Men's Tennis Hosts Boise State Saturday in Salt Lake City
The Utah men's tennis team is set to host the Boise State Broncos this Saturday, Feb. 13 at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center. Utah and Boise State will begin the match at 12 p.m. MT. Live stats will be available, while fans can tune into the free live stream to catch all the action.
HOME SWEET HOME
Utah is set for its fifth match of a seven-match home stretch. The Utes have won four straight home matches and opened the season win a home win over Grand Canyon. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Utah has dominated home play and holds a 68-17 (.800) record at the Eccles Tennis Center. In the past three seasons and the start of this year, the Utes are 41-6 in Salt Lake City (.872).
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 six wins this season, Brateanu has collected 99 wins at the helm of the program. Brateanu 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 collect 10 Pac-12 All-Conference selections and seven ITA Mountain Region end of year awards.
Utah's top doubles team of Franco Capalbo and Geronimo Busleiman have posted a 5-2 record so far this season in doubles action on court one. The pair picked up big wins against SMU and New Mexico's top doubles teams and have won four of their last five matches. Coming to Salt Lake City with court experience together, Capalbo and Busleiman were doubles teammates during their junior careers and excelled as partners. The duo reached the semifinals of the Junior French Open and won the Grade 1 ITS in Canada leading up to the U.S. Open. Although the two split for singles play, Capalbo and Busleiman have posted a team-high six singles wins to begin the year.
STEADY IN SINGLES
Utah has had the same six student-athletes play in all but one match, and has been led by its top three players all season. Slava Shainyan holds a 4-0 record in the No. 1 position and has a 5-2 overall record in singles play with the other win coming on court two. Capalbo has posted a 4-1 record at the No. 2 position and is tied with Busleiman for a team-high six wins. Busleiman has played mostly on court three and is 4-2 at the position and 2-0 on court four. Francisco Bastias primarily plays at the No. 4 spot, Mathias Gavelin at the No. 5 spot, and Bruno Krenn at the No. 6 position. Freshman Chris Heck saw his Ute debut in singles last weekend against New Mexico on court six.
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.
SCOUTING BOISE STATE
Boise State is 2-0 this season with wins over Montana (6-1) and Grand Canyon (7-0). The Broncos were slated for matches against UCLA, USC and LMU before the trip was called off for COVID-19 protocols. Boise State returns six letterwinners from a team that went 7-6 in 2020, including four All-Mountain West honorees Simon Arca Costas, Blake Bayldon, Wyatt DeMulling and Kyryll Kryvchun. Kryvchun has posted two wins on court one for the Broncos this year, while Luka Soskic has returned from a redshirt season and stepped into the No. 2 singles position.
The Utes will close out the seven-match home stretch next Sunday, Feb. 21 with a pair of matches to close out the weekend. Utah will open the day against Denver at 12 p.m. MT, while a match against Weber State will be played at 5 p.m. MT at the Eccles Tennis Center.