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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Men’s tennis heads to ASU for ‘Desert Cup’

    The rivalry between the Arizona and ASU men’s tennis teams has been going on for quite some time, but never before has it had a name.

    According to ASU’s athletic Web site, the school is calling this year’s matchup in Tempe “”The Desert Cup.””

    “”I have never heard (the rivalry) called this,”” said Tom Lloyd, a UA assistant coach and former Wildcat.

    With or without a name, junior Bruno Alcala said the rivalry is always exciting.

    “”It’s ASU; it’s the biggest rivalry of the year,”” he said. “”Every time you go up there the crowd is nasty. You get really annoyed at the crowd, but at the same time it’s fun.””

    In addition to giving the match a new name, ASU plans to make an entire event out of the day. Food and tea will be served at “”high noon”” as the Wildcats and Sun Devils prepare to square off.

    Tickets will be sold for $30 for a silent auctionfrom which proceeds will go toward the ASU tennis program and UA scholarships.

    On the courts, No. 75 Arizona (5-9, 0-4 Pacific 10 Conference) will have a chance to improve their 58-35 all-time advantage over No. 56 ASU (8-6, 1-3). The Wildcats swept the Sun Devils last season, winning at home and in Tempe.

    But neither school is going into the matchup at the top of its game. After starting the season with six straight wins, the Sun Devils are riding a four-match losing streak.

    The Wildcats aren’t exactly on a high, either. Arizona is coming off a tough weekend in which they only took one point in two matches against UCLA and USC.

    Despite the losses, the way the team battled has given it new confidence heading into Saturday’s match in Tempe.

    “”All of the matches were really close,”” Alcala said. “”A couple points here and there, and the whole momentum could have changed.

    “”To see that we could almost win a match (against teams like UCLA and USC) gives us confidence.””

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