With the school year coming to a close, the men’s tennis team at the University of Utah is putting the final touches on its season with the Pac-12 Championships coming up next week. Over the past weekend, the Utes traveled to California to compete against the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins. The Utes knew they were going to have to bring the heat during Friday and Saturday’s matches, but they ultimately fell to both the Bruins, 4-2, and the Trojans, 7-0.
“With the exception of the doubles points, I thought we competed very well against UCLA on Friday and held our own against one of the very best teams in the nation,” said assistant coach Daniel Pollock. “We continued to show the spirit and fight that got us a win against Washington at home the previous week, however, against USC we did not show the best version of Utah tennis and lacked the discipline and execution of the previous day.”
The Utes first squared off with the No. 7 Bruins on Friday. Dan Little and Parker McGuiness secured the two lone points for the Utes that day as they won their singles competition.
“Being able to stand toe to toe with a dynasty program like UCLA and be right there with a chance to win is something we can hold our heads up high about,” Pollock said. “It wasn’t the result we wanted, but we can be proud of the way we competed.”
Little’s victory was all the more impressive considering he bested UCLA’s No.43 Martin Redlicki at the No. 2 spot, scoring 7-5, 6-1.
“Dan Little stepped up and handed his opponent, a nationally ranked singles player and last years NCAA doubles champion, his first loss of the season at the number two position,” Pollock said. “That was a big time performance.”
The following day, the Utes geared up for a match against another powerful California Pac-12 team, the USC Trojans. By the end of the day, the Utes were swept by a score of 7-0 score. After losing this match, the Utes now have an overall record of 15-9, and they are 1-5 in conference play. Pollock would like to see his team put up more of a consistent effort as the season dwindles down to a close.
“We need to start more quickly and sustain our level of play for longer periods,” Pollock said. “There are too many ups and downs in our matches.”
Before Utah gets into postseason action, it will close out conference play with a match against Arizona. The match is set to take place on Saturday, Apr. 22 at 3 p.m. at the Eccles Tennis Center.
“Every day we get to practice and compete is an opportunity to get better and show people who we are and what we can do,” Pollock said. “There aren’t many opportunities left, we can’t afford to waste them.”