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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona men’s tennis returns to spring season after break

After a two-and-a-half week break, the Arizona men’s tennis team started its spring season back up by traveling to Corpus Christi, Texas, to play two matches on Friday and one on Saturday in the HEB Tournament of Champions.

“It was a much needed time off for us to kind of refresh and kind of get back going again,” Arizona coach Tad Berkowitz said. “The guys were ready to go over the weekend, and we had that balance of kind of refreshing and then kicking it into gear and working hard for the last week-and-a-half.”

The team started out strong on Friday morning, winning 4-2 against DePaul University, but fell short later in the day, losing 4-0 to Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The Wildcats then fell 4-2 Saturday morning to Southern Mississippi.

The team did not come out strong Friday morning, as it lost the doubles point to DePaul, even though junior Jason Jaruvang and freshman David Mushayev won on court two. The doubles point was given to DePaul because of the Wildcats’ losses on courts one and three.

The team turned it around during singles and won five out of the six matches. No. 29-ranked junior Naoki Takeda got the win on court one against David Vieyra, 6-1 and 6-1. No. 100-ranked senior Sumeet Shinde earned the winning point for the team as he defeated opponent Sten Leusink, 6-3 and 7-5.

The team could not seem to get a rhythm into place in the singles matches against Texas A&M, as Takeda lost his first match of the spring to Peter Nagy, 6-1 and 6-1. Texas A&M defeated the Wildcats 6-0 within singles. Arizona was able to get back into the tournament Saturday morning but ended up falling just short to Southern Miss. Takeda bounced back to defeat opponent Wen-Po Tseng 6-1 and 6-3 on court one. Sophomore Will Kneale had the only other singles win for the Wildcats as he defeated opponent Daniel Merker, 3-6, 6-4 and 6-0. Jaruvang made a comeback against Mikhail Esipov and was eventually outplayed, as Esipov took the winning point for Southern Miss after Mushayev fell short to Chao-Yu Huang, 3-6, 6-2, and 6-1. Freshman Shoki Kasahara was defeated by opponent Brad Marriott 6-1 and 7-5.

The Wildcats’ two-and-a-half week break may have played into their 1-2 record in the tournament this weekend. “We had everybody play well; we just didn’t play well on the same day,” Berkowitz said. “On day one, I was really impressed with David. Jason and Sumeet played really, really well, and on day two, I thought Will Kneale and Naoki did a fantastic job.”

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Follow Stevie Katz on Twitter.

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