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Men’s Tennis Upsets No. 50 Utah 5-2, Wins Third Straight Match

Men’s Tennis Upsets No. 50 Utah 5-2, Wins Third Straight Match

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly men's tennis program picked up its most impressive win of the season Saturday, upsetting No. 50 Utah 5-2 from Mustang Tennis Complex to win its third straight match.

The win puts the Mustangs (6-5) above .500. It is the first home win over a PAC-12 opponent under head coach Nick Carless. It is also the first win over a PAC-12 opponent since Cal Poly beat Arizona at a neutral site match in 2017.

Cal Poly started the day by taking the doubles point over the Utes (13-6). Freshman Gary Vardanyan and junior Antoine Noel won at No. 3 doubles, 6-4 before sophomore Roman Shenkiryk (pictured) and redshirt freshman Daly Meinert won at No. 2 doubles, 7-6 (1) to clinch the point.

In singles, Noel pushed the Cal Poly lead to 2-0 after a 6-3, 6-3 win at the No. 2 position. He now sports a 7-2 record this season, tied for the most on the team, and has won his last three matches.

"He's more confident in all aspects of his game because he knows he has more tools he can use," Carless said of Noel's recent play. "He's a dream to coach and a great guy to have on the team because he's one of our leaders and I'm happy to see he is having individual success."

Later with the Mustangs up 2-1, sophomore Alex Stater came back from down 2-5 in each of his sets to win at No. 4 singles, 7-5, 7-6 (1). He is 7-4 this season and has won his last four matches.

Senior Dominic Bechard then clinched the match for Cal Poly at No. 5 singles after a hard-fought 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 win.

The teams decided to complete the remaining two matches after that. Shenkiryk picked up his first singles win of the season with a 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-2 win at the No. 6 position to complete the 5-2 win.

"We're playing better doubles than we did at the beginning of the year. We're starting to put some things together, mainly just serving better and playing more aggressive," Carless noted of his team. "These guys have been really working hard so I'm just happy for this particular group of guys to get our first PAC-12 win ever on the home courts."

The Mustangs wrap up their five-match home stand next Friday, March 22 against Nevada at 10 a.m. from Mustang Tennis Complex. Cal Poly is now 4-1 at home this season.