Utes perform well at UTSA/ITA Regional Championships

The women’s tennis team spent their fall break in New Mexico with a strong showing at the USTA/ITA Regional Championships.

The tournament, which occurred Wednesday to Sunday, saw plenty of talent from all over the nation from 20 different schools.

Utah’s Tereza Bekerova advanced all the way to the singles championship match before falling in three sets, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(0) to Utah State’s McKenzie Davis.

“Tereza is the most talented player in our region,” head coach Mat Iandolo said. “I expected that she would win … while I was disappointed she didn’t win, I really appreciated how hard she fought for the match.”

Even with the defeat in the finals match, Iandolo felt that his team showed they were the best in the competion.

“Our goal was to go in there and do better than any other team in the region,” head coach Mat Iandolo said. “We’ve been the number one team in the region for most of the last three years. Clearly, I know we did better than any other team as a whole.”

Day one was a good step in the right direction for the Utes as they won all five of their matches in singles play.

The momentum Utah created from its singles victories quickly vanished, however, with two losses in the doubles matches. Alexia Petrovic and Victoria Robertson were beaten by a duo from New Mexico State 8-7. While Jena Cheng and Elena Najera-Salas were downed 8-3 by a pair from Nevada.

“I definitely saw an improvement in our consistency for sure, the freshmen who played in the Colorado Tournament definitely improved in the regional,” Iandolo said.

The round of 64 brought more success for the Utes as the team advanced six singles players to the round of 32. Of the six that advanced, four Utes made it to the round of 16: Bekerova, Cheng, Luisa Gerstner Da Rosa and Sarah Richter.

“It can always be better, but I think we did well,” Bekerova said. “It was a great tournament for the whole team.”

Iandolo said his team played well from behind to get some big wins but will now be focused on getting leads and maintaining them.

“In sports, great teams and great players do a good job of creating separation,” he said.

Doubles play in the round of 32 saw two Utah duos advance as both the pairs of Bekerova and Lucia Kovarcikova and Richter and Da Rosa were victorious. The two pairs eventually advanced to the tournament semifinals.

On the singles side, in the round of 16, Bekerova defeated teammate Da Rosa to advance. Her teammates Richter and Cheng had split results. Richter was victorious over Susana Alcaraz of New Mexico State, but Cheng was downed by the eventual champion Davis 6-2, 6-2.

Richter would see her tournament run come to an end in the next round when she was defeated in the quarterfinals by BYU’s Mayci Jones.

“It wasn’t unexpected, but she did really well,” Bekerova said of Richter. “She played great.”

Unlike Richter, Bekerova would not be denied a spot in the final as she bested Dorottya Jonas of Wyoming in straight sets 6-1, 6-1.

“I think I played pretty well,” Bekerova said. “It was just tiring towards the end, but I think I dealt with it pretty well.”

Bekerova defeated Ashvarya Shrivastava of New Mexico State in the semifinals before falling to Davis in the finals match.

Utah’s next tournament will be the Brown Invitational in November in Rhode Island.

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