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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Alcala, Hezi fall in 2nd round at Pac-10s”

    Bruno Alcala
    Bruno Alcala

    Going into the Pacific 10 Conference Championships, junior Bruno Alcala was focused on getting revenge on a past singles foe. Instead, Alcala came away with some revenge from a completely different pair of enemies in Ojai, Calif.

    Thursday, Alcala tried to take a match from California’s Eoin Heavey, who had beaten Alcala in three sets back on March 31, but Heavey again prevailed and beat Alcala in straight sets 7-6 (5), 6-3.

    The retribution Alcala had not necessarily counted on came in his first-round doubles match with freshman Ravid Hezi. The pair was set to face Stanford’s Paul Morrissey and Richard Wire, the same Stanford duo that defeated Alcala and Hezi 8-6 at the No. 2 doubles position when the two teams met four weeks ago in the Wildcats’ 4-3 loss to Stanford.

    However, on Friday Alcala and Hezi turned the tables, beating Morrissey and Wire 8-5 in the first round of the doubles bracket.

    “”I think Ravid and I played more relaxed,”” Alcala said. “”We knew that if we played our best, we were going to win that match. We were confident in each other, and I think that was the difference between this time and last time.””

    In the first meeting, Alcala and Hezi were playing their first match as a pair. Since then, the two have won three matches together, including a win over ASU in Arizona’s final regular-season match April 21.

    Alcala said a growing familiarity played a role in their first-round victory.

    “”We didn’t play that many matches together, but after winning three matches, you have more confidence in each other,”” he said, “”so I think that was key.””

    Another reason for the pair’s strong performance may have been past knowledge of the opponents. Hezi knew both Stanford players from his experiences in junior tournaments before coming to Arizona.

    “”Ravid was pretty fired up to play against them,”” Alcala said. “”I think whenever you play against guys you know or are your friends, you want to beat them. He was definitely fired up.””

    After their first-round performance, the duo carried the momentum into its second-round match, but it was not enough as UCLA’s Philipp Gruendler and Ben Kohlloeffel – the nation’s No. 10 duo – outlasted Alcala and Hezi in a tiebreaker to take the match 9-8 (5).

    Despite the loss, Alcala said there were “”no complaints from that match at all.””

    “”We went out there and played really good doubles,”” he said. “”We actually had a match point against the No. 10 team in the nation.

    “”That was definitely our strongest performance.””

    The rest of the team didn’t fare as well in the doubles draw of the Championships. Both of the Wildcats’ other doubles teams fell in the first-round, putting an end to a season that has been far from perfect for Arizona.

    As the Wildcats begin to put distance between themselves and this season, Alcala said the team will not forget what it has learned.

    “”This season has been a learning process for everybody,”” he said. “”We are kind of glad the season is over because it was a terrible season, but we’re not going to forget about it.

    “”I think this season will really help everybody improve for next year.””

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