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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Men’s tennis opens spring season in New Mexico

The Arizona men’s tennis team will travel to Albuquerque, N.M., for six dual matches facing No. 72 New Mexico, No. 67 Texas A&M Corpus Christi and UC Irvine starting Friday to kick off the spring season.

The Wildcats have nine returning players from last season and are led by seniors Fredrik Ask, Mario Urquidi and Kieren Thompson.

Ask finished with a 8-5 record in the individual fall season, Thompson finished with a 4-5 record and Urquidi went 3-4.

The Wildcats also have a newcomer, sophomore transfer Trevor James, who is undefeated with a 4-0 record.

“The guys are in great shape right now,” head coach Tad Berkowitz said. “They should be very confident knowing that they can last, especially through three straight double headers.”

Arizona will face Texas A&M Corpus Christi first. The Islanders are a young team compared to the Wildcats, with seven underclassmen and only one senior, Matt Westmoreland. Westmoreland went 14-9 with a 6-0 record in conference play his junior season. Another important contributor for the team is junior Pietro Jordao.

Junior Samir Iftikhar leads New Mexico and is ranked No. 45 nationally. The Lobos have one returning senior, Mads Hegelund, two juniors, James Hignett and Iftikhar, and one sophomore, Andrew Van Der Vyver.

UC Irvine’s key players are senior Ryan Cheung, who holds 32 career singles wins, and sophomore Tyler Pham. Irvine earned the 14th Big West regular season title last year. The Anteaters are 27-8 in Big West play under head coach Trevor Kronemann.

The first match will be against Texas A&M Corpus Christi at 9 a.m. on Friday. The Wildcats will be in action all weekend, facing New Mexico last.

ollow Rose Aly Valenzuela @RoseAlyVal

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