No. 20 Arizona opens Pac-10 play against Oregon

March 26, 2009

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Date: Friday, March 27


Time: 1:30 p.m. (Tucson time)


Location: Eugene, Ore.



Match Data: The Wildcats (15-1, 0-0 Pac-10) open Pac-10 play on the road when they take on the Oregon Ducks. Arizona is coming into conference play riding a 13-match winning streak. This will be the fourth road match of the season for Arizona (2-1). The match against Oregon will be the only team the Wildcats face that is not ranked in the Pac-10.  


The Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona is listed at No. 20 overall. Individually sophomore Jay Goldman is ranked No. 64 in singles play and the doubles team of Francois VanderMerwe and Pat Metham is listed at No. 53.



Arizona Head Coach Tad Berkowitz…will begin his fourth season at the helm for the Wildcats. He currently has a record of 43-38.  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 Ducks: Oregon (8-8, 0-0 Pac-10) opens Pac-10 play with juniors Marcos Verdasco and Alexander Cornelissen leading the way for the Ducks in positions 1and 2. Verdasco has a singles record of 5-10, while Cornelissen is 7-9. When paired together in doubles, Verdasco and Cornelissen are 9-7 in position 1.    

The Series vs. Oregon: This will be the 15th meeting of the two schools, with the Wildcats holding 11-3 advantage in the series.


Home Sweet Home: The Wildcats love playing at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. On the season, the Wildcats are 13-0 when they play at home. Victories include Northern Arizona, Nevada, South Florida, Saint Mary’s, San Francisco, Texas Tech, San Diego, New Mexico State, UC Irvine, Cal Poly, Iowa and Northwestern.  

As Good as Gold: Sophomore Jay Goldman was named the Pac-10 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week on March 9. Goldman dominated both of his singles matches last week, playing in the No. 1 slot for Arizona. Against Cal Poly on March 14, the Worcester, Mass., native defeated Andre Dome in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. He followed up with another 6-3, 6-2 win, this time over Christian Bierich of Iowa on March 15. Goldman has been victorious in six straight singles matches. Against Northwestern, Goldman defeated Marc Dwyer 6-1, 6-2 in position #1. On the season, Goldman owns an 8-3 singles record.    


Two Former Pac-10 Player of the Weeks: 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. Junior Andres Arango was also named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 9. Arango dominated both singles matches and led the Wildcats to an upset win over then-No. 34 South Florida. Arango is 13-2 on the season, while Carrasco is 13-3.


Freshman Campaign: Freshman Jason Zafiros streak of 15 straight wins came to an end against Eric Spector of Northwestern, but the Bradenton, Fla. native still owns a 15-1 singles record, best on the team. He started this season winning 12 straight sets before dropping his first set against San Francisco. Zafiros is 4-0 in position #5 and 11-1 in position #6.


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 March 27, when they take on the No. 26 Washington Huskies in Seattle, Wash. at 1:00 p.m. Tucson time.   


Singles and Doubles Results through Four Matches (Overall team record, 15-1):


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


Andres Arango   3-0        10-2      -           -           -           -

Ola Bakke         -           -           -           -           -           4-0                                                       

Andres Carrasco-           2-0        5-2        6-1        -           -                                  

Geoff Embry      -           -           -           -           -           -

Jay Goldman     8-3        -           -           -           -           -

Ravid Hazi         -           1-0        4-4        4-2        -           -

David Humphreys-          -           -           -           -           -

Pat Metham      -           -           -           3-0        9-3        -

Francois VanderMerwe-        -               -               -               -               -

Jason Zafiros     -           -           -           -           4-0        11-1




VanderMerwe/   7-2        -           -          



Goldman/Hazi    -           2-2        -


Arango/Zafiros   -           -           1-2


Hazi/Arango      -           1-0        -


Goldman/Zafiros -           0-1


VanderMerwe/  0-2         -           -


Arango/Carrasco-           7-2        1-0

Goldman/Bakke-            -           2-1

Goldman/Metham-         -           1-0

Metham/Hazi     -           0-2        -

Hazi/Bakke       -           -           0-3


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