UCLA men’s tennis to play conference leader Utah in regular-season finale
Volunteer assistant coach Ben Goldberg (left) talks with junior Timothy Li (right) during a changeover. Li has won his last four completed dual-singles matches for UCLA men’s tennis since reentering the lineup on April 8th. (Brandon Morquecho/Daily Bruin)
No. 19 Utah
Saturday, 1 p.m.
Los Angeles Tennis Center
UCLA Live Stream
April 21, 2023 2:58 p.m.
The Bruins are set for a regular-season finale against the conference leader.
UCLA men’s tennis (12-7, 3-4 Pac-12) will compete at home against No. 19 Utah (20-3, 5-1) on Saturday, giving the former a chance to end the regular season at .500. The Utes will be the second straight ranked opponent for the Bruins, after a 4-0 loss to No. 11 USC on Wednesday.
Despite this week’s loss to its crosstown rival, UCLA has swept opponents in three of its last four competitions. Additionally, the Bruins remain undefeated in home contests since March 18th as they prepare to enter the final match of conference play.
Coach Billy Martin said he hopes the team’s loss on Wednesday propels them towards a win this weekend.
“We’ve got a huge match coming up on Saturday, I’m hoping this will get us really prepared to play Utah, who is leading our conference right now,” Martin said. “We’ve got them at our place, it’s not going to be easy for them to come and play us.”
Sophomore Giacomo Revelli and junior doubles teammate Timothy Li were ranked for the first time this week at No. 60. Martin said the tandem has played well despite not having played many matches with one another.
“I don’t want to sound too surprised, but that’s because they haven’t played a ton of matches together,” Martin said. “They have beaten some good teams in the last week and that got them moved up there.”
Li is coming off of a multi-win day last weekend against Oregon, winning in both singles and doubles play before picking up another singles win against UC San Diego on Monday.
Li said the key to securing a victory Saturday will be coming out physical against Utah.
“We will need to be more physical and fit out there, just keep fighting while staying mentally tough,” Li said. “Really just improving and getting better every day.”
Freshman Gianluca Ballotta was the only Bruin to win his first singles set against USC on Wednesday, before his match was left unfinished despite holding a 4-1 advantage in the second.
Ballotta said he hopes to replicate the positives of his performance earlier this week against Utah.
“Utah is going to be a great match and it’s very important to the team,” Ballotta said. “It’s the last match at home so I just want to play like I did today (Wednesday).”
UCLA’s 2023 dual-match finale at the Los Angeles Tennis Center will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday against Utah.