,1,3,6,5)
David Micevski (UTAH) def. Nicolas Moreno De Alboran (UCSB), 6-4, 6-1
Dan Little (UTAH) def. Simon Freund (UCSB), 6-4, 6-2
Anders Holm (UCSB) def. Egbert Weverink (UTAH), 6-3, 6-3
Joseph Guillin (UCSB) def. Randy Cory (UTAH), 6-2, 6-3
Santiago Sierra (UTAH) def. Victor Krustev (UCSB), 6-4, 6-4
Joe Woolley (UTAH) def. Hironori Koyanagi (UCSB), 6-1, 3-6, 6-1

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