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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Road matches on deck for men’s tennis squad

    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

The University of Arizona tennis team plays the Northwestern tennis team.
    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat The University of Arizona tennis team plays the Northwestern tennis team.

    Lucky number thirteen.

    Arizona competed in its last non-conference match on Wednesday against No. 58 Northwestern, eking out a tense 4-3 victory, running the team’s winning streak to a baker’s dozen.

    Although sophomores Jay Goldman and Andres Carrasco and juniors Andres Arango and Pat Metham were able to come up with convincing singles wins, the Wildcats lost the doubles point and freshman Jason Zafiros saw his fifteen-match winning streak in singles play snapped by Northwestern’s Eric Spector in a 6-4, 6-4 contest.

    “”It was a slippery match,”” said UA head coach Tad Berkowitz. “”We were playing a tough team, a Wednesday morning, the morning before we leave to begin our Pac-10 season.

    “”It was a match where the guys had to stay tough mentally in order to come through,”” he added. “”We had to be ready in spite of an interesting scheduling, playing at 10 in the morning.””

    Goldman became the third Wildcat to be distinguished among the Pacific 10 Conference Player of the Week for his dominant play against Cal Poly and Iowa during the week of March 9-15.

    Arizona (15-1) will commence Pac-10 play in Eugene, Ore., this afternoon at 1:30. Today’s opponent, the University of Oregon (8-8), is one of the only unranked Pac-10 opponents that Arizona will face during this highly competitive part of the season.

    “”We’re confident. We’ve had a good run,”” Berkowitz said. “” … It’s a whole other ball game, though, going into the Pac-10 season. Everything goes up a notch.

    “”We’re playing in weather conditions we’re not used to. It’s always a little more challenging to play on the road.”” he added, “”Even though (the Ducks are) not ranked, they’re definitely capable of doing well.””

    On Sunday, the No. 20 Wildcats will travel to Seattle to face Washington (11-5). The Huskies are No. 26 in the ITA rankings and are coming off a shutout of No. 54 Pacific. Sophomore Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan is ranked No. 33 in singles play and senior Patrick Fischer resides in the No. 91 spot.

    Even though the Wildcats will take on a highly ranked team and highly ranked individuals, they won’t be intimidated by Washington’s talent.

    “”We’ll be ready. With our non-conference schedule – Fresno State, Florida – we’ve handled different conditions, hopping on airplanes, hopping off airplanes, time changes,”” Berkowitz said. “”We’ve played in different atmospheres, environments. That’s just part of playing on the road.””

    In regards to his team’s winning streak, Berkowitz added, “”We’ve shown up to play every match. The guys have done a really nice job competing hard, being ready to play every single match.””

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