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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Confidence key for tennis this weekend

Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Valentina Martinelli
Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat

After a rough weekend in northern California, the No. 34 Arizona men’s tennis team returns home to Tucson to face the No. 21 Washington Huskies and the Oregon Ducks this weekend at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

After convincing losses against Stanford and California last weekend, the Wildcats (11-7, 0-2 Pacific 10 Conference) seek to regain their confidence and some momentum from both the Huskies (15-6, 0-2) and Ducks (11-6, 0-2) whom, like Arizona, have yet to win a conference match.

“”We played two quality top-15 teams this past weekend, and we still have a tremendous amount of confidence in ourselves,”” said head coach Tad Berkowitz. “”After you lose to a couple of tough teams you don’t need to panic. We just need to have confidence in ourselves and confidence in what we do, and we’ll move on to next week.””

The results of last weekend dropped the Wildcats two spots in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, but the solid individual performances of Andres Arango and Andres Carrasco put them into the singles rankings for the first time this year, at No. 90 and No. 115, respectively.

“”Those two guys have been very, very solid for us all year,”” Berkowitz said. “”They both are the guys that you know (you want) when its clutch time. They just step up when we need them to, and it shows with the results that they’ve had and the wins that they’ve had. I’m really proud of both of those guys””

Today, Arizona takes on the Washington Huskies who, like Arizona, met defeat under the California sun last weekend. They were swept by the UCLA Bruins and lost 6-1 against the USC Trojans.

The Huskies’ No. 65 singles player junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and the No. 65 doubles duo of junior Alex Rosinski and junior Tobi Obenaus will be gunning to defeat the Wildcats at home .

The Ducks, who the Wildcats face Sunday, also pack a punch thanks to No. 103 singles player Alexander Cornelissen.

Arizona is 6-1 at home this year, and the team is hoping that their return to Tucson for the first time in three weeks will play to their advantage over the weekend.

“”It’ll be nice to get back to our home court, to play in our conditions and our element,”” Berkowitz said. “”Our guys are happy to be back at home and we’ll look to use that hopefully for an advantage.””

Women are California-bound for nonconference play

Heading to Los Angeles this weekend to face two unranked teams, Loyola Marymount University and California State University, Northridge, might be just what the doctor ordered for the No. 53 Arizona women’s tennis team, whose confidence was shaken after tough home losses to Pacific 10 Conference frontrunners Stanford and California last week.

“”We know we will have to play well, but I feel we will have a really good chance if we do,”” said head coach Vicky Maes. “”Both Northridge and LMU have had good wins this year and, at this stage in the season, anything can happen.””

Last weekend the Wildcats (10-6, 1-4 Pac-10 Conference) were plagued by anemic doubles play, losing all six matches. Against the Northridge Matadors (7-5, 1-3 Big West Conference) and the Loyola Lions (3-10, 0-2 West Coast Conference) Arizona needs to step up and perform.

Despite a substantial loss column last weekend, sophomore Sarah Landsman’s win over the weekend brought her into the ITA rankings for the first time this season, entering at No. 84.

Sophomore Natasha Marks fell a little in the rankings but is still represented at the No. 105 spot in the country.

With uncertainty in the No. 3 and 4 spots on the Wildcat roster, Maes is hoping for junior Jane Huh and sophomore Debora Castany to show what they are capable of in their next few contests.

“”It is crucial for Jane and Debora to hold their own, especially since they have less experience this year.”” Maes said. “”Either way, this weekend is a great opportunity for us to bounce back, so we just need to embrace that and play to win.””

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