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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Tennis to spring back over break

For the Arizona men’s tennis team, Spring Break happens in Montgomery, Ala., and the Wildcats couldn’t be more excited to play in the annual Blue Gray Tennis Classic.

To start off break, however, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) No. 34-ranked Wildcats (7-4) will be in San Diego, Calif., to face No. 45 San Diego (7-2) on Friday and San Diego State (1-7) on Sunday.

The story of the week, though, is the prestigious, invite-only Blue Gray Tennis Classic in which the team will compete, starting on March 18.

“”They do a beautiful job with the event, and the whole town gets involved,”” said men’s head coach Tad Berkowitz, who said he has been trying to earn an invite to the tournament for years.

Competition that includes schools such as No. 15 Texas Tech, No. 20 Oklahoma, No. 22 Fresno State, all the way down to No. 69 ranked Oklahoma State will provide serious challenges. But, even after a tough stretch in which UA has lost three of four games, the Wildcats feel they are ready to come out of spring break with a successful trip to Alabama.

“”That’s our opportunity to make our move,”” Berkowitz said. “”It’s an opportunity to play some different teams, see some different faces and hopefully make a little bit of a run.””

Women open break with two matches, then have a week off

After a disappointing open to its Pacific 10 Conference schedule last week with losses to No. 16 Washington and No. 60 Washington State, the No. 59 Arizona women’s tennis team (8-4) is set to rebound in its matches before taking almost a two week break.

Returning home to LaNelle Robson Tennis Center this weekend, the Wildcats will face Pac-10 foe Oregon

(5-9) on Saturday at noon and Memphis (6-11) at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

“”We have a big job ahead of us against Memphis and Oregon, and that needs to be on our minds more than the break,”” said head coach Vicky Maes. “”I feel we can relax a little if we can finish this first part of the season on a high note.””

Through the first part of the season, the Wildcats have been very successful, but their coach hopes to see the mental aspect of their game improve.

“”The team is definitely in need of a break,”” Maes said. “”We have struggled in the past few weeks, and a couple of days away from it all may just recharge the batteries.””

Before they can even think about that, though, there are bigger tasks at hand — like picking up their first conference win of the season. In a stacked Pac-10 Conference, every single win is important, and the team understands that, especially since it dives back into its conference schedule with matches against No. 8 California and No. 11 Stanford the weekend after Spring Break.

Quick hits

•Despite four losses in the season for the men, all of them have been against highly ranked teams. No. 15 Texas Tech, No. 29 Denver, No. 32 Alabama and No. 36 Nebraska are all teams that have posted a loss for the Wildcats.

• The women dropped 20 spots in the rankings to No. 59 after their two losses last week.

• The men improved one spot to No. 34 in the team rankings, despite splitting their matches against Santa Clara and Nebraska last weekend.

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