No.45 Cats Return Home to Take on No. 34 South Florida

Feb. 4, 2009

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Date: Friday, Feb. 6, 2009


Time: 1:00 p.m. (Tucson time)


Location: Tucson, Ariz.



Match Data: The Wildcats (3-1) return home after upsetting No. 42 North Carolina State last weekend at the National Spring Kick-Off in Gainesville, Fla. Arizona does not have much to savior the victory with No. 34 South Florida (2-1) coming off a 5-2 victory over UC-Santa Barbara.   



The Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona is listed at No. 45 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. South Florida is listed as 34 overall. Individually Lucas Jovita is ranked No. 27 in singles and Thomas Estrada and Lucas Jovita are ranked No. 15 in doubles 



Arizona Head Coach Tad Berkowitz…will begin his fourth season at the helm for the Wildcats. He currently has a record of 31-38.  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 Bulls: South Florida is coming off a 5-2 win against UC Santa Barbara. The Bulls are lead by sophomore Lucas Jovita, who is ranked No. 27 in singles, and comes in with a 1-1 singles record. On the doubles side, Jovita teams with junior Thomas Estrada, who are ranked No. 25 doubles play.


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

Staying Red Hot: Freshman Jason Zafiros continued his solid play at the National Spring Kick-off in Gainesville, Fla. last weekend. On the season he is 4-0 playing in positions #5 (1-0) and #6 (3-0). Currently, he is on an eight-set winning streak. In doubles play, Zafiros has been partnered with junior Andres Arango. Together, the duo plays in position #3 and has a 1-2 record.

Finding His Game: Sophomore Andres Carrasco lost is first match of the season playing in position #3. Since then, Carrasco has played the next three matches in position #4 and has won every match. He was one of two players to win their match against No. 7 Florida last weekend.

Home Cooking: The Arizona men’s tennis team will have 11 of its next 12 matches at home. The Wildcats will play five home matches before it travels to Fresno, Calif. to take in the Bulldogs of Fresno State on Feb. 28, 2009. After Fresno State, the Wildcats return home for six straight matches before it opens Pac-10 play on the road against Oregon on March 27, 2009.

Singles and Doubles Results through Four Matches (Overall team record, 3-1):

Player              #1         #2         #3         #4         #5         #6


Andres Arango   1-0        1-1        -           -           -           -

Ola Bakke         -           -           -           -           -           1-0                                                       

Andres Carrasco-           -           -           0-1        3-0        -                                  

Geoff Embry      -           -           -           -           -           -

Jay Goldman     1-1        -           -           -           -           -

Ravid Hazi         -           -           1-0        1-2        -           -

David Humphreys-          -           -           -           -           -

Pat Metham      -           -           -           1-0        2-1        -

Francois VanderMerwe-        -               -               -               -               -

Jason Zafiros     -           -           -           -           1-0        3-0




VanderMerwe/   1-0        -           -



Goldman/Hazi    -           1-2        -


Arango/Zafiros   -           -           1-2


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 be in action again on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009, when they take on St. Mary’s at 9:30 a.m. The match will be played at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.


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