The Utes wrapped up their nonconference schedule last weekend in Las Vegas and came away from Sin City with two close victories.
Utah first faced the hometown UNLV Rebels and won 4-3, then followed that up with another 4-3 victory over Marquette. The Utes now have an overall record of 12-3.
UNLV got out to a 3-1 lead after snagging the doubles point and besting Slim Hamza and Ben Tasevac in the top two singles spots, but it was not able to hold on to the victory as Utah came back and won the last three matchups. Patrick Mayer and Alejandro Medinilla grabbed the first two, and Devin Lane sealed the deal with a win over Dimitar Petrov 6-0, 6-7(4), 6-2.
“The third set, I just came out with a lot of intensity and just tried to stay focused on my court and not worry on what was going on around me and came out how I wanted,” Lane said. “It was a pretty intense match. I think we kind of came in thinking, ‘It’s gonna be an easy match,’ and we kind of had our guards down a little bit.”
The next day against the Golden Eagles, the Utes came out of the gate strong, winning the doubles point. They then split the six singles matches, but that was enough to win the contest. Hamza, Medinilla and Cowley were responsible for Utah’s singles victories.
“Coming out that day, we wanted to not do what we did against UNLV and come out ready to go and thinking it was gonna be a tough match, which it was,” Lane said.
The Utes will not compete this weekend but will face Stanford on Mar. 28 and Cal on Mar. 30 at home to open Pac-12 play.
“We’re all going in with a lot of confidence, thinking we can do well,” Lane said about competing in the conference. “If we beat Stanford and then squeak out a couple more against Oregon, Washington and Arizona, we’ll be in good shape to make national championships.”