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Men's Tennis Defeats Utah in Pac-12 Quarterfinals

Apr 21, 2022
Bryce Pereira (Photo: Pac-12)

OJAI, Calif. – Behind a comeback effort from Bryce Pereira, the fifth-seeded UCLA men's tennis team outlasted No. 4-seed Utah for a 4-2 result Thursday at Libbey Park.

Trailing 2-5 in his third set on Court 4, Pereira rallied to force a tiebreaker, which he ultimately seized in clinching fashion. The Bruins (13-11) also received singles wins from Stefan Leustian and Giacomo Revelli after taking the doubles point. After trailing by a 3-0 score, the Utes (20-7) cut their deficit to one with victories by Geronimo Espin Busleiman and Bruno Krenn.

UCLA suffered a 4-0 loss at Utah in the teams' regular-season conference finale (April 17).

Pereira and Jeffrey Fradkin gave the Bruins an edge in doubles play, scoring a 6-4 win against Jayson Blando and Mathias Gavelin on Court 3. Fradkin and Pereira have how teamed to win three matches in a row. Another freshman-senior combination on Court 2 sealed the opening point, though, as Karl Lee and Max Wild squeezed past Francisco Bastias and Bruno Caula in a 7-5 decision. The victory marked the first for Lee and Wild as pair.

Stefan Leustian earned his fourth straight-set win in a row to start singles play, handing Gavelin a 6-3, 6-1 defeat on Court 5. Leustian now has a team-high 19 singles victories on the campaign, dating back to the fall.

Revelli grabbed his fourth singles win in as many decisions, going the distance for a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 result against Bastias on the second court, pushing UCLA's lead to 3-0.

The Utes charged back with back-to-back wins on Courts 3 and 6. First to finish was No. 98 Geronimo Espin Busleiman, who held off Lee with a 7-6(6), 7-5 showing on 3. The Bruins' lead then shrunk to one when Bruno Krenn notched a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory versus Fradkin.

With the top-court matchup between Capablo and Zahraj locked in a third set, Pereira was mounting his response on Court 4. Caula took five of the first seven games in the deciding set, but, after coming out on top of one tiebreaker in the first, Pereira would do so again in the third. His 7-6(4), 1-6, 7-6(3) performance gave him six wins in seven decisions since joining the singles lineup. Of those six, four have come in clinching spots.

The Bruins will next face No. 1 Arizona or No. 8 Washington in Friday's semifinal round at 1 p.m. PT.

Tennis Match Results
UCLA vs Utah
4/21/2022 at Ojai, CA
(Libbey Park)

#46 UCLA 4, #33 Utah 2

Singles competition
1. Franco Capalbo (UTAH) vs. #75 Patrick Zahraj (UCLA) 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 2-3, unfinished
2. Giacomo Revelli (UCLA) def. Francisco Bastias (UTAH) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
3. #98 G. Espin Busleiman (UTAH) def. Karl Lee (UCLA) 7-6 (8-6), 7-5
4. Bryce Pereira (UCLA) def. Bruno Caula (UTAH) 7-6 (7-4), 1-6, 7-6 (7-3)
5. Stefan Leustian (UCLA) def. Mathias Gavelin (UTAH) 6-3, 6-1
6. Bruno Krenn (UTAH) def. Jeffrey Fradkin (UCLA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. #26 Franco Capalbo/G. Espin Busleiman (UTAH) vs. Giacomo Revelli/Patrick Zahraj (UCLA) 4-4, unfinished
2. Karl Lee/Max Wild (UCLA) def. Francisco Bastias/Bruno Caula (UTAH) 7-5
3. Jeffrey Fradkin/Bryce Pereira (UCLA) def. Jayson Blando/Mathias Gavelin (UTAH) 6-4

Match Notes:
UCLA 13-11; National ranking #46
Utah 20-7; National ranking #33
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,2,3,6,4)
Pac-12 Championships - Quarterfinal Round