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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Men’s tennis struggling

Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat
 
Arizona Tennis vs Stanford
Valentina Martinelli
Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat Arizona Tennis vs Stanford

The men’s tennis team is battling a six-match losing streak, also falling in eight of its last 11 matches. But, at least in the eyes of these Wildcats, wins and losses simply do not tell the whole story.

“”Our results don’t really show the potential that this team has,”” said senior Andres Carrasco.

During the recent skid, the Wildcats have fallen to Oklahoma, Indiana, Washington, Oregon, California and Stanford. At the time of the losses, Oklahoma was ranked 29th, Washington 20th, Stanford 12th and Cal sixth. The truth about Arizona’s talent lies in the numbers.

Against a supremely talented California team on Friday, the Wildcats brought nearly every singles and doubles match down to the wire. Carrasco, ranked individually at No. 111 in the country, upset the Golden Bears’ No. 65-ranked Carlos Cueto in singles. In addition, Carrasco teamed with Kieran Thompson to garner the Wildcats’ lone doubles win.

Senior Jay Goldman, playing in the No. 1 spot in singles, had the daunting task of facing the No. 17 ranked Pedro Zerbini, yet managed to keep the match close when he lost 6-2 and 6-3. Freshmen Giacomo Miccini and Andre Vidaller both defeated their opponents in their singles matches as well.

This game against Cal exemplifies what has been going on with the team almost the entire season. The Wildcats have faced an extremely tough schedule, yet game-in and game-out they continue to give their opponents everything they have. During the course of this three-match losing streak, Arizona has only lost each match by an average of 2.5 points. Take away the 6-1 loss to Washington and that number drops to just a two-point difference.

“”We’re hanging tough with some of the best teams in the country,”” said head coach Tad Berkowitz. “”It’s going to take a little bit more, and we can get over the hump.””

Against Stanford on Sunday, the Wildcats lost with a score of 5-2, but looking deeper into the individual matchups reveals that the match was actually a lot closer and hard fought than that score might indicate.

Andre Vidaller and Jason Zafiros garnered the team’s lone doubles victory, winning 8-5 over Stanford’s No. 67 ranked duo of Alex Clayton and Ted Kelly. They were not able to defeat that duo in the singles portion, but every single match was kept remarkably close. Seniors Carrasco, Goldman and Geoff Embry all participated in what would be the final home match of their careers. Goldman lost to the No. 11 Bradley Klahn 6-2, 6-2.

Embry pulled out the final home victory of his career, defeating Jamin Ball 6-3, 5-7, 7-5. Carrasco, who was matched up with Stanford’s No. 32-ranked Ryan Thatcher, started off impressively winning the first set 6-3. Unfortunately, he couldn’t keep that momentum going forward when he fell 6-3 in the second set and 6-1 in the third.

“”Before we started the season I really, really thought, and still think, that this is the best team I have (been on) in my four years here,”” Carrasco said. “”Unfortunately, we’re at a position right now (ranked No. 56) in the country where we don’t want to be.

“”Our goal was clearly to make it to the NCAAs and then make a good run out of it. We still can, it’s still possible. We’re going on the road to play USC and UCLA next week. That’s the good thing about being in the Pac-10 — you have a lot of chances.””

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