Arizona Opens Pac-10 Play

March 24, 2010

No. 32 Arizona vs. No. 16 California

Date: Friday, March 26, 2010

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Location: Berkeley, Calif.


No. 32 Arizona vs. No. 15 Stanford

Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Location: Palo Alto, Calif.


TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona men's tennis team travels to California for their last road trip of the regular season.  The Wildcats begin Pac-10 action Friday against the Golden Bears and then face the Cardinal on Saturday.


“Now the second half of our season begins, said head coach Tad Berkowitz.  “The Pac-10 without a doubt is the toughest conference in the country.  We are there, we can hang with all these schools and I’m looking forward to the Pac-10 season. Every team is really strong this year and every team has improved since last year and so have we.  We will be ready to go.”


This Weekends Match Data:  The Wildcats (11-5) face No. 16 Cal (9-4) on Friday, March 26 at 1:30 p.m. followed by a Saturday match against No. 15 Stanford (9-3) on March 27 at 1:00 p.m.  


Cats in the Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona climbed one spot to No. 32 after going 2-1 at the Blue/Gray Tennis Classic and advancing to the semifinals.


Beastly Duo: The Wildcats doubles duo of Pat Metham and Borja Malo remain in the doubles rankings for the second week in a row at No. 55.  


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, who were ranked No. 33 at the time advanced to the final four out of 15 teams at the Blue/Gray Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. last weekend.  On Thursday, Arizona swept No. 69 William & Mary 4-0 then topped No. 39 Tulsa 4-2 on Friday in the quarterfinals.  On Saturday the Wildcats' four match win streak was snapped in the semifinals.  The Wildcats fell to No. 17-ranked Oklahoma 4-1.  


Scouting the No. 16 Golden Bears: Cal holds a 9-4 record.  During their last match the Golden Bears edged then No. 51 Rice 4-3.   California has three players ranked in the ITA singles rankings. Junior Pedro Zerbini at No. 14, freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt at No. 58 and junior Jonathan Dahan at No. 120. Dahan and Zerbini are also ranked in the ITA doubles rankings at No. 20 while Konigsfeldt and Nick Andres are ranked at No. 24.


The Series vs. Cal: This will be the 57th meeting between the two schools, with California holding a 13-43 advantage over the Wildcats.


The Last Meeting: Arizona 2, California 4, April 4, 2009. The then No. 20-ranked Wildcats fell to then No. 44-ranked California 4-2 in their season home finale and dropped their first home match of the season. The Wildcats were undefeated at home with 14 wins before facing the Golden Bears. It was also the day after Arizona upset No. 8 Stanford at home. The Wildcats dropped the doubles point but had two successful singles matches.  On court two, Andres Arango downed Eoin Heavey 6-1, 6-0 and in the number two slot, Andres Carrasco defeated Nick Andres 6-4, 6-2.


Scouting the No. 15 Cardinal: The team holds a 9-3 record.  During their last match the Cardinal outlasted then No. 11 Illinois 4-3.  Stanford has three players ranked in the ITA singles rankings. Sophomore Bradley Klahn at No. 8, junior Alex Clayton at No. 35 and sophomore Ryan Thacher at No. 65. Klahn and Thacher are also ranked in the ITA doubles rankings at No. 2 while Richard Wire and Clayton are ranked at No. 30.


The Series vs. Stanford: This will be the 64th meeting between the two schools, with the Cardinal holding a 3-60 advantage over the Wildcats.


The Last Meeting: Arizona 4, Stanford 2, April 3, 2009: The then No. 20 Wildcats pulled off arguably one of their biggest upsets in history by defeating then No. 8 Stanford 4-2 at home.  The Wildcats also improved their undefeated home record to 14 wins.  Due to inclement weather the doubles competition wasn’t played, but the Wildcats won four of their six singles matches. Jason Zafiros topped Ted Kelly 6-3, 6-1 then Pat Metham followed up by defeating No. 117 Gregory Hirshman 6-2, 6-1.  No. 68 ranked Jay Goldman won a close match against No. 50 Bradley Klahn 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 and Andres Carrasco clinched the match on court three by upsetting No. 102 Richard Wire 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.


Stacked Non-Conference Schedule: As always, the Wildcats face a competitive non-conference schedule, 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 ranked in the top 75.  

5) USC

12) UCLA

15) Stanford

16) Cal

21) Washington

32) Arizona

67) Oregon


Home Sweet Home: The Wildcats only lost one match at home last season, improving their home record to 14-1.  This season they are 6-1 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 weekends matches, Arizona will return home to host their remaining five matches.  The Wildcats will host Washington on Friday, April 2 at 1:30 p.m. before taking on Oregon Sunday, April 4 at 1:00 p.m.

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