Ute Tennis Drops Match To No. 10 USC
LOS ANGELES – The Utah men's tennis team wrapped up its season-opening weekend of Pac-12 matches on Saturday night where the Utes fell to No. 10-ranked USC 7-0 at Marks Stadium. The Utes pushed the Trojans to three-set matches on two courts and had two tiebreak sets, but it was not enough to overcome the ranked squad.
Utah began the match by falling early in doubles play and trailing 1-0 heading into singles after the Trojans picked up quick wins on courts two and three. Utah's No. 1 doubles team of Slava Shainyan and Francisco Bastias held a 5-4 lead over the nation's No. 1-ranked team of Cukierman and Smith before the match was suspended.
In singles play, Utah put up a fight on all courts, but saw losses across the board in the first set to put themselves in a hole immediately. Bastias and Bruno Krenn battled through tight first sets and after pushing USC's Weststrate and Sands, respectively, to a tiebreaker, both Utes fell short and dropped the set 7-6.
Geronimo Busleiman was the first Ute to fall after USC's Frye picked up the 6-3, 6-3 win to push the lead to 2-0. Shainyan then fell to No. 19-ranked Riley Smith on the top court after dropping a close 6-4 set in the first and eventually 6-3 after falling in a 3-0 hole to start the second set. Although USC led 3-0, Utah remained in the match as courts four, five and six were leading their second sets and Bastias had just begun his second set.
Krenn jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second set after coming up short in the tiebreaker the set before, but USC's Sands rallied to cut the gap and after going back-and-forth, Sands ultimately rallied and took the 7-5 win for the match clinching point. Bastias found himself in the same position where he dropped the tiebreaker and could not get it done in the second set, falling 6-3.
Meanwhile, courts five and six battled it out in third sets as Chris Heck and Luis Flores looked to put Utah on the board after they each bounced back for a second-set victory to extend the match. Heck dropped his third set 6-3 after playing from behind the entire set, while Flores had his match in a position to win before the set became tied 5-5, and ultimately dropped the next two games to end the night.
Utah tennis will be back in action next Friday, March 19 at Washington in Seattle. The Utes and Huskies will have first serve at 4 p.m. MT at Bill Quillian Tennis Stadium. Utah will then travel to Eugene, Ore., taking on the Oregon Ducks on Sunday, March 21.
Utah 0, #10 USC 7
(1) #1 Cukierman/R. Smith (USC) vs. Bastias/Shainyan (UTAH) - 4-5 susp.
(2) Sands/Weststrate (USC) def. Flores/Krenn (UTAH) - 6-2
(3) Frye/Holt (USC) def. Busleiman/C. Heck (UTAH) - 6-1
Order of finish: 3, 2
(1) #19 Riley Smith (USC) def. Slava Shainyan (UTAH) - 6-4, 6-3
(2) Bradley Frye (USC) def. Geronimo Busleiman (UTAH) - 6-3, 6-3
(3) Lodewijk Weststrate (USC) def. Francisco Bastias (UTAH) - 7-6 (6), 6-3
(4) Jake Sands (USC) def. Bruno Krenn (UTAH) - 7-6 (3), 7-5
(5) Sean Holt (USC) def. Chris Heck (UTAH) - 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
(6) Colter Smith (USC) def. Luis Flores (UTAH) - 6-2, 2-6, 7-5
Order of finish: 2, 1, 4, 3, 5, 6