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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Men’s tennis opens season minus key players

    As the Arizona men’s tennis team opens its season Saturday at Robson Tennis Center at 1:30 p.m., it will be forced to do so short-handed, as freshman Andres Carrasco and junior Jason Labrosse will both be missing from the Wildcats’ lineup.

    Carrasco, a new addition to the team this spring along with two other international players, is ineligible because of NCAA Clearinghouse issues.

    “”They just have a few questions about his schooling,”” said UA head coach Tad Berkowitz of Carrasco, who hails from Spain.

    Labrosse is out with a back injury and is expected to return in a couple of weeks. He missed most of the fall season with the same injury and has been plagued with injuries since arriving at Arizona.

    The other two new international players on the Wildcats’ roster, Ravid Hazi from Israel and Milos Romic from Serbia, are also freshman. Both will be eligible for the season opener against NAU.

    Although the Wildcats will miss Carrasco, it will be Labrosse’s absence that will be most noticeable.

    We will be constantly facing top-10 teams (in the spring season). So, it was big for us to see that we’re capable of beating teams that are ranked ahead of us.
    – Vicky Maes,
    UA head coach

    “”Jason is very valuable to our team,”” Berkowitz said. “”He is an emotional guy and good leader. We are looking forward to getting him back.””

    Last season, Labrosse filled the No. 5 singles spot for the Wildcats and will most likely move up in the lineup upon his return, Berkowitz said.

    One of the reasons Labrosse will be moving up is the loss of the Wildcats’ top two singles players to graduation, including last year’s No. 1 player, Roger Matalonga, who was a two-time All-American.

    Juniors Claudio Christen and Bruno Alcala are expected to take over the two open spots.

    As for the rest of the Wildcats’ roster, much is uncertain. Without a single senior, the team is looking for younger players to step up this weekend against NAU.

    “”We’ve got a lot of new guys,”” Berkowitz said. “”We’re going to be trying some different matchups. But we’re excited to see what they can bring.””

    Women tries to continue fall success

    The UA women’s tennis team is looking to build on its strong finish to the fall season when it opens the spring against this Nevada and NAU at Robson Tennis Center.

    The Wildcats will face Nevada at 1:30 p.m. today and NAU at 10 a.m. Saturday.

    In the team’s final tournament of the fall, it compiled victories against three tough teams, said UA head coach Vicky Maes, including No. 22 Harvard.

    “”We will be constantly facing top-10 teams”” in the spring season, Maes said. “”So, it was big for us to see that we’re capable of beating teams that are ranked ahead of us.””

    Maes said the matches this weekend will serve as good warm-up competition for the difficulties ahead.

    “”We will be playing around with our lineup, so some of the girls who might not play every match will get to play this one,”” she said.

    Freshmen Natalia Toporowska and Katie Orletsky will be looking to stake their claim for higher positions in the lineup this weekend.

    “”They are both really good players,”” Maes said. “”And we’re looking for them to make a big impact this year.””

    Toporowska teamed up with senior Kasia Jakowlew for the final tournament of the fall season. The pair went undefeated to win the Harvard Invitational.

    Last spring, the Wildcats started the season ranked No. 60 and finished No. 32.

    “”I think we can break the top 30, top 25 this season,”” Maes said. “”I’m really excited and the girls are ready to go.””

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