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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Men’s team collects for fall’s top tournament

    After a string of successes throughout the fall tournament season, the Arizona men’s tennis team continues to aim for consistency at this weekend’s ITA Western Championships at Pepperdine.

    Seven Wildcats – Arizona’s largest representation in any fall tournament – begin competition today against the best of the West in the semester’s biggest tournament, at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu, Calif.

    “”We just need to be consistent week in and week out,”” said UA head coach Tad Berkowitz. “”It’s not just doing well in one or two tournaments but continuing (success) throughout our entire fall.””

    Three of the team’s four fall tournaments featured breakout performances by different Wildcats. At last weekend’s Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational in Midland, Texas, seniors Claudio Christen and Bruno Alcala captured Arizona’s first doubles title of the year over Arkansas’ No. 12 tandem of Blake Strode and Colin Mascall.

    On Oct. 4, Christen concluded a 4-1 run in the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Tennis Championships in Tulsa, Okla. Christen reached the main draw, but fell to No. 12 seed Adam Holmstrom of Denver after the first set due to an illness.

    To begin the year, sophomore Ravid Hazi reached the singles finals at the Aggie Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M., on Sept. 17.

    Alcala, Christen and Hazi join senior Nathan Cochrane, junior Peter Zimmer and freshmen Jay Goldman and David Humphreys this weekend.

    Berkowitz has urged his players to continue being aggressive to ensure match victories.

    “”Now we’re kind of feeling confident in each other,”” he said.

    Women head to San Diego with focus on ‘individual’

    The UA women’s tennis team continues to strive for individual progress at this weekend’s ITA Western Championships, co-hosted by San Diego and San Diego State.

    Junior Danielle Steinberg, sophomore Natalia Toporowska and freshman Jane Huh will represent Arizona at the Barnes Tennis Center, accompanied by UA head coach Vicky Maes.

    “”We’ve had the majority of fall to work on quite a bit of things for each individual,”” said UA assistant coach Brian Ramirez.

    Steinberg has participated in only one fall tournament – the season’s first, on Sept. 20 – but Ramirez hopes to see a strong follow-up as she gets a few matches under her belt.

    Her lack of recent play represents a disadvantage this weekend, Ramirez said.

    He added that he’ll be focused on Huh during her first big tournament.

    “”The entire year (for Huh) is going to be an eye-opener. … I would like to see her continue to build on the progress she’s made this fall,”” Ramirez said.

    Toporowska enters the weekend with plenty of tournament experience but is missing a solid performance against good competition – something the weekend’s opponents can provide, Ramirez said.

    “”They have been progressing very nicely since the beginning of fall, and I’d like to see that progress transfer into matches,”” Maes wrote in an e-mail. “”This tournament is great because a lot of the opposition will be the same in our team season. I’d like to see all of them come up with a big win.””

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