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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona men’s tennis takes on St. Mary’s at home

Coming off of a big win at home against New Mexico State last weekend, the Wildcat men’s tennis team looks to continue its play as a team at home when it hosts the Gaels of St. Mary’s at 10 a.m. on Friday at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center on campus.

Wildcats coach Tad Berkowitz has been emphasizing toughness as a focal point both in practice and on the court, and the team will need it Friday come match time.

“St. Mary’s is a tough team,” Berkowitz said. “We have had some good battles with them [the] last few years. We need to continue to compete hard, show that toughness and play well all around.”

This weekend will be a real test for the Wildcats. The Gaels have experienced players like junior Tuomas Manner, who was named singles player of the month in November for the West Coast Conference.

In doubles play, Jesse Kiuru and Joakim Norstrom were named players of the month at the same time. Manner, who comes from Finland, played against some of the best competition in the country in 2012 and looks to build on that success in the new year.

“It all depends on how the lineups shake up, but he should be in the top of their lineup,” Berkowitz said.

This may mean a matchup for either of the junior leaders on the Arizona squad, Giacomo Miccini or Andre Vidaller.

St. Mary’s is 2-1 in singles play so far this season, coming off of a sweep (7-0) victory over Sonoma State in its first home match of the season.

St. Mary’s Alec Wagner is a freshman from Hawaii who just claimed his first victory on the team. Freshman Naoki Takeda would be a great matchup against the Gaels freshman come match time.

“We could see a possible matchup of freshmen as well as transfers going at it, so it should be interesting,” Berkowitz said.

As for the Wildcats, look for Vidaller to build on his win at New Mexico St., as well as fellow leader Miccini, who also won his match last weekend.

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