East Coast trip unsuccessful for Utes

By Christopher Kamrani, Asst. Sports Editor

The East Coast was unkind to the Utes.

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams dropped two matches each against top-tier opponents during the weekend as the men saw their previously undefeated record of 3-0 fall to 3-2, while the No. 47 women fell to 1-3.

The men’s team rolled into a showdown with No. 10 Baylor (2-1) on a three-game winning streak to start the season, but were quickly dealt with by a talented Bears crew that swept Utah in straight sets, 7-0.

“It was a tough match against a top-10 opponent,” said head coach F.D. Robbins, in a statement after the loss. “It was our first match outdoors at sea level since last April. We started out poorly and got back in some of the matches, but against a top-10 opponent, it was too little too late.”

Next up for the Utes in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships was Mountain West Conference foe and No. 57 San Diego State.

Utah’s big guns struggled once again, but senior Wes Hancock picked up the Utes’ lone victory on the day against the Aztecs, besting Achim Ceban 6-4, 6-4 in Utah’s No. 2 slot.

Hancock’s lone victory was the bright spot of a tough weekend spent in Texas as the Utes went on to lose the matchup with SDSU, 5-1.

The top-50 women’s team rolled into their meet in Coral Gables, Fla., with a 1-1 record and the ITA National Indoor Qualifiers in front of them, but No. 13 Miami and No. 28 Virginia proved to be too tough for a relatively young Utah team.

The Utes were swept by the Hurricanes, 8-1 in their first match of the tournament. Utah’s only win came in the last doubles match of the day as the tandem of junior Erin Monson and Karine Bourdages beat Alessa Waibel and Claudia Wasilewski in the No. 3 position, 8-5.

As Utah fell to 1-2 on the year, next up was the No. 28 Cavaliers.

The Utes found much more success on the second day of their Florida trip, as true freshman Anastasia Putilina beat the No. 42-ranked Jennifer Stevens, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in the No. 1 slot.

“I am very proud of Anastasia,” said head coach Mat Iandolo in a statement. “She has done everything we have asked her to do.”

Despite Putilina’s impressive victory, the Utes fell once again with a score of 5-2. Utah’s other win was picked up by Monson, who defeated Virginia’s Lindsey Hardenbergh 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 in Utah’s No. 3 position.

“Overall, we battled Virginia pretty well,” Iandolo said. “They are a top-30 team and someone who just beat TCU. We are looking forward to the match against Weber State this upcoming Saturday and Boise State the following Thursday8212;they are going to big matches at home.”

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