Ute Tennis Hosts Utah State, Montana Saturday In Salt Lake City
The Utah men's tennis team (8-4) is set for a pair of matches on Saturday, March 6 at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center in Salt Lake City. Utah will host in-state foe Utah State (5-2) at 10 a.m. MT to begin the day, while taking on Montana (3-4) at 3 p.m. MT to wrap up the day's play.
A live stream for both matches will be available here, while stats for the match against Utah State can be found here and Montana can be found here.
SLAVA SERVIN' IT UP
Senior Slava Shainyan is coming off a team-best 13-2 singles record last year and has carried the momentum over to his super senior year in 2021. Shainyan has an 8-3 record to this point, which includes a 6-1 record on court one. The Moscow, Russia native has claimed notable wins over top singles players from Denver, SMU and most recently Drake to lead the Utes. Shainyan rode a six-match winning streak and did not lose a singles match for nearly a month.
Utah's top doubles team of Franco Capalbo and Geronimo Busleiman have posted a 7-2 record so far this season in doubles action on court one. The winners of four straight, the Ute pair is coming off a win over the nation's No. 42-ranked duo from Denver a few weeks ago. Capalbo and Busleiman have won six of their last seven 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.
SCOUTING UTAH STATE
Utah State is 5-2 this season and is coming off a 4-3 win over BYU. Utah State returns all but one player from last year's roster, welcoming back five letterwinners and one player who redshirted the 2020 season. Fifth year senior Sergiu Bucur plays at the top singles position, while Felipe Acosta holds down court two. Javier Ruiz has posted a team-best 6-1 record on court five. Acosta and Ruiz team up for doubles and are 4-3 overall on court one to lead the way. In addition to the win over BYU, Utah State has wins over Colorado Mesa, Weber State, Idaho State and Eastern Washington. Last year, the Utes beat the Aggies 6-1 in Salt Lake City.
Montana heads into the weekend with a 3-4 record and will play BYU before making the trip to Salt Lake City. The Griz have recorded a 6-1 win over Grand Canyon, as well as a pair of 7-0 sweeps over Whitworth. Ed Pudney and Oisin Shaffrey have both played at the No. 1 singles position and each earned three dual wins. Last season, Utah swept Montana 7-0 in Salt Lake City.
LAST TIME OUT
Utah hit the road for matches against Drake and Texas Tech. The Utes started off the trip with a 4-3 win over Drake, where the team fell in doubles play, but bounced back to rally in singles and earn the road win. Slava Shainyan, Geronimo Busleiman, Bruno Krenn and Francisco Bastias picked up singles wins to complete the road win in Des Moines, Iowa. Utah then made the trip to Lubbock, Texas and fell to Texas Tech 7-0 to wrap up the weekend.
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.
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. After sweeping Boise State, 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 will look to a six-match road swing starting next week in California. The Utes will play at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles on Tuesday, March 9, before playing at San Diego State on Wednesday, March 10. Utah will then open conference action that weekend, remaining in Los Angeles to take on UCLA on Friday, March 12, and USC on Saturday, March 13.