No. 20 Arizona hosts No. 44 California in home finale

April 4, 2009

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Date: Saturday, April 4


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


Location: Tucson, Ariz., LaNelle Robson Tennis Center



Match Data: The Wildcats (17-2, 2-1 Pac-10) will look to remain undefeated when they take on the Golden Bears. Arizona is riding high after its upset win over No. 8 Stanford yesterday. This will be the last home match of the season, and the last home match for lone senior Francois VanderMerwe. The Wildcats will look to continue one of the best season’s in program history this afternoon.  


The Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona is listed at No. 20 overall. Individually sophomore Jay Goldman is ranked No. 68 in singles play and the doubles team of Francois VanderMerwe and Pat Metham is listed at No. 80. California is listed at No. 44 overall. Individually sophomore Pedro Zerbini is ranked No. 81 and junior Kallim Stewart is No. 84. The doubles team of senior Geoff Chizever and Zerbini is ranked No. 13.



Arizona Head Coach Tad Berkowitz…will begin his fourth season at the helm for the Wildcats. He currently has a record of 45-39.  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 Golden Bears: California (8-7, 0-2) is currently on a two-match losing streak after losses to No. 11 UCLA and No. 8 USC. The Golden Bears, have been ranked as high as No. 23 this season, will be looking to get back on track. Cal is led by sophomore Pedro Zerbini, junior Kallim Stewart and senior Geoff Chizever.


The Series vs. California: This will be the 56th meeting of the two schools, with the Golden Bears holding 42-13 advantage in the series.


Home Sweet Home: The Wildcats love playing at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. On the season, the Wildcats are 14-0 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, Northwestern and Stanford.

Biggest Win in Program History? Friday’s 4-2 win over No. 8 Stanford, will go down as one of the biggest, if not the biggest win in program history. With the Cardinal leading the Pac-10 in most players individually ranked, it was the Wildcats who looked unbeatable. The win over Stanford marked the program’s third win in 63 matches.

Final Match: While this will be the last home match of the season, for senior Francois VanderMerwe, it will be his last match at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. The Cape Town, South Africa native has only seen action in doubles play. He teams with junior Pat Metham and together play in position No.1 when they own a 7-4 record. To date, VanderMerwe has helped the Wildcats to a 45-39 record and was part of the highest rankings in the past 30 years.  


As Good as Gold: Sophomore Jay Goldman is having some season. Currently, Goldman is ranked No. 68 in singles play, the only Wildcat ranked in singles. The Worcester, Mass. native owns a 10-4 record in position No.1. In doubles, Goldman has been paired with Ravid Hazi (4-2), Ola Bakke (2-1), Pat Metham (1-0) and Jason Zafiros (0-1). Goldman also received the Pac-10 Men’s Player of the Week for March 9-15 for his efforts against Cal Poly and No. 52 Iowa. Goldman upset No. 50 Bradley Klahn of Stanford 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 on Friday April 3.   


Same Game, New Place: Junior Andres Arango transferred from Arizona State and is picking up right where he left off last season. The Guayaquil, Ecuador native has played in position No. 1 (3-0) and position No. 2 (11-3). He recently has his eight-match winning streak snapped against Washington, but expected Arango to bounce back this weekend. He has been paired with Jason Zafiros (1-2) in doubles, but mainly plays with Andres Carrasco. When teamed together, the duo is 9-3. The pair won five-straight matches between March 6-March 25. Arango was named Pac-10 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week for Feb. 2-9.



The Nacho Man: Sophomore Andres Carrasco is second on the team with most wins in singles play. To date, the Cabrils, Barcelona native is 15- 4 (2-0 in position No. 2), (7-3 in position No. 3) and (6-1 in position No. 4). Carrasco has only teamed with Arango and together has 9-3 doubles record. Carrasco has had a seven-match singles winning streak. Carrasco is the third Wildcat to receive the Pac-10 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week for Feb. 16-22. Carrasco’s 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Stanford’s No. 102 Richard Wire clinched the victory for the Wildcats, in what is one of the biggest wins in program history.


Freshman Campaign: Freshman Jason Zafiros streak of 15 straight wins came to an end against Eric Spector of Northwestern, but the Bradenton, Fla. native has rebounded nicely. Zafiros won his first Pac-10 match against Oregon’s Sho Higuchi 6-4, 7-6, then was the only Wildcat to win against No. 26 Washington. He defeated Ryo Sekiguchi 1-6, 7-6, 11-9. Zafiros leads the team in most singles wins with 18. He owns a 18-1 singles record.


Beauty of the Beast: Junior Pat Metham is quietly having a great year in position No. 5 The Wellington, New Zealand native owns a 10-4 record in position No. 5 and 3-0 record in position No. 4 for an overall record of 14-4. Metham and senior Francois VanderMerwe are ranked at No. 80 in doubles play and have a 7-4 record when playing in position No.1. The Beast, like many of his teammates, had quiet the singles winning streak. Metham had a seven-match winning streak snapped this past weekend.


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 when they travel to Los Angeles to take on No. 6 USC at 1:30 p.m. Tucson time. This will be the final match of the regular season.   


Singles and Doubles Results (Overall team record, 17-2, 2-1 Pac-10):


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


Andres Arango   3-0        11-4      -           -           -           -

Ola Bakke         -           -           -           -           -           4-0                                                       

Andres Carrasco-           2-0        7-3        6-1        -           -                                  

Geoff Embry      -           -           -           -           -           -

Jay Goldman     10-4      -           -           -           -           -

Ravid Hazi         -           1-0        4-4        5-4        -           -

David Humphreys-          -           -           -           -           -

Pat Metham      -           -           -           3-0        11-4      -

Francois VanderMerwe-        -               -               -               -               -

Jason Zafiros     -           -           -           -           4-0        14-1




VanderMerwe/   7-4        -           -          



Goldman/Hazi    -           2-2        2-0


Arango/Zafiros   -           -           1-2


Hazi/Arango      -           1-0        -


Goldman/Zafiros -           0-1


VanderMerwe/  0-2         -           -


Arango/Carrasco-           8-3        1-0

Goldman/Bakke-            -           2-1

Goldman/Metham-         -           1-0

Metham/Hazi     -           0-2        -

Hazi/Bakke       -           -           0-3




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