SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah men's tennis team picked up straight-set wins in five of the six singles matches in handing the Montana men's tennis team its first dual loss of the season on Saturday night.
The loss evens Montana's record at 1-1. But there were proud moments for the Grizzlies.
In doubles, Montana was on track to pull off the biggest upset of the season at No. 1 when the Utes clinched the point with wins in the other two matches.
Yannick Schmidl and Alexander Canellopoulos were leading the nation's No. 56 ranked Cory/Benkaim pair 4-2 and looked to be well on their way to victory before the doubles came to a close.
"They looked like they were in mid-season form," Montana interim coach Jason Brown said. "I'm happy with how they came out. They have played together for three years now, and it really showed in that match."
In singles, Montana's Ludvig Hallgren forced a third-set tiebreaker against Utah's Joe Wolley at No. 6 before falling, 6-4, 6-7, 10-3.
At No. 5, senior Ignacio Tejerina pushed the Utes' Santiago Sierra to a 7-5 decision in the first set before running out of gas in the second, falling 6-1. One of Utah's most accomplished players, Sierra played in the regional final two years ago and has been one of the top players in the region throughout his career.
"Nacho was impressive against Sierra," added Brown. "He played a fantastic first set."
At No. 1, Montana's Victor Casadevall had trouble keeping up with the firepower of Utah's Dan Little, who is ranked No. 122 in the nation, falling 6-2, 6-2.
Schmidl carried his strong form into the singles round, but couldn't put together enough momentum before falling 6-3, 6-4.