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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    M-tennis team heads to Malibu

    The Arizona men’s tennis team is set to take the courts in Malibu, Calif., this weekend for the ITA West Regional Championships.

    While any opportunity to play against someone in colors other than cardinal and navy before the spring season starts is something that players and coaches covet, UA assistant coach Tom Lloyd said the Wildcats must focus during the tournament, which runs today through Sunday.

    “”This tournament has a lot of experienced players and a lot of good players,”” Lloyd said. “”It’s definitely a good opportunity for us to get some playing time against good players.””

    The Wildcats have participated in several tournaments so far this semester, highlighted by sophomore Jay Goldman’s upset of No. 28 Jason Jung of the Michigan at the All-American Championships in early October. In addition to the great play of Goldman, Lloyd said he is pleased with the effort of the entire team.

    “”So far we’ve been good,”” Lloyd said. “”Our goal is to improve day by day, week by week, tournament by tournament. Everyone on this team is important, and these tournaments are crucial because our lineup for January isn’t set; no one’s place is safe. This is a good opportunity for our players to step up.””

    Speaking of stepping up, Lloyd said that the coaching staff is extremely impressed with the crop of freshmen and transfers on this year’s squad, especially freshmen Ola Bakke. The Oslo, Norway, native has impressed the coaches with his work ethic, and the results are more than they could have hoped for.

    “”Ola’s been making some good strides for us so far, all of our young players have,”” Lloyd said.

    Nine of the 10 players on this season’s roster will be participating this weekend. Geoff Embry, a transfer from the University of Oregon and the lone Wildcat not traveling, is forced to sit out because of the NCAA transfer regulations.

    Senior Francois VanderMerwe will be the first Wildcat to see action in a singles match this afternoon, as he’ll face Renzo Maggi of Loyola Marymount.

    “”We’ve been playing pretty well,”” VanderMerwe said. “”This is the biggest tournament of the fall semester, and we’ve been working hard everyday. Matching up against some of the greatest players in the country will be a good indication of how we will do this season.””

    In addition to VanderMerwe and Bakke, junior Ravid Hazi and freshman Jason Zafiros will see singles action today. Bakke and Hazi are paired together for Thursday’s doubles matches, as well as VanderMerwe and junior Pat Metham, and Zafiros and sophomore David Humphreys.

    The rest of the team is scheduled to play Friday.

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