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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Men’s tennis splits weekend at LaNelle

Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Valentina Martinelli
Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Facing Santa Clara and Nebraska was supposed to be a weekend to get the Arizona men’s tennis team back into the swing of things. Exiting the weekend, the Wildcats were half way there.

After a strong 6-1 victory over Santa Clara (7-4) in which UA didn’t have any matches go into a third set, the momentum was supposed to carry through to Nebraska (8-3) on Sunday.

Five of six singles matches went the Wildcats’ way on Friday.

On Court 1, Arizona senior Jay Goldman defeated Kyle Dandan 7-5, 6-1. Senior Andres Arango was victorious over Brian Brogan 6-1, 6-2 on Court 2, and sophomore Jason Zafiros earned the win 6-3, 6-2 over Andrew Kells on Court 3.

The Wildcats took care of business on the other courts and momentum was back in their favor after dropping matches against Denver and Texas Tech the week prior.

It was obvious the team knew the importance of the wins, as they fought through many emotional points and were cheered on loudly by the teammates.

But against Nebraska on Sunday, things didn’t exactly go as planned. The Huskers won 6-1 to give Arizona its first loss at home all season.

Head coach Tad Berkowitz attributed the loss to the simple fact that they were just outplayed.

“”I thought we got out to a slow start but rebounded well in singles,”” he said. “”They countered well and withstood our momentum change and they just played better than us today.””

After an early start to accommodate the possibility for rain later in the day, the team dropped the doubles point and then, as singles started, began dealing with unfavorable winds that had an effect on the players’ shots.

As things were beginning to go UA’s way, the match was then put on rain delay for a little more than half an hour. Coming out again just didn’t work in the Wildcats’ favor.

Ravid Hazi was the only victorious member of the team on Sunday, winning 6-1, 6-2. But despite the overall score, the match as a whole was much closer than represented. The Wildcats had a chance to win with Zafiros, Carrasco and Arango still playing, but all lost close matches.

Berkowitz did not think the rain delay had an effect on their momentum and that Nebraska just came out more focused.

“”I think we need to go out there and not put as much pressure on us to win and enjoy the match,”” he said. “”(We can) go out there and have fun playing instead of feeling like the weight is on our shoulders.””

W-tennis falter at hands of Washington schools

For all the excitement that the Pacific 10 Conference schedule can bring, it can also bring disappointment. And the Intercollegiate Tennis Association No. 39 Arizona women’s tennis team found out the hard way this weekend.

The women (8-4) dropped both of their matches on the weekend, against Washington and Washington State, to open up their conference schedule.

“”This weekend was very disappointing for us,”” said head coach Vicky Maes. “”The team did not come together mentally and it cost us two important matches.””

Washington (9-2) won all three doubles matches to gain momentum, and then finished off the 5-2 win with four wins on the singles courts.

Freshman Alexandrina Naydenova and senior Claire Rietsch were the only victorious Wildcats on Friday, with Naydenova winning 6-2, 6-2 on the third court, and Rietsch winning 7-5, 3-6, (10-8) on the sixth.

Sophomore Sarah Landsman, the No. 106-ranked singles player in the country, won the first set 6-1 against her opponent, No. 7 Denise Dy, but then lost the next two, 0-6, 4-6.

Against Washington State (8-5), the Wildcats started out with two strong doubles wins by the teams of sophomore Natasha Marks and Naydenova on the first court, along with Landsman and senior Ariane Masschelein on court three.

UA couldn’t take advantage of the earned point, however, and lost all six singles matches en route to a 6-1 defeat. Five of the six matches went into a decisive third set, so the overall match was much closer than the final score showed.

“”Both times we had a ton of opportunities and, both times, we talked ourselves out of winning,”” Maes said. “”The bottom line is that things will not get better unless the team takes a major step forward in terms of battling mentally through an entire match. It’s completely in our hands.””

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