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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


M&W; tennis victorious

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

Through all the disputed points, the screams of “”Let’s go!”” and a few delays, the Arizona men’s tennis team lived up to its Intercollegiate Tennis Association No. 24-ranking by taking down the previously unbeaten and No. 49-ranked Brigham Young University 5-2 on Friday. They followed that up with a 4-2 win over University of South Alabama on Sunday after an hour and a half of weather delays.

Starting Friday against BYU (9-1), there seemed to be more disputed calls than there had been all season. Court two, a singles match between Arizona senior Andres Arango and BYU junior Evan Urbina, seemed to be the source of most of the controversy, even with a dedicated umpire on the court.

With the BYU head coach closely watching the match and challenging points, the two players got into a battle, yelling “”Let’s go!”” in celebration after many of the points they won.

Arango came out with the victory 6-4, 7-6.

Court one featured the return of UA junior Jay Goldman, who had been absent due to a wrist injury that had kept him sidelined since October. In his first action of the spring season, he dropped his match 6-4, 7-5 to ITA No. 98-ranked singles player Thomas Shubert.

The remaining matches finished with UA sophomore Jason Zafiros winning in a tie-breaker on court three, 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 over Cassidy Mears. Arizona senior Andres Carrasco then defeated Georgy Batrakov 7-6, 6-2 on court four, and senior Pat Metham, who was on court six, defeated Michael Eraso 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

Arizona also won the doubles point with wins on two of the three doubles courts.

“”We came out more ready, (with) more authority in doubles,”” said head coach Tad Berkowitz. “”But good teams come back and, similar to what we did last week when we lost the doubles point, they came in singles and changed the momentum right out of the gate.””

On Sunday against South Alabama, the Wildcats began with singles rather than doubles in an effort to shorten the match to accommodate the women’s match that was to be played later in the day.

The Wildcats earned wins on courts one through four.

Goldman got back to his winning ways on court one with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory. In the first ITA rankings last fall, Goldman was ranked No. 36 in the country. This win was just the first step along the way to getting back to top form.

“”I’m feeling healthy now,”” Goldman said. “”This win reiterates some confidence and will help me get back on track, I’m sure. It’s a process and everyone is doing great, so hopefully I can do well with them.””

On court two, Zafiros was victorious 6-3, 6-4, Carrasco won court three with a smooth 6-2, 6-2 victory and junior Geoff Embry fought through three tough sets, including a tie-breaker for a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 victory.

“”It seems like different guys on different days step up,”” said Berkowitz. “”At the end up the match, Geoff stepped up clutch and did a great job and he earned it. (It was) an interesting day today because of the conditions and starting singles first, but once again, the guys stepped up and got it done.””

Rained out against San Diego State

Only able to finish the doubles portion of an anticipated matchup with ITA No. 60 San Diego State on Saturday, the No. 59 Arizona women’s tennis team (7-1) had to come back the next day with enough focus to last through delays and tough points.

But if there’s anything that head coach Vicky Maes has mentioned this year, it’s that this team is mentally stronger than in years past. And while it’s still something she said the team needs to work on, they showed the mental focus needed in their 4-2 win over ITA No. 43 St. Mary’s.

After starting much later than anticipated because of the men’s match that ran over, there was obvious focus on court one from sophomore Natasha Marks and court three from freshman Aleksandrina Naydenova. On the first court, Marks, the No. 88-ranked singles player, quickly took control of her match and never looked back as she cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 victory. Naydenova also defeated her opponent by set scores of 6-1, 6-3.

Two clutch successes, though, came when trying to avoid going to doubles to decide the match. For the third win, sophomore Sarah Landsman lost a tie-breaker in the second set to bring the match to a third. She won 6-3, 6-7, 6-2.

The biggest victory came from senior Ariane Masschelein on court five. After dropping the first set, she came back to win a close second set. After a few delays, the most notable of which being a discussion over the score of the match, play resumed and Masschelein pulled out a 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 win, which allowed the women to avoid doubles.

Maes mentioned that while she was pleased with the majority of the match, there is still plenty to work on, including the mental aspect of the girls’ games.

“”I’m really happy with the match, but I think we have a lot to learn. Going into Utah (next week), we just need to have the confidence of a team with our record.””

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