Utes Come Up Short in Rivalry Matches


University of Utah freshman Franco Capalbo and Wally Thayne during NCAA Tennis match against Iowa at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (Photo by Cassandra Palor | The Daily Utah Chronicle )

By Ryker Jackson, Sports Writer


The University of Utah Utes tennis team lost to in-state rival BYU on their home court Saturday, rounding out their homestand. Following the loss, the Utes now finish their spring play with a record of 12-5. This was the first time the Utes had held an outdoor meet this season.

Up until now, the Utes had a commendable home record, where they were entirely undefeated throughout the season. While it was heartbreaking to lose to the school’s number one rival, fans will not forget the spectacular season up until this point.

At one point during the meeting, all three courts were tied at 4-4. It looked to be close competition, but BYU quickly pulled ahead and did not let up. Playing in the doubles matches were Azat Hankuliyev and Slava Shainyan, who played on court two and fell 6-4. Randy Cory and Russell Benkaim also lost 6-4.

The singles competition was similar, with Mathias Gavelin falling short to BYU’s Sam Tullis 6-3, 6-4. Wally Thayne, a freshman for the Utes, competed against Matheus Leite of BYU and lost 6-3, 6-3. Benkaim also competed in the singles against Jack Barnett of BYU and came up short with a score of 6-3, 7-5.

Even though this was not the outcome the Utes were looking for, there is still plenty of tennis left to play this season. From here on out, the Utes will be looking forward to competing in conference play after some travels. Up until now, the season has served as great preparation for the teams the Utes will compete against in the future. Pac-12 play will not be easy, but win or lose, the Utes have learned something from every match they have competed in this season and will be able to take those lessons with them throughout the rest of the year.

Next week the Utah tennis team will compete in Dallas against the Citadel on Saturday, March 14 at 11 a.m. Following this match, they will then play against Southern Methodist University on Sunday, March 15 at 11 a.m.


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