No. 45 Arizona takes on No. 55 St. Mary's

Feb. 7, 2009

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Date: Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009


Time: 9:30 a.m. (Tucson time)


Location: Tucson, Ariz.



Match Data: The Wildcats (4-1) take on the Gaels (1-5) for the second time in school history, with the hopes to continue its solid during its two-game winning streak.    



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. St. Mary’s is listed at No. 55 overall.



Arizona Head Coach Tad Berkowitz…will begin his fourth season at the helm for the Wildcats. He currently has a record of 32-38.  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 Gaels: St. Mary’s is coming into its match with the Wildcats on a four-match losing streak. More recently, the Gaels lost to No.33 Virginia Commonwealth, 7-0. The only match won was Sonoma State, 7-0, on Jan. 28, 2009.

The Series vs. St. Mary’s: This will be the second meeting of the two schools, with the Gaels winning the only other match.   

Staying Red Hot: Freshman Jason Zafiros continues to win matches. On the season he is 5-0 playing in positions #5 (1-0) and #6 (4-0). Currently, he is on an ten-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.


Beast and the Senior: The No. 18 doubles team of Pat “Beast” Metham and Francois VanderMerwe, the team’s only senior, upset the No. 15 duo of Lucas Jovita and Thomas Estrada of South Florida 9-8 (7-3) on Friday Feb. 6, 2009. On the season, the duo has played in position #1 and has a 2-0 record.

Home Cooking: The Arizona men’s tennis team will have 10 of its next 11 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        2-1        -           -           -           -

Ola Bakke         -           -           -           -           -           1-0                                                       

Andres Carrasco-           -           -           0-2        3-0        -                                  

Geoff Embry      -           -           -           -           -           -

Jay Goldman     1-2        -           -           -           -           -

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

David Humphreys-          -           -           -           -           -

Pat Metham      -           -           -           1-0        3-1        -

Francois VanderMerwe-        -               -               -               -               -

Jason Zafiros     -           -           -           -           1-0        4-0




VanderMerwe/   2-0        -           -



Goldman/Hazi    -           1-2        -


Arango/Zafiros   -           -           1-2


Hazi/Arango      -           1-0        -


Goldman/Zafiros -           0-1


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 Saturday Feb. 14, 2009 when they take on No. 67 San Francisco at 12:00 p.m. The match will be played at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.


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