The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

84° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 6 Arizona men’s tennis sweep its opening weekend of conference play against No. 47 USC and No. 24 UCLA

Amelia McAnear

Eric Padgham and Gustaf Strom chest bump in celebration at a doubles match Pepperdine University on Feb. 3 at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. The Wildcats went on to win the match 6-1. 

The No. 6 Arizona men’s tennis team traveled to Los Angeles, to begin its conference play on Friday, March 22, at 4 p.m. against No. 47 USC and on Sunday, March 24 at noon against No. 24 UCLA. The Wildcats entered these matches the winners of eight straight and proceeded to add to this impressive achievement.

Arizona (16-2, 2-0 in Pac-12) dispatched USC (5-10, 0-1 in Pac-12) Friday evening 4-0 to open up conference play with a commanding victory. The Wildcats then closed out the weekend facing UCLA (7-6, 0-2 in Pac-12) handily fending off the Bruins to win 4-1 and sweep their opening conference play. 

Day 1: No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 47 USC – Friday, March 22, 4 p.m. 

In Arizona’s first Pac-12 Conference match of the season, the Wildcats would end it with a celebration after a decisive 4-0 victory over the Trojans, adding to an already impressive run the team is on.

Starting off with the doubles segment of the match, Arizona’s pairs once again put forth dominant performances, ultimately securing the doubles point in their favor. First up was the duo of No. 24 Colton Smith and Jay Friend, who showcased their prowess on court one and delivered a masterclass 6-2 victory over their USC counterparts, Peter Makk and Lodewijk Weststrate. Meanwhile, Herman Hoeyeraal and Eric Padgham played on court two, battled back-and-forth and overcame the duo of Samuel Rubell and Niroop Vallabhaneni to etch out a 6-4 win. Despite a strong showing from USC’s Volodymyr Iakubenko and Karl Lee, who secured a 6-0 victory over Sasha Rozin and Gustaf Strom on court three, the Wildcats emerged victorious in the doubles play, and the team was in high spirits as they prepared for their singles matches.

In singles play, the Wildcats continued to demonstrate their individual talents, securing victories on multiple courts. Notably, No. 97 Hoeyeraal delivered a standout performance, dispatching Lee in straight sets with a 6-2, 6-3 win. Strom added to Arizona’s lead with his 6-2, 6-3 victory over No. 122 Weststrate, showcasing his special touch on the court. Captain No. 14 Smith clinched the match for the Wildcats with a stellar performance on court one, defeating No. 73 Makk with scores of 6-3, 7-5. With each singles victory, Arizona further solidified its position as the frontrunner in the conference. Now, the Wildcats turn their focus on building on this performance when they face the Bruins on Sunday.

Day 2: No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 24 UCLA – Sunday, March 24, noon

The Wildcats picked up right where they left off on Friday, heading into Sunday’s match against the Bruins. Arizona defeated UCLA in a 4-1 contest in Los Angeles, but despite the final result being in favor of the Wildcats, it was not an easy match. Nonetheless, the Wildcats were able to overcome facing another formidable opponent to leave the weekend flawless.

In the doubles competition, the No. 24 duo of Friend and Smith set the tone early for Arizona, handily defeating their opponents with a decisive 6-2 victory on the top court. Meanwhile, Rozin and Strom showcased their exceptional teamwork and skill, clinching the doubles point for the Wildcats with a 6-2 win on court three. Although the Bruins put up a strong fight, Arizona’s doubles pairs remained composed under pressure, laying a solid foundation for the singles matches to come.

Moving into singles play, the Wildcats maintained their momentum with standout performances from key players. No. 14 Smith delivered a clutch performance on court one, defeating No. 28 Govind Nanda with scores of 6-3, 6-4, to extend Arizona’s lead. No. 26 Friend showcased his resilience in a thrilling three-set battle on court two, ultimately emerging victorious over Giacomo Revelli with scores of 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. With each hard-earned point, Arizona solidified its control of the match and was able to sweep both Los Angeles schools for the first time in school history.

Looking ahead: 

The Wildcats return home for their matches next week on Friday, March 29, at 2 p.m. against the No. 59 University of California, Berkeley, and on Sunday, March 31, at 1 p.m. against No. 30 Stanford University, both matches taking place at LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

Follow the Daily Wildcat on Instagram and Twitter/X


More to Discover