Cats Wrap Up Pac-10 Action at Home

April 7, 2010

No. 35 Arizona vs. No. 3 USC

Date: Friday, April 9, 2010

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Location: Tucson, Ariz.


No. 35 Arizona vs. No. 10 UCLA

Date: Sunday, April 11, 2010

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Location: Tucson, Ariz.


TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona men's tennis team will host their final two Pac-10 matches at home this weekend.  The team will face USC and UCLA, the top two teams in the Pac-10 on Friday and Sunday at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.


'We are playing two of the best programs in the country this weekend,' said head coach Tad Berkowitz. 'We welcome the challenge though and will try to take advantage of this opportunity playing at home.'


This Weekends Match Data:  The Wildcats (12-8, 1-3 Pac-10) will try and improve their Pac-10 record this weekend when the team faces No. 3 USC (18-2, 4-0 Pac-10) on Friday, April 9 at 1:30 p.m. followed by a Sunday match against No. 10 UCLA (12-5, 3-1 Pac-10) on April 11 at 1:00 p.m. 


Cats in the Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona dropped one spot to No. 35 after splitting their matches last weekend.


Dos Andres: Arizona senior Andres Arango enters the singles rankings for the first time this season at No. 90, while junior Andres Carrasco also enters for his first time at No. 115.     


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. 34 hosted then No. 21-ranked Washington and No. 70-ranked Oregon last weekend.  The team dropped their match against Washington 6-1 on Friday.  Senior Ravid Hazi was the lone Wildcat to earn a victory in singles competition.  The Rishon LeZion, Israel native defeated Alex Rosinski 6-1, 6-4 in the No. 6 spot.  In doubles action, Andres Carrasco and Andres Arango upset No. 65-ranked Tobi Obenaus and Alex Rosinski 8-3, but Washington had already sealed the point.  On Sunday, the team bounced back and topped Oregon 5-2 at home to earn their first Pac-10 victory of the season.  The Wildcats picked up the doubles point earning victories on all three courts.  Each court saw a new Wildcat duo paired together. In the No. 1 slot Borja Malo and Ravid Hazi squeezed out a 6-6 (7-2) victory against Marcos Verdasco and Alexander Cornelissen.  On court two, Geoff Embry and Jason Zafiros defeated Ric Mortera and Nico Bjerke 8-6 and Andres Carrasco and Jay Goldman downed Jose' Izquierdo and Aaron Clissold 8-2 in the No. 3 position.  In singles competition, No. 115-ranked Carrasco, Zafiros, Embry, and Hazi all came out victorious.  Freshman Alex Johnson saw action in the No. 6 position for the first time this season.  


Scouting the No. 3 Trojans: USC holds an 18-2 overall record and are 4-0 in the Pac-10.  Last weekend the Trojans were victorious against the Bay Area schools at home to remain undefeated in the Pac-10.  The team topped Stanford 5-2 on Friday and then downed California 6-1 on Saturday.  The Trojans have six players ranked in the ITA single's rankings, including No. 1-ranked sophomore Steve Johnson.  Senior Robert Farah is ranked No. 15, followed by junior Jaak Poldma at No. 73, sophomore Daniel Nguyen at No. 83, junior Peter Lucassen at No. 104, and freshman JT Sundling at No. 123.  The Trojans also have three pairs ranked in the ITA doubles rankings.  Farah and Johnson are ranked at No. 8, Johnson and Nguyen are ranked at No. 48, and senior Jason McNaughton and Nguyen are ranked at No. 52.       


The Series vs. USC: This will be the 77th meeting between the two schools, with USC holding a 74-2 advantage over the Wildcats.


The Last Meeting: Arizona 0, USC 7, April 10, 2009.  Then No. 18-ranked Arizona fell to the home team No. 6 USC, 7-0.  The Wildcats fell in doubles competition and all six of their singles matches.   


Scouting the No. 10 Bruins: The team holds a 12-5 overall record and are 3-1 in the Pac-10.  Last weekend the Bruins split their matches at home, topping California 5-2 on Friday, before falling to Stanford 4-3 on Saturday.  UCLA has four players ranked in the ITA single's rankings. Senior Haythem Abid is ranked No. 43, followed by senior Matt Brooklyn at No. 52, junior Nick Meister at No. 89, and junior Amit Inbar at No. 102.  The Bruins also have two pairs ranked in the doubles ITA rankings.  Meister and Inbar are ranked No. 41 and Abid and Meister are ranked at No. 44     


The Series vs. UCLA: This will be the 75th meeting between the two schools, with the Bruins holding a 74-0 advantage over the Wildcats.


The Last Meeting: Arizona 2, UCLA, 5, April 11, 2009:  Then  No.18-ranked Arizona fell in their final regular season match to No. 8-ranked UCLA 5-2 in Los Angeles.  The Wildcats dropped the doubles point and fell in four of their singles matches.  Then No. 68-ranked Jay Goldman and Ravid Hazi gave the Wildcats their two points of the day in singles competition.  Goldman defeated Holden Seguso 6-2, 7-5 in the No. 1 slot and Hazi topped Harel Srugo 7-6 in the No. 4 position in the first set and 4-3 in the second after Srugo retired. 


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.  

3) USC

7) Stanford

10) UCLA

15) Cal

22) Washington

35) Arizona

72) 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 7-2 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, Arizona will host its final regular season match at home against Boise State on Sunday, April 18 at 12 p.m.

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