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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    M-Tennis drops two ranked foes at home

    Last week, Arizona head coach Tad Berkowitz referred to the weekend as a “”great test”” for the team.

    By that logic, the Wildcats passed with flying colors.

    Taking advantage of playing on its home turf, No. 40 Arizona defeated No. 26 Texas Tech 4-3 on Friday. It was by no means a guaranteed victory, as the Wildcats opened the match by losing the doubles point and the two subsequent singles matches. It was only after sophomores Jay Goldman and Andres Carrasco and freshman Jason Zafiros put together a string of victories that the Wildcats were able to regain ground. Junior Pat Metham clinched the match with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 victory over the Red Raiders’ Michael Breler.

    “”We played the way we’re capable of playing. As far as taking it up a notch, we’re definitely playing well as a team,”” Berkowitz said. “”I think the guys believe that’s the level they should be at.””

    On Sunday, Arizona defeated No. 54 San Diego 5-2. This time, the Wildcats were able to win the doubles point, which was followed by impressive singles victories by juniors Andres Arango and Ravid Hazi, Zafiros and Carrasco. Zafiros is on a nine-match winning streak in singles play.

    “”Our guys fought their hearts out this weekend, both Friday and Sunday,”” Berkowitz said. “”We had two highly competitive teams in town, the guys showed up both days with a lot of emotion, played with a lot of pride.””

    The Wildcat head coach also lauded Carrasco as the standout player during the two matches.

    “”I think Andres Carrasco really took his game up another level this weekend,”” Berkowitz said. “”He’s been competing hard all season, but this weekend he really found his game.””

    Arizona heads out on the road again next weekend to Fresno, Calif., where it will take on Fresno State on Saturday at 1 p.m.

    “”What we’ve done for ourselves so far this year is establish ourselves with good, quality wins. Hopefully that will help, ranking-wise,”” Berkowitz said. “”I think come NCAA tournament time, these wins early on this year will help our chances out.””

    W-Tennis drops both weekend matches on road

    In spite of a renewed emphasis on doubles play in practice last week, the Arizona women’s tennis team was unable to secure the doubles point in either of its two matches in the weekend’s San Diego road trip. Both matches culminated in losses for the Wildcats, giving them a 5-2 record on the season.

    “”The doubles point is crucial in matches. It provides a lot of momentum for the other matches. We’re trying to find our best lineup right now. … It’s a lot of chemistry and takes a lot of practice,”” said UA assistant coach Ryan Stotland.

    In prior matches, the doubles point has often eluded Arizona but the Wildcats managed to redeem themselves in the singles game. That was not the case over the weekend. After Arizona lost the doubles point on Friday to No. 63 San Diego State, only Danielle Steinberg, Sarah Landsman and Debora Castany came up with wins in singles play. The final score of the match was 4-3.

    “”The freshmen have definitely stepped it up,”” Stotland said. “”We play three freshmen. We have a very young team, so they have to step it up, unfortunately, and they do a great job at it.””

    In Saturday’s match against the San Diego Toreros, Arizona again failed to claim the doubles point. In singles, freshmen Natasha Marks and Landsman were the only two to best their opponents, and the Toreros would continue on to win the match 5-2. It was the first time that Steinberg, a senior, has lost a singles match all season, as she fell to San Diego’s Juliette Coupez 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

    “”We had a chance in either one,”” Stotland said. “”We could have won them, but we didn’t. They played good matches. … We didn’t play to our ability and we didn’t play as smart as we should have, and that’s an area we need to improve upon.””

    The Wildcats will be in Oregon next weekend, facing the University of Oregon Friday at noon.

    “”We’re disappointed we lost, but we can’t really complain,”” Stotland said. “”We didn’t play our best tennis … you learn a lot from your losses, and that’s what we plan on doing.””

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