Arizona Opens a Six-Match Homestand

Feb. 3, 2004

Home Again:The No. 38 Arizona men's tennis team (2-1) is set to host a six-match homestand starting with Sacramento State on Friday, Feb. 6, at 1:30 p.m. and No. 64 UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, Feb. 8, 12:00 p.m..

Scouting Sacramento State: The Hornets will open their 2004 dual match season against the Wildcats on Friday, Feb. 6. The Hornets finished last season 12-16overall and 6-2 in the Big Sky, including a trip to the NCAA Championships. Sacramento State defeated Idaho State, 4-2, to claim the Big Sky Championship last season. The Hornets lost their top-three men from last years squad, a group of men led by Julien Chatelan, who finished 13-2 in singles play.

Scouting UC Santa Barbara: The No. 64-ranked Gauchos enter their trip to Arizona with an overall record at, 2-1 and a 1-0 mark in Big West play this spring. UC Santa Barbara is returning six men from last year's squad that finished 15-9, and which claimed its second straight Big West Championship. The Gauchos' lone ranked player is No. 94 Alex Anselme.

Series History: Arizona will face Sacramento State for the first time in team history Friday and looks to continue its winning ways over UC Santa Barbara by improving on its 7-3 all-time record. Last season, Arizona defeated the Gauchos, 7-0, in Tucson, Ariz.

Last Up: On Jan. 30, the Wildcats traveled to Houston, Texas to face Rice. The No. 22-ranked Owls defeated the Wildcats in a seven-hour marathon match that required two different venues to host the match. After Arizona won the doubles point and a rain delay, the match was moved to an indoor facility where the Owls came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Wildcats, 4-2. Sophomore Roger Matalonga won the lone singles match, 6-4, 6-0, over Vuk Rajevac. The next day, Arizona faced No. 37 Fresno State. Arizona once again won the doubles point by sweeping all three doubles matches. In the singles competition, the Wildcats relied on their depth to earn the three singles matches in order to win the match. Arizona lost in the top-three positions but won in the bottom-three matches to earn the team's victory.

Ranked Cats: The Arizona Wildcats enter the week ranked No. 38 as administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Arizona fell one spot after the team defeated Northern Arizona on Jan. 19, 7-0. The Wildcats are 2-1 on the season.

Shining Star: Senior Tom Lloyd garnered Arizona's only individual preseason ranking this year with the No. 84 ranking. Lloyd finished the fall with a 7-3 mark, with two wins coming over ranked opponents. Lloyd defeated No. 30 Alejandro Tejerina of Tulsa, 6-3, 3-0 (retired), and No. 99 Khaled El Dorry of Texas A&M, 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (6). Lloyd also was ranked No. 23 in the Fall West Regional rankings. Lloyd continued his winning ways last week against NAU, earning a doubles and singles victory over his Lumberjack opponents. He fell in his two singles matches in Texas and now owns a 1-2 mark in singles competition and a 3-0 record in doubles play.

Stacked Pac: Arizona once again will compete against several of the top programs in the nation this spring. All eight of the participating Pac-10 schools find themselves ranked in the pre-season polls. Stanford paces the Pac-10 with its No. 5 ranking; UCLA, Washington and California round out the top 12.

Strength of Schedule: Along with the ever-daunting task of competing in the Pac-10, Arizona will face eight other ranked opponents during its non-conference schedule. Rice and Clemson lead the way ranked No. 24 and No. 26, respectively.

Quick Starts: One thing sophomore Roger Matalonga has proven in his short career thus far in Arizona is that he is a quick starter. Last season, he started his career as a Wildcat with a seven match-winning streak in singles competition. This season, Matalonga has once again gotten off to a good start with his 3-0 record and remains the only unbeaten Wildcat. Overall this season, he has earned a team-best 9-3 record.

Homestands: Lengthy homestands are not a new concept for the Wildcats. In the past five seasons, Arizona has had homestands of six, seven, seven, 10, 11. During these homestands not including 2000, the Wildcats have earned a 25-17 record.