Men's Tennis To Host SMU and New Mexico
The Utah men's tennis program continues its home stretch this weekend, hosting SMU and New Mexico at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center. Utah will begin the weekend's competition against SMU on Saturday, Feb. 6 with the first serve scheduled for 4 p.m. MT. The Utes will be back on Sunday, Feb. 7 when they close out the weekend against New Mexico at 12 p.m. MT. No spectators are allowed, but are able to tune into a free live stream.
HOME SWEET HOME
Utah is set for its third and fourth matches of a seven match home stretch. The Utes opened the 2021 season with a win over Grand Canyon at home and last weekend picked up a pair of wins over Idaho State. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Utah has dominated home play and holds a 66-17 (.795) record at the Eccles Tennis Center. In the past three seasons and the start of this year, the Utes are 39-6 in Salt Lake City (.866).
ROAD TO 100
Three-time ITA Mountain Region Coach of the Year Roeland Brateanu is in his seventh season as the head coach of Utah. Including the four wins this season, Brateanu has collected 97 wins at the helm of the program and is just three shy of hitting 100 career wins. Brateanu has led the Utes to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2018 and 2019, No. 1 overall Mountain Region rankings, along with earning a spot in the final ITA/Oracle rankings in three of the last four seasons (excluding the shortened 2020 campaign). In his six seasons at the helm, he has seen the Utes notch 10 Pac-12 All-Conference selections and seven ITA Mountain Region end of year awards.
Utah tennis has become a destination for international players and this season is no different. The starting singles lineup boasts five international student-athletes, including three hailing from Argentina. Franco Capalbo, Geronimo Espin Busleiman and Francisco Bastias come from Argentina, while Slava Shainyan is from Russia and Mathias Gavelin from Sweden. The Utes have also welcomed graduate transfer Luis Flores who hails from Mexico and freshman Chris Heck, who is from Canada.
SMU is 6-4 this season, which includes a 5-2 win over the Utes a few weeks ago. The Mustangs are coming off a 4-3 upset over No. 23 Oklahoma on the road for the program's first win over a to-25 school since 2017. Caleb Chakravarthi plays in the No. 1 singles spot for SMU, while five different Mustangs have seen action in the second spot. Julian Steinhausen has a team-high four singles wins this year.
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO
The match versus Utah will be the second of the year for New Mexico after the Lobos open the year Friday, Feb. 5 against BYU. Last year, New Mexico posted a 5-7 record in the shortened season, which included a 4-3 win over Utah in Albuquerque. New Mexico returns Dominic West and Stephan Holis, who played as the No. 1 and No. 2 singles a year ago.
LAST TIME OUT
Utah picked up a pair of wins over Idaho State last weekend with a core of 5-2 in both matches. Franco Capalbo, Slava Shainyan, Geronimo Busleiman and Mathias Gavelin all earned singles wins in both matches, while Bruno Krenn and Francisco Bastias won one match a piece. Capalbo and Busleiman won their doubles match in the first contest, while Mathias Gavelin and Slava Shainyan teamed up for a win in the night capper.
Utah hosts Boise State on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 12 p.m. MT at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center for the Utes' sole match of the weekend.