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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Sports Briefs

    Men’s golf seeks revenge at ASU Thunderbird Invitational

    Arizona golfer Brian Prouty looked up at the leaderboard after the Tucson National Invitational Tournament on April 3. He saw No. 19 ASU (24 under) take the win, while Arizona (8 under) took a third-place finish.

    But the nation’s No. 21 golfer said he isn’t intimidated going into the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, which runs today through Sunday.

    “”That’s golf,”” Prouty said. “”One week you’re hot, one week you’re not. Hopefully, we’ll go up there and surprise them a little.””

    A victory on the par-71, 7,037-yard Karsten Course would be Arizona’s second in as many years. It would also prepare the No. 23 Wildcats for the NCAA West Regionals in the same location May 17-19.

    “”It is very important to see who can play well on this golf course,”” UA head coach Rick LaRose said. “”The course has some interesting characteristics. … A lot of that has to do with the wind and how tall the rough is.””

    Last year, the Wildcats overcame a nine-shot deficit to claim its first victory of the season with a 22-under 830 total. Prouty took a third-place finish with a career-low 67 in the final round, totaling an 8-under 205.

    This time, Prouty will lead the Wildcats alongside senior Nathan Tyler, with whom he tied for fourth place at the NIT.

    They will be joined by seniors Josh Wilks, Josh Esler and freshman Pedro Oriol. Sophomore Ben Fox will participate as in individual.

    “”We’re going with the guys that are playing the best right now,”” LaRose said of his top five, the same lineup he used in the NIT.

    – Lance Madden

    Tournament implications play role in women’s tennis matchup with Oregon

    Today’s match against Oregon means much more than just Arizona’s final home match of the season. With only two more regular-season matches left in the Wildcats’ season, a win could go a long way toward helping both teams’ NCAA Tournament chances.

    With a win at Robson Tennis Center, Arizona (8-12, 2-4 Pacific 10 Conference) could potentially wind up finishing sixth in the Pac-10, where it stands now, a position UA head coach Vicky Maes said could be high enough to get the Wildcats a tournament bid.

    “”Historically, (the Pac-10) sends six or seven teams to the tournament,”” said Maes. “”Because of our win-loss record, it is important for us to get one more win.””

    But Washington State (13-10, 1-6) and Oregon (12-8, 0-5) aren’t far behind, filling the seventh and eighth spots, respectively.

    With both teams so close, and with a difficult road match against ASU next weekend, the Wildcats would like to secure their position today with a win over the Ducks.

    Maes said she felt they have a good shot at doing just that based on how the team has performed lately.

    “”I really do feel we have a good shot playing at home against Oregon,”” she said. “”The girls are definitely in better spirits and competing harder.””

    What will only add to the intensity of today’s match will be the memory of last year’s match, when the Wildcats beat Oregon in Eugene, Ore., in front of a raucous crowd.

    “”We’re excited, especially because it’s Oregon and we have some history with them,”” said sophomore Danielle Steinberg. “”We don’t like them and they don’t like us. We know that it is a tough match.””

    – Bobby Stover

    Men’s tennis seeks rare ‘W’

    With little to no hope of making the NCAA Tournament this season, Arizona will use its last few matches of the season to gain possible momentum for next year.

    The Wildcats (5-14, 0-4 Pacific 10 Conference), who are currently last in the conference, will close out their final road trip of the season against two teams that have also struggled in conference play.

    Arizona meets Oregon (9-11, 0-5) today before heading north to play Washington (13-6, 1-4) tomorrow.

    Arizona has not won a match in over a month and has extended its losing streak to eight matches. But despite Arizona’s woes, junior Bruno Alcala said the team still has high expectations.

    “”We’ve been working hard to get a ‘W’ and we’re hoping to get a ‘W’ against both Oregon and Washington,”” he said. “”We’re not content with just one. We want to win both.””

    Arizona will have a good chance at doing just that this weekend.

    Neither Oregon nor Washington has been on the top of its game as of late. Washington has lost three of its last four, while the Ducks are on a five-match losing streak.

    But UA head coach Tad Berkowitz isn’t overlooking either team.

    “”They’re both solid teams,”” Berkowitz said. “”I think both matches will be a good challenge for us to see if we can take care of business against Oregon and then show ourselves that we can beat a solid team against Washington.””

    – Bobby Stover

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