Utah Tennis Hosts San Francisco Thursday, Travels South Saturday To Play BYU
The Utah men's tennis team will return to non-conference play this week, first hosting San Francisco this Thursday, Apr. 15 at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center at 12 p.m. MT. Then to close out the weekend, Utah will head to Provo to take on in-state rival BYU at 2 p.m. MT on Saturday, Apr. 17.
Thursday's match against San Francisco will allow spectators if the match is to be played outside. If there is intermittent weather or the temperature is lower than 50 degrees, the match will be played indoors. Live stats for Thursday's match can be found here. For the match against BYU, live stats can be found here, while a live stream will be available here only if the match is held indoors.
LEADING THE LINEUP
Freshman Franco Capalbo has won seven-straight matches, including a win over then-No. 65-ranked Jack Davis of Washington to start the winning streak and most recently No. 63 Jonas Ziverts of No. 20 Arizona. During the run, Capalbo has collected victories over opponents from Stanford, San Diego State, Nevada, Arizona State and Arizona as well. He has a team-best singles record of 14-3 this season with eight wins coming from court one, along with six on court two. Capalbo also has the third-most doubles wins with nine on the season. He has the best singles win percentage on the team and has the second-best win percentage in doubles play.
Geronimo Busleiman has been crucial to Utah's doubles play this season, and holds a team-best 15-8 record. He holds the most wins in doubles play by five and has a team-high .652 win percentage. Busleiman has paired with Franco Capalbo where the duo has posted an 8-4 record on court one, while he has also played with Chris Heck and Mathias Gavelin. Busleiman and Heck have totaled three wins, while he has earned four with Gavelin.
SCOUTING SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco is 7-6 overall with wins over Nevada, UC Davis and Portland to highlight this spring's slate. The Dons are coming off a weekend sweep in WCC play after downing Portland and Gonzaga before heading to Salt Lake City. Nitzan Ricklis plays in the No. 1 singles position for the Dons and has picked up six dual wins, while Paul Giraud holds a team-high eight dual wins this season from the No. 2 position. Utah last played San Francisco in 2019 where the Utes took the 4-0 victory in Salt Lake City.
BYU will head into the weekend holding an 11-5 overall record, which includes a 5-0 mark in WCC play. The Cougars are 9-1 at home this season and are the winners of five-straight. BYU is led by seniors Ben Gajardo and Sean Hill, who are both 13-2 on the year, and Sam Tulis, who is 9-5 overall. Gajardo and Jack Barnett are ranked No. 71 in the latest ITA doubles rankings, holding a 6-1 record on court one. Utah dropped its match to BYU last season in Salt Lake City and will look to avenge the loss this year down in Provo.
LAST TIME OUT
Utah hosted No. 27 Arizona State and No. 20 Arizona to close out Pac-12 play. The Utes dropped a tight 4-2 match against Arizona State after three courts went to third sets, but the Utes just didn't have enough singles wins to come out on top. In the conference finale, Utah stunned No. 20 Arizona and upset the Wildcats after winning 4-3. The Utes started from behind after falling in doubles narrowly. In singles, Mathias Gavelin put up Utah's first point from court five, while Slava Shaniyan added another point on court three. The duo's straight sets wins were then followed by Franco Capalbo downing his ranked opponent in straight sets to give Utah a 3-1 lead. Arizona responded and took three-set victories on courts two and six to tie the match 3-3. With the match in his hands, Francisco Bastias took control of his third set early on and rolled to a 6-3 win to clinch the match and complete the upset for Utah.
Utah will have its final match of the regular season next Wednesday, Apr. 21, hosting the Weber State Wildcats for senior day at the Eccles Tennis Center. Utah and Weber State will have the first serve at 3 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City. Utah will honor seniors Slava Shainyan, Randy Cory, Luis Flores and Benjamin Heck, along with former Utes Russell Benkaim and Azat Hankuliyev.