Utes At A Glance

Track team heads to Provo

The U men’s and women’s track teams head to Provo this weekend for the BYU Invitational at the Cougars’ Outdoor Track and Field Complex. The meet kicks off Friday morning with the field events and continues on Saturday with the track events.

The Utes are coming off one of the team’s most successful outdoor track meets in recent memory. The usually strong women’s team earned four gold medals at last weekend’s meet at Sacramento State, but the story was in the three gold medals won by the traditionally weaker men’s team.

Having already faced the athletes on the Y’s nationally ranked track team at the meet last weekend, the Utes will likely not be intimidated.

Head coach Lisa Archer spoke about her team’s quick success and expressed hope that it would signify success for the remainder of the outdoor season.

“The opening meet was a great way for us to kick off our outdoor season,” Archer said. “It showed that we are strong in several events. We are looking forward to competing in Provo this weekend.”

Golf Team Off to

Santa Barbara

The U men’s golf team goes to Santa Barbara, Calif., this weekend for a tournament on April 5 and 6.

By the players’ own admissions, the team has not been playing well of late.

According to both the players and the team’s coach, Wayne Fisher, the Utes have yet to recover from the long winter in Utah this year. The players were unable to play actual golf for more than four months, which was enough time to throw the entire team off its rhythm.

Compounding the Utes’ recent poor play is the fact that four of the teams in the Mountain West Conference are currently ranked in the top 25.

“We have a very good golf conference,” Fisher said. “I don’t think people realize how good it is.”

With only a couple of tournaments left before regionals, the Utes will need to make a move soon if they want the chance to compete at the regional tournament.

Men’s tennis

conference opener

The U men’s tennis team (9-8) travels to Las Vegas this weekend for meets against two conference foes.

First, the Utes will take on the No. 64-ranked San Diego State Aztecs (7-4) Friday. Last week’s conference player of the week, senior Aztec Felix Heart, will be waiting for a big-time matchup with the U in what will be both teams’ conference opener.

On Saturday, the Utes will face the 9-6 UNLV Rebels.

Coming off a huge 7-0 sweep of Northern Arizona last weekend, the Utes are hoping their momentum will carry over into this weekend. According to U assistant coach Graeme Cox, the Utes are now entering the most important part of their season.

“After our confidence-building win over NAU this weekend, we are looking forward to the start of conference play,” Cox said. “These are the matches that we have been training for all year, and it is time to step up and play our best tennis.”

“UNLV and SDSU are strong programs,” he continued, “and we look forward to the challenge of competing against them.”

Women’s tennis still

struggling

The U women’s tennis team (5 12) begins a set of weekend meets on Friday with a showdown against Weber State. The Utes wrap up the weekend with a meet on Saturday against Portland.

The U women lost two key players due to injury for the season at the onset of the winter, and the team has never recovered.

As a group, the Utes have lost nine in a row, including two 7-0 sweeps last weekend to ranked conference opponents UNLV and San Diego State. Looking for their first win in more than a month, and facing somewhat easier opponents this weekend than last, head coach Megan Dorny feels the Utes can be much more competitive against Weber State and Portland.

“After a series of tough losses for our team where we have really been battling for some points, we look forward to playing Weber State and Portland,” Dorny said.

“Even in the midst of changes to our doubles lineup and semi permanent changes to the composition of our team,” Dorny continued, “the coaches feel like these are two matches we can be dominant in if we go out and play the way we are capable of as a team…confident, consistent and willing to take calculated risks.”