It was set to be bright and sunny in Los Angeles, Calif. this past weekend when the University of Utah’s women’s tennis team embarked on a trip to compete against USC and UCLA. Competing against the Trojans, who are currently ranked No. 40, and also competing against the No. 20 Bruins would ensure a tough battle for the Utes. In the end, the Utes would fall short with a loss against both cutthroat teams.
“I felt like we got a slow start in both matches, and it really hurt us because when you’re playing against great teams on the road or at their home place and if you don’t set the tone early it is hard to get into the match because they play really well downhill,” said head coach Mat Iandolo. “Overall I was probably a little disappointed in our performance. Not that it kills us to lose to those two teams on the road, but it would have been nice to steal a win down there and we just weren’t able to do it.”
The weekend began with the Utes vs. Trojans on Friday, April 7. The Utes doubles teams dueled between three nationally ranked Trojan doubles teams. The matchup between Utah sophomore Brianna Turley and freshman Whitney Turley and the No. 38 ranked Zoë Katz and Gabby Smith of the Trojans would cause the Utes to ultimately lose the doubles point.
Senior, Luisa Gerstner Da Rosa and junior, Alexia Petrovic also fell short to the Trojans’ No. 61 Angela Kulikov and Madison Westby. After all the double plays, the Utes lost six single matches to USC. All in all, the Utes lost 7-0 during Friday’s matchups giving the Utes a 7-7 overall record and 2-5 conference record.
On Saturday, April 8, the Utes faced the UCLA Lady Bruins. Saturday began with the Bruins clinching the doubles points with a win in the No.1 and No. 3 spots. Utah’s junior, Margo Pletcher and sophomore, Taylor Calton were defeated by nationally ranked Jada Hart and Teri Fleming, 6-1 in the No. 1 spot. Afterward, doubles teammates Alexia Petrovic and Luisa Gerstner Da Rosa dropped to Kristin Wiley and Ena Shibahara during a 6-1 defeat for the Bruins.
During the singles competitions, the Bruins clinched all three victories against the Utes to come out with a 4-0 win. The weekend’s fierce competitions resulted in another loss for the Utes, but that doesn’t mean they won’t come back with a thirst to win for this week’s upcoming matches between the Utah State Aggies and the No. 37 Oregon Ducks.
“We are definitely going to use Utah State to get ready for Oregon, for sure,” Iandolo said. “Just trying to get a solid match under our belt against somebody who is going to compete hard against us on the road.”
On Tuesday, April 11 at 2 p.m. the Utes will travel to Logan to take on the Aggies. This match will help prepare the Utes for their matchup between the Oregon Ducks on Friday, April 14 at Eccles Tennis Center.
“My advice for the team about the remainder of the season would be to take [it] one match at a time, but I want to win the last four matches and make the NCAA Tournament,” Iandolo said. “I feel like if we can sweep the last four then we will have the chance to make the NCAA.”