Utah State men's tennis continued its success at the ITA Regionals in Provo on Thursday, as two pairs of Aggies advanced to the round of 16 in doubles, while junior Samuel Serrano advanced to the quarterfinals in singles.
In singles, Serrano had a 6-2, 7-5 win over Denver's Eric Morris in the round of 32. Serrano went on to face senior teammate Jaime Barajas, losing the first set, 5-7, but only dropping one game in the second to win 6-1. He then closed out the third set with a 6-3 win. Serrano's win marks the third-straight year an Aggie has advanced to the singles quarterfinals at the ITA Regionals as then-junior Kai Wehnelt made it to the finals in 2016, and Barajas was in the quarterfinals in 2015. Barajas only dropped three games in his 6-1, 6-2 victory over New Mexico State's Luis Flores in the round of 32. Freshman Jose Carvajal took his match to three sets but lost 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to BYU's Jeffrey Hsu.
In the first consolation singles draw, freshman Valdemar Holm had a perfect match, winning 6-0, 6-0 in the round of 64 against Air Force's Tadhg Collins. Holm went on to face Air Force's Paul Hendrix, where he won 7-5, 6-4. Senior Andrew Nakajima won 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 against Southern Utah's Cedric Rupa. Nakajima then faced Denver's Jesse Ruder-Hook, losing the first set, 2-6, but he came back to win the next two, 6-3, 10-5. Sophomore Sergiu Bucur faced Air Force's Patrick Sklenka, winning the first set, 7-5, and only dropping one game in the second to win 6-1. Bucur then faced Utah's Joe Woolley, losing 6-3, 6-2. Junior Austin Bass lost the first set, 2-6, against Northern Colorado's Nick Wade, but he won the next two, 6-4, 10-5. Bass only dropped one game in the first set against Northern Arizona's Chris Steele, winning 6-1, but he lost the next two, 6-3, 11-9.
In the consolation B singles round of 32, freshman Felipe Acosta defeated Idaho State's William Edin, 6-2, 6-4.
In the doubles round of 32, Barajas and Nakajima had an 8-4 victory over Montana State's Alexander Flink and Rok Sitar. Vashistha and Acosta also advanced to the round of 16 after defeating New Mexico State's Stijn de Haan and Mauri Benitez, 8-6. Serrano and Carvajal lost 8-6 to Boise State's Matteo Tinelli and Ryland McDermott. In the consolation round of 32, Bucur and Holm won 8-7 against Weber State's JD Malan and Bo-Han Li.
Action continues on Friday in singles and doubles.
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.