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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona men’s tennis faces tough road test in California

As the Arizona men’s tennis team regular season play comes to an end, the Wildcats are currently 8-8.This weekend, the Wildcats play in San Diego against the University of San Diego on Thursday and San Diego State on Saturday.

Arizona came off of a tough weekend with two losses to Loyola Marymount and Fresno State. However, there are improvements to be made for the Wildcats.

“We’re missing our No. 1 player and senior captain, Naoki Takeda, and once he gets back, our line-up dynamic will really change,” head coach Tad Berkowitz said.

According to Berkowitz, Takeda has been out for the past week and it has really affected the team’s play. Arizona has gone 0-2 without Takeda thus far.

Since Takeda is their best player, many of the players have had to step up and play in tougher positions than what they are used to, changing the element of the matches.

However, the players who had to play up to a higher level have gained valuable experience.

Moving forward with Takeda, Arizona is looking to build on the experience it’s gained now that Takeda can play back into the No. 1 match position. Takeda will play this weekend.

The Wildcats are looking for good competitive matches.

Both teams competed well in the NCAA tournament last year. SDSU had a team that was ranked around 35th last year, and most of its team is back.

University of San Diego was also previously ranked as high as 16th this year.

“They will both be pretty competitive matches, and it will be part of the perk of preparation heading into the Pac-12 Conference tournament,” Berkowitz said.

Another form of preparation is spring break, from which Arizona has a bye week. The Wildcats will be looking to gain some rest mentally and physically to gear up for the tournament.

“For us its about getting all six guys to play well on the same day, and if we can do that, then we can definitely sneak up on some good teams,” Berkowitz said. “Honestly, on any given day, I think we can match up with anybody pretty well. Some of the losses that we’ve had, we’ve had different guys playing well and on different days — and if we get all six together — we have a good shot at beating any team.”

That is exactly what the Wildcat’s hope to do this weekend before conference play. They aim to be consistent across the board and maintain composure together as a team.

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