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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Men’s tennis chops down Cardinals

    In one of the most monumental upsets in the history of Arizona men’s tennis, the Wildcats pulled off a stunning 4-2 victory over No. 8 Stanford on Friday at Robson Tennis Center.

    Sophomore Andres Carrasco was able to sum up the match for Arizona (17-3, 2-2 Pacific 10 Conference) in one word: “”fantastic.””

    “”It was probably the greatest feeling I’ve ever had in my career,”” he said. “”It’s one of the best things in the school history. … It’s something you are always hoping for in college.””

    Arizona head coach Tad Berkowitz’s pride in his team was palpable when discussing the win.

    “”It was an unbelievable win. I was so happy for the guys, just knowing that they’ve worked so hard,”” he said. “”They have such a great attitude in dual matches, they fight so hard. You could tell the day before they were really focused and ready to play.””

    Carrasco was dismissive of the Stanford athletic Web site, which, following the match, read: “”No. 8 Stanford Shocked By No. 20 Arizona,”” maintaining that his team’s perseverance did not surprise him at all.

    “”I felt confident. We were playing a home match, we had a perfect season at home at that point,”” he said. “”I knew all the guys were healthy. Probably we are not the most talented team, but we are fighters. All of us believe, we want to win so bad.””

    Berkowitz said that since Stanford (13-5, 0-3) has a history of national titles in men’s tennis, the upset would have definitely been shocking for many people. However, given the caliber of his team this year, he was not one of them.

    “”With the type of year we’ve had and the guys we have on our team, I don’t think it’s shocking. Our guys went into the match with the belief we could win, and we did,”” Berkowitz said.

    The next day, however, Arizona could not overcome No. 44 California, losing 4-2. Carrasco and junior Andres Arango were the only players to put together victories in that match.

    But Carrasco had no harsh words for his team regarding the loss.

    “”We fought so hard. We wanted to win,”” he said. “”It was a really difficult test for us, another Pac-10 school. We wanted to win the final match at home. There’s nothing to say to any of the guys, any of the coaches, except in sports, you cannot always win. Congrats to them (California).””

    Berkowitz also gave no recriminations.

    “”The Pac-10’s brutal,”” he said. “”Does Stanford on paper have a better team than us? I think they do. Did we beat them that day? Yes.

    “”Cal is an evenly-matched team with us, even though they were ranked quite a bit lower. It’s a situation this year that shows the depth of college men’s tennis,”” Berkowitz added.”” You’re going to win some close ones, you’re going to lose some close ones. No excuses, our guys were ready. There was no letdown.””

    With USC and UCLA awaiting next weekend, Carrasco said the team is moving beyond Saturday.

    “”It was a weird feeling because in one day it was the best feeling in the world, and the next day, I was kind of sad because it was such a great opportunity we had,”” he said. “”But we still have two matches and it’s going to be really difficult for us, especially away, but this team is great. Heads up and keep fighting. The show must go on.””

    Women’s tennis struggles against two top-ranked conference foes

    The Wildcats headed to California knowing that the two matches awaiting them would be challenging. They were shut out by both No. 10 Stanford and No. 8 California, lopsided defeats that head coach Vicky Maes feels should not have happened.

    “”I’m not disappointed we lost,”” she said. “”What I am disappointed in is that the kids went in deflated. I think they just gave in to the idea of playing Stanford and Cal and they’re ranked higher and have a better record.

    “”I was truly disappointed in that,”” Maes added. “”I didn’t think this group would respond that way.””

    The Wildcats struggled to find their stride in either singles or doubles play as they lost 7-0 in both matches,

    “”We didn’t really get any individual efforts from anyone,”” Maes said. “”It was a team meltdown. I hope when we play next weekend, we can come up with a much better effort and attitude, the way we do when we play against teams we are supposed to beat. I really feel like we gave in.””

    The Wildcats were coming off a convincing victory over No. 39 Sacramento State coming into the weekend, a team that was ranked considerably higher than No. 59 Arizona.

    “”The way they played against Sac State was the way I wanted them to perform against Stanford and Cal,”” Maes said, with regard to her team’s mental toughness. “”I think there’s that stigma of playing Pac-10 and Arizona has struggled in the Pac-10 the past few years.

    “”They see a uniform, not a player. We didn’t get that way against Sac State,”” she added. “”They went in with a lot of enthusiasm.””

    However, with just four matches left, Maes emphasized the importance of her team shaking that Pac-10 stigma quickly.

    “”I was not happy with the girls this weekend, and I let them know that,”” she said. “”We have nothing but Pac-10 left, and we need to turn it around. You can only do so much as a coach to let them know they’re worthy of being on the same court as those girls.””

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