No.48 Cats Hope to Rebound

Jan. 30, 2009

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Date: Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009


Time: 8:00 a.m. (Tucson time)


Location: Gainesville, Fla.



Match Data: The Wildcats and the Wolf Pack are both trying to split at the National Spring Kick-Off. Arizona is coming off a loss to No. 7 Florida, 5-2, and N.C. State lost to No. 15 Texas A & M, 6-1.  



The Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona is listed at No. 48 overall. Individually sophomore Jay Goldman is ranked No.88 in singles play and the doubles team of Francois VanderMerwe and Pat Metham is listed at No. 18. North Carolina State is listed as No. 42 overall. Individually Jay Weinacker is ranked 55 and Christian Welte is ranked 124.  



Arizona Head Coach Tad Berkowitz…will begin his fourth season at the helm for the Wildcats. He currently has a record of 30-38.  Berkowitz 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, 34, was a top collegiate player for the universities of Kentucky and New Mexico, respectively.  Berkowitz began his coaching career in 1999 as an assistant coach at Alabama for three seasons. In his final year he helped the Crimson Tide earn a No. 18 national ranking and a berth in the NCAA Championships.  He is assisted by Tom Lloyd, who is in his fourth year in that capacity.


Scouting the Wolf Pack: N.C State comes into the match with a 3-2 record overall. They have two players ranked in singles, Jay Weinacker (55) and Christian Welte (124). David Chermak was the only player to win a match against Texas A & M, defeating Austin Klores 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.  


The Series vs. North Carolina State: This will be the second meeting of the two schools, with the Wildcats winning the only other match.    

Hot Start: Freshman Jason Zafiros is off to a hot start. Zafiros has played a singles match in every game and has not loss a set. Against Northern Arizona, he defeated Jacob Tracy 6-1, 6-0 in thirty minutes, and then defeated Tony Bulich of Nevada, 6-1, 6-1, in another match which lasted under an hour. His match against Florida’s Eric Corace lasted an hour and nineteen minutes, but yet again Zafiros came out on top winning 6-3, 6-3.   


Finding a Groove:  After losing his first singles match of the season, sophomore Andres Carrasco has found his groove winning back-to-back matches. He got his first win of the season on Jan. 25, 2009 when he defeated Kristian Kuharszky of Nevada 6-2, 6-2. Against Florida, Carrasco played in position #4 and defeated Johnny Hamui 6-2, 6-2. Carrasco was one of two players to win their match against Florida.      


Competitive Non-Conference Schedule: The Wildcats will face solid competition, preparing them for the ever challenging Pac-10. Seven of the 15 teams Arizona faces are currently ranked in the ITA top 75.

7) Florida                                   57) San Diego

20) Texas Tech                          59) Iowa

28) South Florida                       68) San Francisco

40) Fresno State


Tough Conference Slate: A glance at the rankings around the Pac-10 finds every team outside of Oregon ranked.


6) USC

11) Stanford

25) California

36) Washington

48) Arizona


Some New (Volunteer) Coaching Help: This year Arizona is pleased to have ATP all-pro Taylor Dent as a volunteer assistant coach throughout the season.  Dent, who was ranked as the No. 21 player in the world on August 8th 2005, suffered a back injury which caused him to miss most of the past seasons. After having successful surgery, Dent was contacted by good friend and former coach Tom Lloyd, now an assistant with Arizona, who extended the coaching invitation.  Dent, while working on rehabbing his back, will coach the Wildcats on specific and individual techniques. Dent is known as an aggressive serve-and-volleyer with one of the biggest serves on the tour, tying Andy Roddick for the record of fastest serve at 155 mph.



Fall Season: The Cats participated in six fall tournaments during the fall semester...In the Aggie Fall invite, the Costa Mesa Futures, the Arizona Fall Classic, the All-American Championships, the ITA West Regional Championships and the UNLV Classic … In Las Cruces, N.M., senior Francois VanderMerwe defeated Brian Joiner from ACU 6-1, 6-4 in the Crimson Singles Flight (Final Round) … In the first annual Arizona Classic, freshman Jason Zafiros won the singles round … In Las Vegas, VanderMerwe lost to Maxime Adam of Fresno Pacific 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals … In Malibu, Calif., at the ITA West Regional Championships, four Wildcats- Jay Goldman, Pat Metham, Andres Arango, Andres Carrasco- all advanced to the Round of 16.


Up Next: Arizona will return home to face South Florida on Feb. 6 at 1:00 p.m. at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.


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