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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Men’s and women’s tennis play Cal, Stanford

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Emily Gauci

Arizona men’s tennis junior Jason Jaruvang returns a volley during Arizona’s 5-2 loss against Nevada on Feb. 14 at LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. Jaruvang and the Wildcats take on Cal and Stanford next.

The Arizona women’s tennis team is finally back in Arizona to play on its home courts tomorrow and Saturday after a long five matches on the road.

The Wildcats, tied atop the Pac-12 Conference, will dive into more Pac-12 matches this weekend. Arizona will play California on Friday and Stanford on Saturday.

For junior Inge Hendrikx, transitioning from the regular matches into the conference games means she needs to keep improving on her confidence with each match that she plays.

“In the beginning, you are searching for your game and how it is going to go today,” Hendrikx said. “Now after feeling I am playing well, it doesn’t matter if I don’t start well. I will get back in my rhythm and play well at the end.”

Hendrikx said she hopes to be consistent with her game throughout the whole weekend.

“I know some parts I can play really well but then sometimes, I lose it or am not as focused, so I just try to keep it calm and really enjoy it because it is an opportunity to play against good people,” Hendrikx said.

Hendrikx added that being able to play on home courts is always a great feeling to have, especially knowing that the crowd is on the Wildcats’ side and cheering the team on.

“I really like traveling because you see parts of America and it’s fun with the team, but it is just fun being at home and having your supporters that you always have and just have the home advantage,” Hendrikx said.

This weekend is a big test for the Wildcats to see if they can compete against talented teams.

The men’s tennis team hits the road to take on California and Stanford in two conference matches. The Wildcats have been through every type of weather climate, from playing outside to inside in the heat or cold, which has prepared them to face almost anything that the conference matches may throw at them.

“We got back on Sunday night, and then we had to take a required off day on Monday, so these last two days we feel pretty good with the way the guys are hitting the ball,” Arizona head coach Tad Berkowitz said. “These two days are kind of about maintaining and keeping our timing and keeping our rhythm, staying healthy and really just feeling as good as possible going into the weekend.”

For junior Jason Jaruvang, approaching the conference matches means there is a lot more at stake.

“You are playing against teams in your own conference and obviously you want to try and make the tournament, but in the end, it is just another match,” Jaruvang said.

Berkowitz said he wants all the guys on the team to just enjoy playing this weekend, which is something that he has been working to improve.

“I want them to just believe in themselves,” Berkowitz said. “We’ve come a long way as a team and we’ve got great team chemistry right now, and really, it’s just continuing that trend and believing in their teammates that we know collectively that they’re all going to put in the work to get it done.”

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Follow Stevie Katz on Twitter.

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