Utah State men's tennis is set to travel to Provo, Utah, to compete in the ITA Regionals from Wednesday, Oct. 18 through Saturday, Oct. 21. All nine Aggies will compete in the tournament.
"Regionals is always a great event and probably our most important tournament of the fall," head coach James Wilson said. "We will get to see how we stack up against the other teams in our area. I feel good about our preparation, and I'm excited to see these guys compete against some solid competition."
Other schools competing include in-state rivals BYU, Southern Utah, Utah and Weber State, along with Mountain West foes Air Force, Boise State, Nevada, New Mexico and UNLV. Three netters ranked in the ITA preseason will be competing in the tournament. Utah's Dan Little was tied for No. 80 in singles, while Northern Arizona's Ruben Montano and Tim Handel were ranked No. 40 in doubles.
Last year at the ITA Regionals, then-junior Kai Wehnelt made it to the finals in singles, losing 6-4, 6-3 to UNLV's Jakob Amilon. Senior Jaime Barajas and junior Samuel Serrano each advanced to the round of 32 in singles.
Utah State enters the tournament off its run at the Utah Intercollegiate. At the round robin tournament, freshman Addy Vashistha and senior Andrew Nakajimawon their singles flights, 5-1 and 4-0, respectively. Freshman Jose Carvajal also notched a 5-1 singles record, Serrano posted a 4-1 finish, freshmen Valdemar Holm went 2-2, freshman Felipe Acosta went 2-3, junior Austin Bass was 1-3 and sophomore Sergiu Bucur went 1-4 in singles play. In doubles, Serrano and Carvajal had a 2-1 finish, as did Vashistha and Acosta. Bucur and Holm went 1-1, and Nakajima and Bass went 1-2 in doubles play.
Barajas competed in the 2017 ITA All-American Championship singles qualifiers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and advanced to the second round of the tournament after posting a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Tulsa’s Lucca Baptista. Barajas’ run ended following a 6-1, 6-2 loss to Michigan’s Myles Schalet, who is currently ranked No. 91.
Ashley Springer is a student at Utah State University studying journalism and communication. Springer is an intern with the USU athletic department's media relations.