M Tennis Host Pair of Cats

Feb. 17, 2010

No. 23 Arizona vs. No. 60 BYU

Date: Friday, Feb. 18, 2010

Time: 12:00 p.m. (MST)

Location: Tucson, Ariz.

 

No. 23 Arizona vs. South Alabama

Date: Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010

Time: 9:30 a.m. (MST)

Location: Tucson, Ariz.

 

TUCSONThe University of Arizona men’s tennis team will host the Brigham Young University Cougars and the South Alabama Jaguars this weekend at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. The Wildcats will take on BYU on Friday, Feb. 18 at noon before facing South Alabama on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 9:30 a.m.

 

“We expect another very tough weekend,” said head coach Tad Berkowitz.  “The guys are focused though and ready to go.”

 

This Weekends Match Data:  The Wildcats (4-1) remain at home to host the No. 60 BYU Cougars (8-0) on Friday, Feb. 18 and the South Alabama Jaguars (2-2) on Sunday, Feb. 21.  Both matches will be played at the LaNelle Robson Center.

 

Cats in the Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona remained at No. 23 for the third consecutive week. Sophomore Jason Zafiros remains ranked at No. 113. 

 

Arizona Head Coach Tad Berkowitz enters his fifth season as the head coach of the Wildcats. Berkowitz is the reigning Pac-10 Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year and the Wilson/ITA West Region Coach of the Year.  Last season, he led the Wildcats to an 18-6 overall record last season and the program’s seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament.

He joined the program in 2004 and has held numerous national and collegiate coaching positions. He was promoted to the head coaching position in the spring of 2005 after serving as hall-of-famer Bill Wright's assistant.  Berkowitz was a top collegiate player for the universities of Kentucky and New Mexico, respectively.

 

Last Time Out: The Wildcats swept both of their opponents last weekend at home with wins coming against No. 73 New Mexico State and Cal Poly.  Arizona edged the Aggies of New Mexico State Friday, Feb. 12, in a close 4-3 match and outlasted the Mustangs of Cal Poly, 4-3 on Sunday, Feb. 14.  Senior Andres Arango competed in the No. 1 position for the first time this season.  Arango swept both of his opponents to remain undefeated this season.  Along with Arango, sophomore Jason Zafiros, junior Andres Carrasco and the duo of senior Pat Metham and junior Borja Malo all went undefeated last weekend.

 

Scouting the Cougars: The Cougars enter Friday’s match with a perfect 8-0 record with their most recent win coming against Drake University.  BYU defeated Drake 6-1 on Feb. 13.  BYU has one player, junior Thomas Shubert ranked in the ITA single’s rankings at No. 117. 

 

The Series vs. BYU: This will be the 29th meeting between the two schools, with the Wildcats holding a 22-7 advantage over the Cougars.

 

The Last Meeting: Arizona 5, BYU 2, March 1, 2008: The Wildcats beat the Cougars at home to improve their record to 10-2. Arizona also won five of their six singles matches.

 

Scouting the Jaguars:  After defeating Florida A&M 6-1 on Feb. 7, the Jaguars improve to 2-2.  The Jaguars will meet up with the Cougars on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

 

The Series vs. South Alabama: This will be the first meeting between the two schools. 

 

Stacked Non-Conference Schedule: As always, the Wildcats face a competitive non-conference schedule.  The team will compete in the Blue and Gray Tennis Classic over Spring Break and 10 of the 15 non-conference teams started the spring season ranked in the ITA top 75.

 

18) Duke                                  44) San Diego State

21) Boise State                         62) BYU

22) Auburn                               63) Denver

25) Alabama                            65) Nebraska

40) Texas Tech                        68) New Mexico State

 

Tough Pac-10 Conference: The Pac-10 holds 49 NCAA Men’s Team Titles.  A glance at the ITA rankings around the Pac-10 finds every team outside of Oregon ranked to begin the spring season.

 

1) USC

4) UCLA

9) Stanford

23) Arizona

26) Washington

33) California

 

Home Sweet Home: The Wildcats only lost one match at home last season, improving their home record to 14-1.  This season they are 3-0 at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

 

Some New Volunteer Coaching Help: This season, the Arizona men’s tennis team is pleased to welcome Ryan Johnson to their team as a volunteer assistant coach.  Johnson joined the Wildcats in the fall and brings a lot of tennis experience with him from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he played for two seasons. At UNC Charlotte he played No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles and helped lead his team to the programs first ever Atlantic 10 Conference Title and NCAA bid in 2007.

 

Fall Season: The Wildcats participated in five tournaments in the fall.  The team competed in the NMSU Fall Invitational, the Pepperdine Fall Classic, the D'Novo/ITA All-American Championships, the ITA West Regional Championships, and the UNLV Fall Classic. Ravid Hazi advanced to the quarterfinals in the Rebel Classic while Pat Metham advanced to the semifinals. Andres Carrasco advanced to the semifinals at the Rebel Classic while Geoff Embry won the tournament.  Jason Zafiros advanced to the semifinals in the 2009 Wilson/ITA Southwest Regional Championships.

 

Up Next: Following this weekend’s matches, Arizona travels to Lubbock, Texas where they will face No. 43 Texas Tech on Friday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. CT and No. 53 Denver on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. CT. 

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