This past weekend the University of Utah women’s tennis team returned to action as it competed in the Courtside Classic hosted by the University of Minnesota and faced off against both DePaul University and University of Minnesota. Utah defeated the DePaul Blue Demons by a score of 6-1 and the Golden Gophers 4-3.
“Overall I think they [it] went really well, we obviously came out with the win in the whole tournament,” Brianna Chisholm said. “I feel like everyone the whole weekend was fighting, and we all played really smart, good tennis.”
The dominant Utah performance started off with the Utes competing in doubles competition. The team of Jena Cheng and Alexia Petrovic took on Milica Tesic and Aspasia Avgeri of DePaul. Cheng and Petrovic defeated the pair 6-4. The second pair to compete was Brianna Chisholm and Margo Pletcher, who defeated Keisha Clousing and Patricia Lancranjan, 6-4. The final match was a DePaul forfeit, giving the Utes the sweep in that category.
The winning did not stop there for the Utes. They defeated DePaul in five out of their six singles matches. The Utah victories came from Petrovic, Chisholm, Pletcher, Victoria Robertson and Whitney Turley. Cheng was the only Ute defeated in singles play.
Day two of the classic against Minnesota was as eventful as the previous day. The Utes first competed in the doubles matches, where Pletcher and Chisholm defeated Caitlyn Merzbacher and Mehvish Safdar 6-1. Utah gained another victory when Taylor Calton and Whitney Turley won 6-4 after taking down Caroline Ryba and Cammy Frei.
The singles sets were tougher for the Utes, but three of the six Utes competing came out with victories. Chisholm took down Tina Kreinis, 6-1, 6-1. The next victory came during the fourth match when Cheng defeated Barbara Mancera 1-6, 7-5, 6-4. The final Ute victory of the day was awarded when Calton defeated Camila Vargas Gomez 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Head coach Mat Iandolo was impressed with what his team was able to do over the weekend in such a reputable event. He was also pleased with the way Chisholm has improved her game.
“It was a successful weekend, we won both matches and we won the event. And the event is a fairy prestigious event. I felt mission accomplished there,” Iandolo said. “[Chisholm is] a very talented player. When hard work matches with her talent, then she’s going to have success.”
Iandolo said that the staff has lessened the intensity of practices over the past few days, but practices will pick up again as the team gets ready for its home meets. Chisholm said Utah is preparing not only physically, but mentally for its upcoming matches.
“I think it’s more about putting in the time we know we need to and and preparing for all four home matches we have this coming weekend,” Chisholm said.
The Utes return to their stomping grounds for a four-game home stand. Game one gets underway on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. against Utah State at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center.