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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona women’s basketball team, men’s tennis team and Aari McDonald earn latest Daily Wildcat weekly awards


Arizona point guard Aari McDonald drives to the basket and evades an Oregon defender on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. The Wildcats went on to to win the game 57-41. (Courtesy of Mike Christy/Arizona Athletics)

It was a historic weekend for multiple Arizona sports and athletes, leading to the Arizona women’s basketball team and men’s tennis team taking home Co-Team of the Week, while Aari McDonald takes home Player of the Week. 

Daily Wildcat Co-Team of the Week: Women’s basketball team

The Arizona women’s basketball team won three games this week to advance to the program’s first ever Elite Eight appearance. After defeating Stony Brook 79-44 in round one on Monday, March 22, the Wildcats then defeated BYU 52-46 on Wednesday, March 24, and Texas A&M 74-59 on Saturday, March 27. 

The Wildcats’ Sweet Sixteen win over the Aggies was one to remember, a real team effort with a season-high 13 three-point shots made. Arizona will now be playing No. 4 seed Indiana in the Elite Eight for a trip to the Final Four. The Hoosiers defeated No. 1 seed North Carolina State in the Sweet Sixteen to get to this point. The game will take place on Monday, March 29, at 6 p.m. MST and will be airing on ESPN. 

Daily Wildcat Co-Team of the Week: Men’s tennis team

It was a huge weekend for the Arizona men’s tennis team, defeating USC and UCLA to sweep what was senior weekend for Alejandro Reguant and Igor Karpovets. 

The Wildcats defeated the Trojans 4-3 on Friday, March 26. In what was a back-and-forth match, Arizona took an early 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point before eventually falling down 3-2 on the brink of losing the match, but Gustaf Strom and Carlos Hassey closed out their matches to lift the Wildcats to the victory. 

Strom, who was ranked as the No. 30 singles player in the country entering this week, per ITA, defeated USC’s Riley Smith who was ranked as the No. 14 singles player in the country as the freshman remained undefeated and will certainly be moving up even further in the rankings after this win. 

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Arizona then defeated the Bruins on Sunday, March 28, by a match score of 4-1. The Wildcats fell behind early after UCLA took home the doubles point, but the Wildcats quickly rebounded winning the first four singles matches to secure another victory. The Wildcats were 1-72 against UCLA in their program entering this week. 

Arizona’s Jonas Ziverts, who was ranked No. 59 entering this week defeated UCLA’s Keegan Smith who was ranked No. 48 in the country in three tight sets, while Filip Malbasic defeated UCLA’s Drew Baird who was ranked No. 57 in straight sets by scores of 7-5, 6-0.  

These two wins put the Wildcats at 17-4 overall and 4-0 in conference play as they sit in first place in the Pac-12. 

Daily Wildcat Player of the Week: Aari McDonald

I think it is safe to say McDonald saved her best play for last, leading the women’s basketball team to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history. 

After scoring 20 points in round one against Stony Brook and 17 points in round two against BYU, McDonald erupted for a season-high 31 points in the Wildcats’ Sweet Sixteen victory over Texas A&M including a career-high six three-point shots made. It was one of those games where McDonald seemed to have full control of the game, which she took full advantage of. 

McDonald will now look to continue her tremendous play on Monday, March 29, as the Wildcats take on Indiana for a trip to the Final Four. 

Follow Ari Koslow on Twitter

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