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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Tests for tennis in weekend home stand

Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

A pack of Brigham Young University Cougars is coming with an undefeated 8-0 record and the No. 60 ranking by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association to LaNelle Robson Tennis Center to take on the Arizona men’s tennis team.

“”(BYU is) a lot better than their ranking is right now,”” said men’s head coach Tad Berkowitz. “”They’ve already beaten several ranked teams. But we’re motivated to play these guys, and it will be a good opportunity to play these guys on our home courts.””

Four of the Cougars’ eight wins have come against ranked opponents, and the Wildcats will have their hands full with what should prove to be an exciting match.

The men’s tennis team (4-1), who is ranked No. 23 in the nation by the ITA, plays BYU today at noon, and it will host South Alabama (2-2) Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

After two close 4-3 wins against No. 73 New Mexico State and California Polytechnic State University, San Louis Obispo last weekend, Berkowitz said, “”We didn’t dodge one, but two bullets this weekend.””

However, he said that those close calls were good for the team.

“”I’m happy with how we were tested so strongly,”” he said. “”That’s great to have to have certain guys step up to come up clutch for the team, and it’ll only make us stronger down the road.””

While BYU is the clear highlight of the weekend for the men, the University of South Alabama cannot be overlooked even though on paper they seem like an easy matchup. Last weekend, the Mustangs of Cal Poly, who currently hold an 0-4 record, gave UA one of its closer matches of the season, so anything is possible.

Berkowitz insists that his team is up to the challenge though, and, after showing grit last weekend, why wouldn’t they be?

 

Women home after Texas road trip

While the women (6-1) currently hold their first ranking by the ITA all season at No. 56, head coach Vicky Maes still holds to the fact that it is simply a “”bonus”” right now and that the team is taking it one match at a time.

That approach should help with two ranked teams coming into Tucson this weekend.

On Saturday, the women are set to face No. 47 San Diego State (4-3) at noon while No. 57 ranked St. Mary’s (5-1) is around the corner at LaNelle Robson Tennis Center for a match at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

The Wildcats had an extra day of practice this week, which they feel will give them an added edge this weekend, especially with doubles, for which Maes feels a “”mental advantage”” is earned from added double practices.

“”Both teams will battle us hard, so we cannot have too many letups,”” Maes said. “”Though St. Mary’s may have had the better results so far this year, San Diego State beat us last year, so we know we’re going to have a challenging two days ahead of us.””

Last season, San Diego State beat UA 4-3.

But it is a new year and the Wildcats’ method of taking it one match at a time has slowly been paying off. Maes is staying wary of their upcoming schedule and not taking anything for granted.

“”Certainly, our efforts have paid off well so far, but we know matches will get tougher and tougher as the weeks go by,”” she said. “”We are a team that’s competing hard and looking to take advantage of the opportunities we have, one at a time.””

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