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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    M-tennis enters postseason with No. 22 ranking

    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona tennis team plays the Stanford tennis team
    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona tennis team plays the Stanford tennis team

    After what has been a successful regular season, and a remarkable turnaround from the previous year, the Arizona men’s tennis team will head to the Pacific 10 Championships in Ojai, Calif., today through Sunday.

    The Wildcats (17-5, 2-4 Pac-10) sit at No. 22 in the latest ITA rankings. Arizona sophomore Jay Goldman is seeded No. 62 in singles. In the ITA rankings, the Wildcats trail No. 5 UCLA, No. 8 Stanford and No. 9 USC but are just ahead of No. 27 Washington and No. 48 California and unranked Oregon. In Pac-10 standings, however, they are seeded fifth, with Washington pulling ahead of them with a 3-3 Pac-10 record.

    With these numbers, Arizona will send seven players to the Pac-10 Championships: freshman Ola Bakke, sophomores David Humphreys, Andres Carrasco and Goldman, juniors Ravid Hazi and Pat Metham and senior Francois VanderMerwe.

    Goldman expressed his excitement to compete against familiar players on an individual level, saying, “”I think it’s a good opportunity to go up against guys we’ve played against, now individually.””

    The Pac-10 Championships are not the last stop for the Arizona tennis team, however. The first round of the NCAA Tournament, where Arizona intends to be a presence this year, will begin on May 8. Goldman referred to the Pac-10 Chamionship as “”a good opportunity to get some good competition before NCAAs.””

    Goldman discounted the notion that Arizona views the Pac-10 Championships solely as practice for the national spotlight, in accordance with the team’s season-long emphasis on focusing on the task at hand before jumping ahead to the more significant matches.

    “”In some respects, it’s a good warm-up and gauge for getting us ready for the NCAA,”” he said. “”But it’s a very important tournament and if we do well, it’s a great opportunity.””

    Conference rivals await women’s squad at Pac-10 championships

    The Pacific 10 Conference Championships is a tournament that allows players exclusively from the Pac-10 to compete against one another on an individual, rather than team, basis. In the case of women’s tennis, this is synonymous with competing against many of the top-ranked players in college tennis.

    “”It’s a good opportunity for the girls to have some great individual wins,”” said UA head coach Vicky Maes. “”I’m not quite sure who’s playing who this weekend. It’s another tough tournament, end-of-the-year kind of thing.””

    After posting an 11-10, 1-7 Pac-10 record during the regular season, Arizona saw the majority of its losses come at the hands of players from the teams it will face in this tournament. Maes views it as a gauge for the upcoming season more than anything else.

    The significance of the tournament is greater for the UA’s lone senior Danielle Steinberg, whose individual ranking was bolstered considerably (from No. 92 to No. 65) after last weekend’s victory over ASU’s Kelcy McKenna who was seeded No. 5 in ITA rankings at the time. Steinberg will use the Pac-10 Championships to climb further in the rankings and increase her eligibility for competition in the NCAA Tournament.

    “”We’re excited to try and finish this on a high note,”” Maes said, “”and get a good feeling for what we’re going to be facing for next year.””

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