LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Utah State men’s tennis (3-1) came from behind to defeat UCF (0-2) Saturday morning as part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The win marked four-straight victories in the event over the past three seasons. Senior Jaime Barajas capped off the Aggies comeback with a win at the No. 1 singles spot after USU trailed 2-0 early in the match.
“Incredible effort from the guys today,” head coach James Wilson said. “To be down like that and fight back really showed a lot of heart. UCF is a strong team that will for sure improve throughout the year. We have a huge opportunity tomorrow to go back to the National Indoors, and I know our guys will be fired up.”
UCF earned the doubles point after freshmen Gabriel Decamps and Mikhail Sokolovskiy won 6-2 at the No. 2 spot over senior Andrew Nakajima and freshman Valdemar Holm. Senior Danny Kerznerman and freshman Alan Rubio clinched the point with a 6-2 win at the No. 3 spot against junior Samuel Serrano and sophomore Sergiu Bucur.
UCF recorded the next point with Decamps winning, 6-1, 6-1, against Serrano at the No. 2 singles spot. The Aggies would then go on to win four straight points. Freshman Jose Carvajal posted the first Aggie point with a 6-2, 6-4 victory at the No. 4 spot over freshman Eero Vasa. Holm followed suit with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Sokolovskiy at the No. 5 spot. Freshman Felipe Acosta put the Aggies ahead with a 6-3, 6-2 victory at the No. 6 spot against Kerznerman. The match then came down to the last courts. Sophomore Sergiu Bucur lost his first set, 4-6, but was tied up at six in the second at the No. 3 spot against Rubio. The match would go unfinished because of the action on the No. 1 singles court. Barajas had lost the first set, 3-6, at the No. 1 spot against senior Korey Lovett. However, Barajas would come back to clinch the victory, winning the next two sets in tiebreakers, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3).
Utah State will next take on UCLA (5-0) on Sunday at 2 p.m. (MT) in Los Angeles, Calif. If the Aggies win, they will advance to the ITA Division I National Team Indoor Championships for the second consecutive year, set for Feb. 16-19, at the University of Washington.
Fans can follow USU’s men’s tennis team on Twitter @USUMensTennis, on Facebook at UtahStateMensTennis or on Instagram at USUTennis. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter at @USUAthletics, on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on Instagram at @USUAthletics.
<strong>Utah State 4, UCF 2</strong>
1. Jaime Barajas/Jose Carvajal (USU) vs. Korey Lovett/Eero Vasa (UCF) 5-3, unfinished
2. Gabriel Decamps/Mikhail Sokolovskiy (UCF) def. Valdemar Holm/Andrew Nakajima (USU) 6-2
3. Danny Kerznerman/Alan Rubio (UCF) def. Sergiu Bucur/Samuel Serrano (USU) 6-2
1. Jaime Barajas (USU) def. Korey Lovett (UCF) 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-3)
2. Gabriel Decamps (UCF) def. Samuel Serrano (USU) 6-2, 6-1
3. Sergiu Bucur (USU) vs. Alan Rubio (UCF) 4-6, 6-6, unfinished
4. Jose Carvajal (USU) def. Eero Vasa (UCF) 6-2, 6-4
5. Valdemar Holm (USU) def. Mikhail Sokolovskiy (UCF) 6-4, 7-5
6. Felipe Acosta (USU) def. Danny Kerzerman (UCF) 6-3, 6-2