No. 35 Arizona hits the road to take on No. 42 Fresno State
Feb. 25, 2009
Date: Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009
Time: 12:00 p.m. (Tucson time)
Location: Fresno, Calif. (Spalding G. Wathen Center)
Match Data: The Wildcats (8-1) hit the road for the second time this season when they travel to Fresno, Calif. to take on the Bulldogs of Fresno State (3-2). Arizona enters the match on a six-match winning streak. This will also be Arizona’s last non-conference away match.
The Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona is listed at No. 35 overall. Individually sophomore Jay Goldman is ranked No. 96 in singles play and the doubles team of Francois VanderMerwe and Pat Metham is listed at No. 20. Fresno State is listed at No. 42 overall. Individually, Rikus de Villiers is ranked No. 33 and Rudolf Siwy is ranked No. 112. The doubles team of Siwy and Mirko Zapletal is ranked No. 47.
Arizona Head Coach Tad Berkowitz…will begin his fourth season at the helm for the Wildcats. He currently has a record of 36-38. 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 Bulldogs: Fresno State (3-2) is led by senior Rudolf Siwy who is ranked No. 33 in singles play and sophomore Rikus de Villiers who is ranked No. 112. Fresno State has played three Pac-10 opponents. They lost to UCLA and Washington and beat Oregon. The Bulldogs lost their last match to Washington 5-2.
The Series vs. Fresno State: This will be the tenth meeting of the two schools, with the Wildcats holding 7-2 advantage in the series.
Home Sweet Home: The Wildcats love playing at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. On the season, the Wildcats are 7-0 when they play at home. Victories include Northern Arizona, Nevada, South Florida, Saint Mary’s, San Francisco, Texas Tech and San Diego.
Upset Alert: To date, the Wildcats have upset three teams ranked higher than them in the standings. The first upset came against No. 42 North Carolina State, 4-1, at the National Spring Kick-Off in Gainesville, Fla. Next, was a 5-2 upset over No. 34 South Florida. Lastly, a 4-3 win over No. 26 Texas Tech, a match which saw Arizona fight back from a 3-0 deficit.
Another Pac-10 Player of the Week: Sophomore Andres Carrasco was named the Pac-10 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week for Feb. 16-22. Carrasco led Arizona to victories over No. 26 Texas Tech and No. 54 San Diego over the weekend. Against Texas Tech, the Barcelona, Spain, native defeated Christian Rojmar in straight set, 7-5, 6-3. Facing San Diego, Carrasco played in the No. 3 singles position and again won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, over the Toreros’ Chris Coetzee. He also helped secure the doubles point with teammate Andres Arango, 8-4, over San Diego’s Nicola Bubnic and Nils Schive.
Let the Good Times Roll: Freshman Jason Zafiros continues to find ways to win matches. To date, the Bradenton, Fla. native is 9-0, in singles play. He is 2-0 in position #5 and 7-0 in position # 6. In all of his singles matches, Zafiros has lost only three sets. He started his freshman campaign winning 12 straight singles sets.
The Beauty of the Beast: It’s nice to have a serve that can reach 130 mph. In the case of junior Pat Metham, that is just one of the many weapons Metham has. Metham’s solid play is the reason he has 5-1 record in position #5. However, the most important match for Metham this season was his 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 win over Michael Breler of Texas Tech. No, Breler is not ranked, but the win clinched a comeback victory for the Wildcats over No. 26 Texas Tech.
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 Friday March 6, when they take on New Mexico State University at 1:00 p.m. The match will be played at the Tucson Racquet Club.
Singles and Doubles Results through Four Matches (Overall team record, 8-1):
Player #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6
Andres Arango 1-0 5-2 - - - -
Ola Bakke - - - - - 2-0
Andres Carrasco- - 1-1 6-1 - -
Geoff Embry - - - - - -
Jay Goldman 3-3 - - - - -
Ravid Hazi - 1-0 3-3 1-0 - -
David Humphreys- - - - - -
Pat Metham - - - 1-0 5-2 -
Francois VanderMerwe- - - - - -
Jason Zafiros - - - - 2-0 7-0
VanderMerwe/ 2-2 - -
Goldman/Hazi - 1-3 1-0
Arango/Zafiros - - 1-2
Hazi/Arango - 1-0 -
Goldman/Zafiros - 0-1
VanderMerwe/ 0-1 - -
Arango/Carrasco- 1-0 2-0
Goldman/Bakke- - 1-0