UTSA men’s tennis team gets off to solid start

Connor Zimmerlee

The 2016 season was not a particularly strong one for the Roadrunners men’s tennis team. They finished with an overall team record of 6-18. Despite the rather uninspiring record, there were some bright spots from last season. One of the bright spots was their performance at home.

During the 2016 season, UTSA men’s tennis had an impressive 5-2 record on their home courts, with wins over Prairie View A&M, Navy and Trinity. Trinity at the time was ranked 15th in the nation.

However, when viewing their success at home, you must also consider their poor record on the road. When the men’s tennis team took to the road, they were unable to notch a single win. With all of their high and low points from the 2016 season, the men’s tennis team looks to the 2017 season to turn it around on the court, and to show both Conference-USA and the country they are a serious contender and should not be counted out.

     Coming into the 2017 season, the men’s tennis team had good reason to be optimistic about their chances at a C-USA title. Several key 2016 players returned for the 2017 season, including key freshmen. A notable returner is sophomore Igor Cantanhede, who completed quite the impressive freshman season. Cantanhede won the flight four singles title in the inaugural UTSA cup. He picked up victories over Incarnate Word and Arkansas before eventually clinching the title with a victory over Jason Roberts of Laredo Community College. Along with an impressive season from Cantanhede, men’s tennis was able to rely on junior Christian Carrillo. Carrillo had a solid 2016 season, highlighted by advancing to the quarterfinals in the Islander Open and advancing past the quarterfinals at the Rice Invitational. At the Islander Open, Carrillo fell in the round of 16 of the singles draw to Sebastian Santibanez of Lamar (7-5, 6-3).

     So far on the 2017 season, the men’s tennis team has played at two tournaments—the Islander Open and the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational. At the Racquet Club Invitational, Joao Ceolin won the flight two singles championship, with a victory over Abilene Christian’s Henry Adams, in a compelling three-set final (6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (10-7)). At the Islander Open, the men’s tennis team picked up an impressive six victories over the weekend at the Islander Open. Gabriel Bugiga accounted for half of the team’s victories, two of which came in singles play.

Roadrunner fans have much to be optimistic about for the upcoming season. There is a good mix of both youth and experience sprinkled across the roster. The Roadrunners men’s tennis team is in a solid position to gain valuable experience this season, while also shocking both C-USA and the country.  The ‘Runners look poised for a rather solid 2017 season.