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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “UCLA, USC dominate Arizona on courts”

    If there is such a thing as a close blowout, the men’s tennis team’s matches against No. 8 UCLA and No. 4 USC fit the bill.

    Although No. 62 Arizona (5-9, 0-4) was swept by the Bruins (10-3, 3-1) Friday and lost 6-1 to the Trojans (13-1, 5-0) Saturday, most of the matches were close. Four matches went into third sets, and five sets in the two-set matches were decided in tiebreakers.

    Before the matches, UA head coach Tad Berkowitz told his team to show him “”what they got”” and asked them who was going to rise to the occasion. Although they only came away with one victory, he was pleased with his team’s effort.

    “”We were right there with them,”” Berkowitz said. “”I’m proud of the guys for competing like that and believing they can hang with teams like (UCLA and USC). That is going to give us confidence.””

    Arizona’s lone win came from Claudio Christen at the No. 1 singles position. Christen, who has struggled of late, defeated USC’s No. 77 Dejan Cvetkovic in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.

    The win snapped an eight-match losing streak for Christen, who has spent much of the season adjusting to the No. 1 spot after spending most of last year playing at No. 3.

    “”I really needed the win because my confidence was down,”” Christen said. “”I served really well today.””

    By late in the first set, Cvetjovic was visibly rattled as he occasionally abused his racquet between games.

    “”I know when he gets down he gets frustrated, so I just stayed on him,”” Christen said. “”When you play well and feel well, it’s easy to win. (This win) helps for my own confidence.””

    Women swept in California

    It was an ugly couple of days for the No. 32 Arizona women’s tennis team in California, where the team was swept for the first time this season.

    Arizona (7-7, 2-4) won only one set in its matches against No. 22 UCLA (11-5, 4-3) Friday and No. 11 USC (12-2, 4-0) Saturday.

    The team’s only victory came in doubles play, as the No. 2 doubles team of sophomore Danielle Steinberg and junior Camelia Todorova beat UCLA’s Alex McGoodwin and Ashley Joelson 8-4.

    Steinberg also had Arizona’s only winning set in singles, as she fell to UCLA’s No. 24 Riza Zalameda 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

    “”We just got beat up by two good teams,”” said UA assistant coach Brian Ramirez. “”It wasn’t our best weekend of putting on competitive matches from top to bottom, but that’s going to happen from time to time.””

    Ramirez said he also felt that both UCLA and USC were much better teams than their rankings indicated.

    “”Both of those teams are a little under-ranked right now,”” he said. “”Their rankings are kind of a joke.””

    This weekend was also the first time Arizona’s No. 3 doubles team of junior Juliette Mavroleon and freshman Katie Orletsky were beat all season. The duo had been 7-0 on the year and come into the weekend ranked No. 45.

    But the team won only four games in two matches.

    “”We were making a lot of errors and trying too hard,”” Orletsky said. “”We just had trouble closing out games when we had chances to win.””

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