Men's Tennis

Roadrunners travel to face Utes, Pioneers in Denver

SAN ANTONIO – After a tough battle at the ITA Kickoff Weekend and earning a 2-1 record on the week, the UTSA men’s tennis team (2-2) will travel west for a pair of tough matchups in the Mountain Time Zone. The Roadrunners are scheduled for a neutral-site rematch of last weekend’s meeting with Utah (1-2) on Saturday, Feb. 3, ahead of a replay from last season against Denver (2-2) on Sunday, Feb. 4. Both matches are set to be played at Denver Tennis Park.

Following this Week’s Matches
UTSA is set to face Utah at 3 p.m. CST on Saturday, Feb. 3, then Denver on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. CST.

Live from at Denver Tennis Park, Denver Athletics will be hosting live video for both matches on the week. Fans can check out the live stream and live scoring at the following links: UTSA vs. Utah and UTSA at Denver.

Last Time Out
The Roadrunners opened last week with a commanding 7-0 sweep at UT Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday, before heading to Austin for a pair of nationally recognized opponents. UTSA earned the doubles point against No. 4 Texas, getting started on a 6-4 court three victory by Miguel Alonso and Tiago Torres over Pierre-Yves Bailly and Lucas Brown, followed by a point-clinching 7-6 (5) win by Tomás Pinho and Alan Magadan over third-ranked Eliot Spizzirri and Cleeve Harper. In singles, Jackson Ross was split with 82nd-ranked Harper and Danijal Muminovic was ahead on No. 28 Jonah Braswell. However, the Longhorns evaded the upset with a 4-1 Texas win. Returning to action on Saturday, UTSA earned a 4-1 victory of its own, toppling the Utah Utes after rallying from a doubles-point loss. Torres earned a 6-1, 6-2 win to get UTSA moving, 115th-ranked Pinho followed (6-2, 6-4), Muminovic put UTSA on the cusp (6-2, 6-2) and Alonso closed the door with a match-sealing 7-5, 6-2 besting of Geremia Rossi.

Inaugural AAC Player of the Week
Oporto, Portugal redshirt sophomore Tomás Pinho became the first-ever Roadrunner to earn American Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors on Tuesday, going 2-1 in singles and 2-1 in doubles on the week, including a 7-6 (5) win against the nation’s No. 3-ranked doubles tandem, fourth-ranked Texas’ Eliot Spizzirri and Cleeve Harper – registering one of the highest-ranked victories in program history. Pinho recorded straight-set singles victories in wins against UTRGV (6-3, 6-3) and Utah (6-2, 6-4), while his only singles setback came against a top-50 opponent from No. 4 Texas. Alongside partner Alan Magadan, his doubles ledger included a win over Utah’s top pair (6-2) and the 7-6 (5) victory at the No. 1 position to clinch the doubles point against the Longhorns’ lead tandem.

Avdeyev’s 50th
Starting his career with the Roadrunners in the 2020 season, head coach Sergey Avdeyev has already reached the 50th career win mark just four matches into his fifth season at the helm. The 4-1 victory over Utah secured him the milestone, while the Roadrunners will look to get started on the next 50 with a second consecutive match with the Utes.

About the Roadrunners
Returning seven players from last year’s Conference USA Runner-up, the Roadrunners are in the fifth season under Avdeyev and looking make their mark on 2024 early, following one of the best seasons in program history. During the 2023 season, UTSA captured the most wins since 1985 on an 18-7 record, reached the final of the Conference USA Championships and earned the program’s first At-Large bid for the school’s fifth appearance in the NCAA Championships. In addition, the Roadrunners had a doubles pair earn the ITA Texas Region Championship – a program-first – and advance to the National Quarterfinal. That same tandem earned a postseason win and reached the Round of 16 at the NCAA Doubles Championships. On top of all that, UTSA set new program records for ITA team ranking multiple times, reaching as high as 34th and ending the season at No. 42.

In the latest rankings, sophomore Pinho checks in at No. 115 in singles. The senior, Magadan reached as high as No. 6 in the doubles rankings and was one half of the 27th-ranked pair in the final 2023 standings – settling in with new partners this year, Magadan initially appearing as half of the 44th-ranked tandem in the fall alongside Torres. In the Fall 2023 ITA South Region Championships, the pairings of Magadan/ Pinho and Ross/Garrett Skelly both reached the semifinal round.

On the Slate this Week
The Roadrunners’ last opponent, and their next, the Utah Utes were regular season Pac-12 Champions and finished at No. 17 last year on a 24-6 record and second round NCAA finish for an at-large bid after falling to Pac-12 Tournament Champion USC in the title match, 2-4. Entering the 10th season under coach Roeland Brateanu, the Utes have built up a winner in Salt Lake City, winning 76 percent of their matches over the past two seasons. After opening the year on a 5-2 win over Weber State, Utah dropped both matches at the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Austin. The Utes retain the services of senior Geronimo Busleiman who was 46th in the final ITA singles rankings but lost 101st-ranked Franco Capalbo, leaving six players returning from last year’s championship squad.

The Denver Pioneers and the Roadrunners met last season in San Antonio at the UTSA Tennis Center in late March – marking victory No. 13 amidst the Roadrunners’ eventual NCAA-leading 14-match win streak. After winning the top two doubles courts, UTSA logged first-set victories on four of the six singles courts to set course toward the 5-2 defeat of the Pioneers. Denver finished 59th a year ago on a 15-8 record after winning the Summit League regular season and reaching the second round of the UTR NIT Championship. The Pioneers were chosen as the 2024 preseason projected Summit League favorite and enter the weekend at 2-0 with road wins over Western Michigan and Purdue. Denver returns seven players from 2023, including the 2023 Summit League Player of the Year, senior Nicolas Herrero Cuesta (19-4 singles, 10-7 doubles) and last year’s Summit Newcomer of the Year, junior Daniel Sancho Arbizu (18-4 singles, 12-5 doubles).

Series Against the Opposition
·      With last weekend’s victory in the books, UTSA leads the series with Utah, 1-0.
·      Sunday marks the fourth meeting with Denver, which holds a 2-1 series advantage over UTSA after winning the first two outings in 2013 and 2017.

Up Next
Taking on their sixth consecutive match away from San Antonio, the Roadrunners travel to Lubbock for a Sunday, Feb. 11 meeting with Texas Tech – marking the third meeting in the last four years. The Red Raiders were No. 33 last year and are 2-3 heading into a doubleheader at UT Rio Grande Valley on Friday.


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