Utah’s first victory against a Pac-12 opponent came in the final match of the regular season. The Utes traveled to Arizona to face the Wildcats to conclude the regular season and came away with a commanding 6-1 win. The victory came none too soon, as the Utes now shift gears to focus on the Pac-12 Tournament in Ojai, Calif.
“It is great to close out the regular season with a win and head into postseason play with a win under our belt,” said Utah head coach Roeland Brateanu in a press release. “This will definitely help our confidence going into this week’s Pac-12 Championships.”
Despite a short-lived window of hope for the Wildcats in the form of a Shoki Kasahara 7-5, 6-4 singles victory over Utah’s Jamey Swiggart, the Utes dismantled the Wildcats from the get-go. Utah buckled down behind the driver’s wheel early rolling into singles play, up 1-0 following victories from doubles pairings Egbert Weverink/Freddie McGeehan and Parker McGuiness/Swiggart, who won their matches 6-1, 6-3, respectively to earn the doubles point.
Utah was then able to transfer its doubles momentum into singles play, as Utah’s David Micevski and McGuiness tallied victories at the No. 2 and 5 spots, 6-2, 6-3 and 6-1, 6-4, respectively.
With a 3-0 lead over the Wildcats, the Utes could have turned on the cruise control to seal the match. The Utes answered Arizona’s only point with deciding victories from Dan Little and Weverink, who defeated Jason Jaruvang and Trent Botha at the No. 3 and 4 spots, respectively.
Utah finished the season with its highest win total in nearly 30 years at 17-9. In addition to snatching a conference victory before concluding the regular season, Utah secured the No. 7 seed in the Pac-12 Championship bracket.
This Wednesday, the Utes will try for a first-round upset over the six-seeded Washington Huskies, who narrowly defeated Utah 4-3 in Seattle this year. The Utes will look to play off of the high note with which they finished the season when they face the Huskies on a neutral site.
If they win, on deck for the Utes would be three-seeded Cal, whose 15-5 (5-2) record earned it a bye through the first round of tournament play.