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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Men’s tennis seeks leap after woeful season

    The Arizona men’s tennis team invested in strenuous preseason conditioning over the last month. Compensation comes this weekend at the Aggie Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M.

    The Wildcats will be represented by Ravid Hazi, David Humpheys and Nathan Cochrane in their fall tournament season opener. The three-day singles and doubles competition features 32 individuals from around the nation.

    “”We just need to get as many matches as we can to get some experience and confidence,”” said UA head coach Tad Berkowitz. “”If we can do well this weekend, it’ll be a nice little confidence-booster for this team to get on track.””

    Hazi, a freshman from Rishon LeZion, Israel, began playing at Arizona last spring. He said he believes the fall conditioning will greatly benefit the game.

    “”When you’re fit, you feel more comfortable and confident in yourself,”” Hazi said. “”I don’t think about going to third set and being tired. The only thing to think about is tennis.””

    Berkowitz described Hazi as a player who gains confidence when winning matches. As he was thrown into the heart of spring competition last semester, Hazi will start the season with fresh tournament experience. He said he considers the fall an ideal time to master techniques and become more of a complete player in preparation for spring play.

    Said Berkowitz of Hazi’s training: “”It’s really important to try to get as many matches in so he’s comfortable and experienced once spring rolls around. It’s important for him to get off, rolling and started right away.””

    All three Wildcats will compete in the singles, but only Hazi and Humphreys will compete in the doubles. Berkowitz said he selects tournament participants based on individual needs, rather than skill level, adding that the entire team has been working “”extremely hard.””

    “”I felt these guys needed matches more than the other guys as far as just gaining experience and confidence,”” Berkowitz said.

    Humpheyes, a freshman from Reno, Nev., will make his collegiate debut so the team can get him acclimated with NCAA matches, Berkowitz said.

    Cochrane will also gain experience on the courts after sitting out the last two years due to wrist surgery.

    “”It’d be a great accomplishment if one of our guys could step up and win the event. That’s obviously our first goal,”” he said. “”We’re progressing as far as keeping in shape.””

    As far as momentum and confidence goes from this tournament, “”the results will speak for themselves,”” Berkowitz said. “”It’ll be good for them to step up off the bat.””

    Hazi said he thinks this year’s team will better last year’s 5-17 season, crediting new team chemistry and a stronger need to succeed.

    “”We practice really hard because we know it’s going to be a great year,”” Hazi said. “”It can be a great start, but it’s not down to this tournament.””

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