Ute Tennis Suffers First Home Loss, Falls 4-3 In Hard-Fought Match To Denver
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's tennis team (7-3) dropped a hard-fought match on Sunday afternoon to the Denver Pioneers (5-2), falling 4-3 at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center. In a match that saw seven tiebreakers and four three-set matches, the Utes didn't have enough in the tank to pull out the win and lost at home for the first time this season.
Utah had to fight for the doubles point as the top two courts went to tiebreakers and court three was just as close through its entirety. Luis Flores and Bruno Krenn fell behind early 1-3, but rallied to win the next three games and take the 4-3 lead. After the match was tied 4-4, Flores and Krenn won the final two games to get the Utes closer to the point.
Slava Shainyan and Mathias Gavelin on court two built a lead and got to a 5-3 advantage, though the Pioneer duo climbed back and won the next three games to lead 6-5. Gavelin and Shainyan stopped the run and tied the match 6-6, but ultimately fell 7-5 in the tiebreaker to leave the doubles point up to court one.
Franco Capalbo and Geronimo Busleiman found themselves in a tiebreaker as well after trading games from the start. The Ute duo jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the tiebreaker and although Denver's top duo of Matt Summers and James Davis, who are ranked No. 42 in the nation, cut the lead late, Capalbo and Busleiman pulled out the 7-4 win in the tiebreaker to win the doubles point.
Singles played out to be just as tight as doubles. Three first-set matches went to tiebreakers as two others were just as competitive. Denver won five first sets to give some breathing room, but although the Utes fought back, Denver was able to take four singles matches to clinch the team win.
Gavelin dropped his first set in a tiebreaker and then fell 6-2 in the second to tie the score 1-1. Capalbo was the sole Ute to win his first set, but Denver's Davis on court two turned it around and won the next two sets 6-1 to see Denver pull ahead 2-1. Match point for the Pios came after Krenn dropped his tiebreaker in the first and then battled back from down 5-2 to force another tiebreaker. Krenn gave it everything he had but ultimately fell 10-8 to Denver's Krulig at the No. 6 spot.
Hopes of winning the remaining three courts ended with a loss on court three. Busleiman fell quickly 6-1 in his first set, but in the second rallied from behind 4-5 and took the 7-5 win to force a third. The steam ran out and Busleiman dropped the third set 6-2 as Denver clinched the match.
Utah's top singles player in Shainyan battled out two tiebreakers in the first two sets and although he dropped the first, he was able to win the second tiebreaker 7-5 to force a third. With the match already decided, the two singles players played a tiebreaker for the third where Shainyan put a Ute point on the board after winning 10-5. On court five, Francisco Bastias also dropped his first set tiebreaker, but then held on for a 6-4 win in the second. Bastias traded games throughout the third, but with the set tied 4-4, he won the next two games to close out the day and give Utah its third point of the match.
The Utes will travel to Des Moines, Iowa to face Drake on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. MT. Utah will then face Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 9 a.m. MT to close out the road trip.
Utah 3, Denver 4
1. Slava Shainyan (UTAH) def. Mattia Ros (DEN) 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-5), 1-0 (10-5)
2. James Davis (DEN) def. Franco Capalbo (UTAH) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
3. Matt Summers (DEN) def. Geronimo Busleiman (UTAH) 6-1, 5-7, 6-2
4. Peter Sallay (DEN) def. Mathias Gavelin (UTAH) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
5. Francisco Bastias (UTAH) def. Nicolas H. Cuesta (DEN) 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-4
6. Daniel Krulig (DEN) def. Bruno Krenn (UTAH) 7-5, 7-6 (10-8)
1. Franco Capalbo/Geronimo Busleiman (UTAH) def. #42 Matt Summers/James Davis (DEN) 7-6 (7-4)
2. Mattia Ros/Peter Sallay (DEN) def. Mathias Gavelin/Slava Shainyan (UTAH) 7-6 (7-5)
3. Luis Flores/Bruno Krenn (UTAH) def. Nicolas H. Cuesta/Ignacio R. Crespo (DEN) 6-4