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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Injury prevents tennis’ possible upset of Cal

    Things just keep going from bad to worse for the No. 75 Arizona men’s tennis team. After suffering its fifth straight loss Friday against No. 55 Stanford, an injury to No. 3 singles player Ravid Hezi forced the Wildcats to surrender their sixth straight loss Saturday to No. 48 California, losing both contests 4-3.

    With Saturday’s match knotted at 3, Hezi and Cal’s Ken Nakahara had just begun a third set. In the second game, Nakahara hit a tough shot near the baseline and the freshman gave futile chase. After missing the shot, Hezi’s momentum carried him into the fence. On his descent, he landed awkwardly, twisting his left ankle and crumpling to the ground.

    After having the ankle taped, Hezi attempted to finish the match. The efforts were to no avail, however, as UA head coach Tad Berkowitz chose to forfeit the match.

    “”It wasn’t worth him injuring (the ankle) any more,”” Berkowitz said. “”It was just bad luck. I really liked our chances with him (in the last match).””

    “”It sucks,”” Hezi said of the forfeit. “”I knew (Nakahara) was tired, and I was feeling good. I knew if I could fight, my chances were good.””

    Hezi’s injury occurred at the end of a good day of tennis for Arizona (5-12, 0-2 Pacific 10 Conference). After a lackadaisical performance against Stanford (4-11, 1-1) on Friday, Arizona came out with a heightened intensity against the Golden Bears (11-7, 1-1).

    “”We got a pretty good speech (Friday),”” said junior Jason Labrosse. “”(The coaches) were rough with us, the roughest they’ve been this season. I think it shocked some of us, and we came out with a lot of intensity (Saturday).””

    In the No. 1 spot, junior Claudio Christen upset No. 20 Pierre Mouillon of Cal 6-0, 6-1. Labrosse was the only other Arizona winner in singles.

    The intensity showed most in the doubles matches. Arizona, which has struggled with winning the doubles point all season, swept the Golden Bears. It was only the second time this season the Wildcats swept their doubles matches and only the fifth time they won the doubles point.

    “”That was the best doubles we’d played all year,”” Berkowitz said. “”We stepped up and went for our shots. We played not to lose, and it showed.””

    Women’s tennis blanked against Stanford, Cal

    Like many opponents of No. 1 Stanford and No. 6 California, the No. 42 Arizona women’s tennis team couldn’t pull off the upset and suffered consecutive 7-0 losses over the weekend.

    Because of the two teams’ lofty national rankings, Arizona (8-10, 2-2 Pacific 10 Conference) chose to make a secondary goal for the matches.

    “”We had a goal for this weekend to come together as a team, and I think we accomplished that very well,”” said sophomore captain Danielle Steinberg. “”We played doubles pretty well, and all over there were a lot of positive things.””

    Among the positive things were changes in the team’s attitude. After this weekend’s matches, Steinberg said the “”atmosphere of the team is better, more positive. The girls are fighting harder.””

    Doubles were a bright spot for Arizona, as the team’s only wins came at these positions. Against Stanford (15-1, 3-0) Friday, the Wildcats got a victory from Steinberg and junior Camelia Todorova at the No. 2 spot. The No. 3 team of junior Juliette Mavroleon and senior Jessie Rochefort picked up the team’s lone victory Saturday against the Golden Bears (17-3, 3-0).

    Losing to Stanford and Cal is nothing new, as the schools are a combined 32-4 overall and undefeated in conference play. Because of this, UA assistant coach Brian Ramirez said there was no shame in losing to these teams.

    “”The girls did as good of a job as they can do,”” he said. “”These teams are just really tough.””

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