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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Men’s tennis ready to debut after a fall of confidence

    The Arizona men’s tennis team experienced a fall tournament season of success when breakout performances occurred from different players each weekend.

    When the Wildcats begin their spring tournament season tomorrow with the National Collegiate Tennis Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., UA head coach Tad Berkowitz hopes the entire team can maximize its newly developed potential.

    “”Everybody had their own moment where everyone stepped up and took care of business,”” Berkowitz said.

    Led by senior Claudio Christen, the Wildcats bring a whole new level of confidence and team camaraderie – a huge upgrade from last season’s lack of confidence between teammates after finishing 5-17, Berkowitz said.

    Currently No. 75 in the Fila rankings, Christen evolved into an upset specialist over some of the nation’s top players in high profile fall tournaments, thanks to stellar performances at the ITA West Regional Tennis Championships and Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Championships.

    Aside from leading by example, Christen brings vocal leadership in the locker room – frequently motivating and congratulating teammates as the team’s No. 1 player. Berkowitz hopes such intensity translates to other veterans like Bruno Alcala, Peter Zimmer and Ravid Hazi, who bring a new level of confidence, awareness and maturity this season, Berkowitz added.

    “”Our goal for the fall was to get our confidence rolling and we accomplished that,”” Berkowitz said. “”We want to continue that into the spring. It’s an exciting time for us because we’re all healthy and ready go.””

    In one of Arizona’s best recruiting classes in recent history, Berkowitz added five-star recruit Jay Goldman of Worcester, Mass., and transfer Pat Metham to the line-up.

    “”Those two guys are going to be a nice impact for us,”” Berkowitz said. “”(Goldman and Metham are) guys we’re comfortable playing in the lineup.””

    Women’s tennis tries to grow as a healthy team

    With a young crop of talent emerging as the future of the Arizona women’s tennis team, UA head coach Vicky Maes aims to keep those prospects healthy while the team begins its spring match season on Saturday at noon against NAU at the Robson Tennis Center.

    As Arizona grows over the next couple seasons, Maes believes her captain Danielle Steinberg can lead the depth-deprived Wildcats – a roster of eight players – to a successful year after last season’s 9-13 record.

    “”The goals are to stay healthy as we are a little short on depth this year, but also to grow together as a team, especially since we don’t have any seniors and this group will remain nearly intact for the next twp seasons,”” Maes said.

    Steinberg took the reigns as team leader as a sophomore last season, after posting a 14-6 singles record her freshman year.

    Although Steinberg is expected to primarily lead the team, Maes hopes sophomore returnees Natalia Toporowska and Katie Orletsky can evolve into positive figures that freshmen Jane Huh and Claire Cox can look up to. The underclassmen participated in six different fall tournaments in effort to evaluate how each player responds to coaching, pressure situations and the environment, Maes said.

    “”The beauty on this team is that there is a lot of respect amongst the players, and they genuinely like and support each other, so I feel we will see different individuals step up in different situations,”” Maes said.

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