Over the weekend, the Utah women’s tennis team traveled to Boulder and defeated Colorado in a 4-1 victory at The Meadows Swim and Tennis Center. This was the Utes’ final regular season match, bringing their record to 13-10, but just 3-7 in Pac-12 play heading into the postseason.
“I thought we played a solid match,” said head coach Mat Iandolo. “I don’t feel like it was anything spectacular, but I feel like we got the job done. This was either the sixth or seventh time beating Colorado, so it feels pretty good.”
When Colorado took the lead in the double matches, the pair of sophomore Margo Pletcher and freshman Brianna Turley tied it up with a 7-5 victory. In the last doubles match, a thrilling 7-6 (7-4) victory from the duo of freshman Taylor Calton and junior Luisa Gerstner Da Rosa led to the Utes securing the first point of the match.
After Fletcher fell in the No. 1 spot to kick off singles play, the Utes bounced back in an impressive fashion. Senior Sarah Richter defeated her Colorado counterpart 6-1, 6-4, then Turley came away with another win, this time a nail-biting three-set 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 victory, to put Utah back up two points, 3-1.
In the last single match of the night of those that were completed, sophomore Jena Cheng won the three-set match 6-1, 6-7 (1-7), 6-1, clinching victory for the Utes.
“Today was good,” Richter said. “Everybody was fighting hard and was really focused. It was exciting, so I’m really happy how today played out.”
As Richter and her teammates celebrate their final match victory of the regular season, Iandolo reflects on last year at the Pac-12 Championships, Utah’s next contest, hoping to do better this time around.
“We did okay, not great, last year at the [Pac-12 Championships],” Iandolo said. “Last year wasn’t spectacular, so this year, I just want some good individual showings. I think we have some people who could do really well in the events, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Last year, the Utes finished their regular season with a record of 10-13 and 4-6 in Pac-12 play. As the Utes continued through the postseason at the 2015 Pac-12 Championships, Richter and Cheng, the Utes who advanced the farthest that year, were defeated by a USC pair in the doubles invitational semifinals.
Though that was the end for the Utes, this year has been promising, as the Utes head into this year’s conference championships with a better record overall, and in the Pac-12.
“I think we all can go in with a good feeling,” Richter said. “We played a good season. We have nothing to lose, so I think it is going to be great for all the girls.”
Up next, the Utes will head to Ojai, Calif. to compete at the women’s Pac-12 Championships from April 21-24.