Men’s tennis to have last home match

Kara Bauman

The No. 59 Arizona men’s tennis team prepares to play its last home matches at the Robson Tennis Center this weekend against the Los Angeles teams. The Wildcats will battle No. 5 UCLA at 1:30 p.m. today, and No. 6 USC at noon tomorrow.

“”No matter who we play at home, I feel we could give any team a run for their money,”” said head coach Tad Berkowitz. “”We played USC tough out in L.A. earlier this season, and we were close match-for-match. We definitely have a good chance at taking them down; the guys are really going to have to step it up, though.””

It’s already an obstacle for the guys knowing they’re about to dive headfirst into matches in which the odds are strongly against them. But the fact that two key players, sophomore Pat Metham and freshman Jay Goldman, have suffered from injuries doesn’t help.

“”In my singles match against Stanford, I think I hurt (my back) with just one shot,”” Metham said. “”I did an awful twist. It sort of banged two bones together. There’s some inflammation between the two bones. It’s kind of like a bone bruise. But I think I’ll be good to play (today).””

The squad is looking to get as big of a crowd as possible to its matches this weekend.

“”It’s our last home weekend, so we’re looking to get a decent crowd out there for sure,”” Berkowitz said. “”We’re offering free pizza (today) for the first 50 fans that come out, so hopefully they’ll be respectful but as loud as possible.””

If that’s not enough incentive for a starving college student to show up, nothing is. And if the fans don’t eat the pizza, the team will.

“”I want some of that pizza,”” Metham said with a chuckle.

Extra conditioning for women’s tennis to hopefully pay off

The Arizona women’s tennis team travels to Los Angeles this weekend to face off against two tough competitors. The squad will play No. 7 UCLA today at 1:30 p.m., and No. 10 USC tomorrow at noon.

UCLA’s top player, Riza Zalameda, is ranked No. 11; USC’s, Amanda Fink, is No. 10; and Arizona’s, Danielle Steinberg, is No. 38.

“”Our confidence level is where it has been for a while; which hasn’t been very high,”” said assistant coach Brian Ramirez. “”That’s been one of the keys for us. We’re certainly capable, they just lack confidence when they need to have it at key times in the match. As a result, it’s snowballed on the girls as more of a group.””

The Wildcats are not expected to do well on paper and they realize this. They still feel it won’t change the level they will play at though.

Being in the rut they’re in, players have expressed how the coaches feel about their performance during a match. And in order to pick themselves up, something has to change in routine.

“”I think we’re all playing well, we’re just not showing it in matches,”” said freshman Jane Huh. “”On Tuesday, we ran the stadiums at 5 a.m. in McKale for 45 minutes to an hour. It’s been really tough, but it’s for our own good. It was just hard because we’ve never had 5 a.m. (workouts) as a team.””

This spring, the Wildcat’s earliest workouts have been on Wednesdays at 7 a.m.

The extra conditioning has been tough on the girls, but they realize it will only make them better for the future.

“”I think as a team, we’ve come together just because we all know how we feel physically and mentally. It’s really hard to play, practice and function at that time,”” Huh said. “”I feel like everyone’s a little upset, but at the same time, we kind of need it. (The coaches) are just trying to make us better and stronger.””