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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Cats look to make last stand against two Top-10 teams

    Arizona senior Francois VanderMerwe swats the ball with a two-handed backhand during a 4-3 UA win against Northwestern on March 25 at Robson Tennis Center. The Wildcats will take on UCLA and USC in Los Angeles this weekend.
    Arizona senior Francois VanderMerwe swats the ball with a two-handed backhand during a 4-3 UA win against Northwestern on March 25 at Robson Tennis Center. The Wildcats will take on UCLA and USC in Los Angeles this weekend.

    As the Arizona men’s tennis team’s regular season draws to a close this weekend, two powerhouses await them in California.

    The Wildcats will first face USC at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. The Trojans (17-4, 4-0- Pacific 10 Conference) are ranked first in the Pac-10 and No. 6 in the nation, but as Arizona (17-3, 2-2) has demonstrated of late, it is fully capable of competing with top-seeded opponents.

    On Saturday at 1 p.m., Arizona will take on UCLA. The Bruins (14-4, 4-0) are ranked ninth in ITA rankings for the season. Both matches will take place in Los Angeles.

    After last Friday’s win over Stanford, UA head coach Tad Berkowitz offered his thoughts on the current state of his team.

    “”It’s definitely a great win for the program,”” he said. “”We’re definitely going in the right direction. We went from two years ago not being ranked, to (being one of the) top (teams) in the country. It’s a great accomplishment for the guys, and they deserve it. They played well. … I’m proud of all of them.””

    In addition to pride, Berkowitz expanded upon the other perks of defeating top-tier teams, like the position in which it places the Wildcats for postseason play.

    “”It’s safe to say we’re going to make the NCAA Tournament this year,”” he said. “”Now it’s a matter of hopefully trying to improve, improve our ranking which will improve our seeding. After the Stanford win, we’re still in it for the Pac-10. Our guys are going after those wins. … We’re still hoping to make a run for the Pac-10.””

    W-tennis looks for redemption after tough matches last weekend

    Arizona women’s tennis head coach Vicky Maes made no secret of her displeasure with her team last weekend, attributing the two shutouts to what she called “”the Pac-10 stigma.””

    “”They see a uniform, not a player,”” she said.

    Unfortunately, with just four matches remaining – three of which are against ranked opponents in the Pac-10 – the doldrums of last weekend’s play must be shaken immediately.

    The good news for No. 61 Arizona (10-7, 1-4 Pac-10) is that the team will return to its home court this weekend. The Wildcats have had several challenging road stretches of late, but are 5-1 when they play at the Robson Tennis Center.

    Arizona faces USC today at 1:30 p.m. The Trojans (17-2, 5-0) are ranked ninth in ITA rankings and on a nine-match winning streak. They also boast a lineup stacked in singles play, with sophomore Maria Sanchez leading the way at No. 18 in ITA rankings, followed by four other players ranked in the top 70.

    Saturday at noon, Arizona will take on No. 11 UCLA (15-5, 3-2).

    For the last six matches of the regular season, Arizona will have competed against five opponents seeded in the top 25, with those teams being ranked eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th and 25th, respectively.

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