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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Critical test for men’s tennis moved to Friday

    The Arizona men’s tennis team, coming off last weekend’s 7-0 shutout of San Francisco, will take on two highly competitive opponents this weekend.

    In what could be the Wildcats’ biggest challenge since they played Florida, they will face No. 26 Texas Tech on Friday at 1 p.m., rather than Sunday as was originally scheduled. Instead, they will meet No. 50 San Diego on Sunday morning at 10 in the LaNelle Robson Center.

    Arizona head coach Tad Berkowitz, whose team is 6-1 entering the weekend, welcomes the upcoming challenges.

    “”It’s a very big weekend for us,”” he said. “”It’s a great opportunity when you get to play quality teams like Texas Tech and San Diego at home.””

    Though Pacific 10 Conference play does not begin until late March, everything leading up to it is preparation.

    “”It’s a great test for us early on in the year, to see where we are as a team,”” Berkowitz said. “”I think we match up well. Our guys are confident. … Texas Tech will be a team that’s going to stay in the top 25. They’ve got a good, experienced team.””

    Arizona, however, has history on its side: Texas Tech has never won a match against them. In spite of their No. 26 ranking, the Red Raiders have struggled this season, losing their first two matches – one against No. 16 LSU and one against No. 30 Notre Dame. They won their first match against Denver last weekend, giving them a 1-2 record entering this weekend.

    The Toreros are coming off an intense match against their rival in San Diego State, during which they were handed a narrow 4-3 loss. They hold a 3-4 record entering the weekend.

    “”This time of year, there’s a lot of changes … you look at the rankings in February and January and you look at them in April and they’ll be totally different,”” Berkowitz said in regard to how much credence he gives team rankings. “”With men’s college tennis, top 75 in the country … they’re all tough. You’ve got to be ready to play no matter who you face. All teams are highly competitive.””

    Women’s tennis seeks to remain undefeated

    After a remarkable display of fortitude in two road wins last weekend in Texas, the Arizona women’s tennis team will travel to California to face San Diego State and San Diego, respectively.

    The Wildcats clinched their last road trip with several gritty and clutch performances, and have yet to lose a match as they are 5-0. In spite of the undefeated record, they also have yet to face a conference opponent and have struggled in doubles matches.

    “”In the past few years, we’ve done well against those schools. The past two years, we’ve gone 4-3 every time against them,”” said UA head coach Vicky Maes. “”They’re grinder. We’re going to have to play a really good, complete match, especially in doubles.

    “”It just helps the girls going into the singles a little more relaxed,”” she added. “”I know that’s something we’ve focused on a little more in practice this week.””

    Arizona faces San Diego State on Friday at 2 p.m. The Aztecs are 5-2 on the season after last weekend’s loss to Long Beach State. Julia Trunk of San Diego State is the team’s only nationally ranked player at No. 93.

    The Wildcats will take on San Diego on Saturday at noon. The Toreros have not seen much action in regards to matchs, but are also undefeated at 2-0 having recently swept Loyola Marymount, 7-0. They also won their home opener against Cal State-Fullerton, 6-1.

    “”I feel we line up very well. We’re very familiar with both teams. We’ve played against them in the fall, and we’ve come out on top,”” Maes said. “”On paper, we look good against them but that’s exactly that, on paper. People tend to play a lot differently in a team setting. We know going in to the matches that we have good chances.””

    It was released Thursday that the Arizona women are ranked No. 75 nationally.

    “”I think we are a team that can make it in the top 30,”” Maes said. “”I think the schedule and the way we have the Pac-10 coming up hurts us a little … we have all highly ranked teams and don’t get to play many mid-level teams. But the way that we played against ASU, we know we can beat these highly ranked teams.””

    Maes also expressed that, especially early in the season, rankings are not always the most reliable.

    “”There are teams in the top 40 that don’t deserve to be there … there are teams in the Top 20 that don’t deserve to be there. As we showed last week playing against unranked teams, I thought we would win more decisively and we didn’t.””

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