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Men's Tennis Closes Out Home Stretch Sunday Against Denver, Weber State

Feb 18, 2021

The Utah men's tennis team is set to close out the run of seven matches at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center this Sunday, Feb. 21, hosting Denver and Weber State for a pair of matches. Utah and Denver will kick off the day at 12 p.m. MT, while the Utes and Wildcats will have the first serve scheduled for 5 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City. For links to live stats and a stream for both matches, visit to the Utah men's tennis schedule page.
The Utes have won five 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 69-17 (.802) record at the Eccles Tennis Center. In the past three seasons and the start of this year, the Utes are 42-6 in Salt Lake City (.875).
Three-time ITA Mountain Region Coach of the Year Roeland Brateanu is in his seventh season as the head coach of Utah. After sweeping Boise State last weekend, Brateanu reached 100 career 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 6-2 record so far this season in doubles action on court one. The winners of three straight, the Ute pair has notable wins against SMU and New Mexico's top doubles teams and have won five of their last six 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 seven singles wins to begin the year.
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 6-2 overall record in singles play with the other wins coming on court two. Capalbo is tied with Busleiman for a team-high seven wins with three on court one and four on court two. Busleiman has played mostly on court three and is 5-2 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 against New Mexico on court six where his match was unfinished.
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 CapalboGeronimo 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.
Denver is 3-2 overall heading into the weekend's matches. The Pioneers will face Utah State in Logan, Utah prior to making the trip north to Salt Lake City. Denver has won its last three matches – Air Force, Wichita State, and UNLV – after dropping the first two contests of the season at the ITA Kickoff. The 2020 Denver squad finished the shortened season 12-1, including a mark of nine-straight victories to open the year, and were ranked as high as No. 35 in the nation last year. James Davis and Matt Summers were ranked as the nation's No. 42 doubles tandem on Jan. 13 and are 3-2 on the season in the top doubles position. Davis has a team-high four dual wins in singles play, holding a 3-0 record on court two and 1-1 on court three. The Pios beat the Utes last season in Denver 4-3.

Weber State has compiled a 2-3 record so far this season, picking up 5-2 wins over Montana and New Mexico State. The Wildcats have fallen to in-state foes BYU and Utah State, while dropping a road contest at UNLV. Kris Van Wyk holds the No. 1 singles position for Weber State and is 3-2. Sebastian Buxman has posted a team-high four dual wins in singles at the No. 3 slot. Buxman has split time between court one and two in doubles play with Arthur Serafim to lead the Wildcats in doubles. Last season, Utah took the 5-2 win over Weber State in Salt Lake City.

Utah will play its first road match in a month when the team heads to Iowa City, Iowa to face the Drake Bulldogs. Utah and Drake will play on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. MT. Then, Utah will make the trip to Lubbock, Texas to play Texas Tech on Sunday, Feb. 28. First serve will be at 9 a.m. MT to close out the road trip.