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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Unbeaten men’s tennis faces best test yet in defending champions

    Wildcat senior tennis player Daniel Andrus, returning a shot, has been one of many reasons why the Arizona mens tennis team has opened its season 6-0. The road gets tougher from here for the Wildcats, as they travel to Los Angeles this weekend for their first road matches of the year.
    Wildcat senior tennis player Daniel Andrus, returning a shot, has been one of many reasons why the Arizona men’s tennis team has opened its season 6-0. The road gets tougher from here for the Wildcats, as they travel to Los Angeles this weekend for their first road matches of the year.

    In the beginning of the season, members of the No. 53 Arizona men’s tennis team set goals they wished to accomplish, one of which was to enter Pacific 10 Conference play undefeated. With strong play from each player, the Wildcats have accomplished that.

    This will be important as Arizona (6-0, 0-0 Pacific 10 Conference) heads to Southern California to face the defending national champions, No. 8 UCLA (7-3, 0-0), this afternoon at 1:30 p.m., and No. 23 Southern California (4-4, 0-0) tomorrow at 1 p.m., a team they have not done well against in the past.

    “”The guys are fighting hard and have a great positive attitude,”” Arizona head coach Tad Berkowitz said. “”As the competition level increases, our level of playing has also increased.””

    The Bruins will come into the competition with three ranked singles players and two ranked doubles pairs. In the lineup for the Wildcats, senior captain Roger Matalonga ranks No. 80 while senior Jeff Groslimond is not far behind at No. 84. The Wildcat doubles tandem of Matalonga and senior Daniel Andrus moved down in the rankings to No. 45.

    “”UCLA has a different team,”” Matalonga said. “”They are returning their No. 1 guy and have good players. We know them and have respect but are not intimidated.””

    Said Berkowitz: “”Playing at the home court at UCLA is a task, but we have to hold the attitude that we can try and win the match.””

    Even though these teams have more talent than previous opponents, including Trojans sophomore Kaes Van’t Hof, ranked No. 91, Arizona is excited and ready to play, sophomore Bruno Alcala said. After this weekend the Wildcats will be able to gauge where they are in comparison to the level of the rest of the conference.

    Going into this weekend, the guys aren’t putting extra stress on themselves. Instead the team is acting like it is any other team, Berkowitz said.

    “”We are going to try and win and put pressure to hold serve and win the matches,”” Berkowitz said.

    While Arizona enters the weekend undefeated, the Trojans are coming off a three-game losing streak. While this could build confidence for the Wildcats, Berkowitz said his team is not taking the Trojans lightly.

    “”They’re going to take pride and try to get things going,”” he said. “”With a weekend off, we expect them to turn it around and be ready.””

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