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Azoidis, Collier post top-five doubles win in victory against Utah

(from Texas Tech Athletics)

FORT WORTH, Texas – In just the third match of his career, freshman Lorenzo Esquici stepped up big time as the Red Raider would clinch the match over the Utah Utes, 4-3, to earn a place in the Fort Worth Regional Finals on Saturday afternoon at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.

This marks the first time in five years that the Red Raiders (2-2) won their first match of an ITA Kickoff Weekend thanks to the freshman’s heroics.

It all started with Tech winning its third-consecutive doubles point. Utah (2-1) jumped out to an early lead when Francisco Bastias and Bruno Caula took down Piotr Pawlak and Franco Ribero on court three, 6-3.

Over on court two, the duo of Tyler Stewart and Olle Wallin would even the competition with a big win over Franco Capalbo and Geronimo Busleiman, 6-4.

It was all down to court one as Dimitrios Azoidis and Reed Collier were locked in a battle with the No. 5-ranked team of Berk Bugarikj and Patrik Trhac. The Red Raiders, who are coming off a ranked doubles win two weeks ago against Louisiana, would claim their second ranked victory to clinch the doubles point, 7-5, against the Utes No. 5 pair.

Heading into singles, Stewart would make quick work of his opponent on court five to win by a 6-3, 7-6 score. Then, Utah would tie the match at 2-all when they collected wins on courts two and three.

Fifth-year senior Ribero would give Tech back the lead when he defeated Trhac on court four in a battle, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. But that lead was short-lived when No. 29 Busleiman picked up a win on court one to tie it up at 3-3.

All eyes were on Esquici at court six where he and Mateo Julio were in a tight match. Julio would win the first set by a 6-4 score, then Esquici answered back with a 7-6 tiebreaker win in set two. It was back-and-forth in the third set until the Brazil native clinched the match with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 score, sending the Red Raiders to their first ITA Kickoff Weekend Regional Final since 2018.

Tech will face No. 3 TCU tomorrow afternoon for a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago.

RESULTS

Singles

1. #29 Geronimo Busleiman (UTAH) def. Olle Wallin (TTU), 6-4, 6-7, 6-2

2. Franco Capalbo (UTAH) def. Reed Collier (TTU), 7-6 (7-2), 6-3

3. Francisco Bastias (UTAH) def. Dimitrios Azoidis (TTU), 6-2, 7-5

4. Franco Ribero (TTU) def. Patrik Trhac (UTAH), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4

5. Tyler Stewart (TTU) def. Berk Bugarikj (UTAH), 6-3, 7-6

6. Lorenzo Esquici (TTU) def. Mateo Julio (UTAH), 4-6, 7-6, 6-4

Doubles

1. Reed Collier/Dimitrios Azoidis (TTU) def. #5 Berk Bugarikj/Patrik Trhac (UTAH), 7-5

2. Olle Wallin/Tyler Stewart (TTU) def. Franco Capalbo/Geronimo Busleiman (UTAH), 6-4

3. Francisco Bastias/Bruno Caula (UTAH) def. Franco Ribero/Piotr Pawlak (TTU), 6-3

Order of finish: Doubles (3, 2, 1); Singles (5, 2, 3, 4, 1, 6)

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