Wildcats Set to Compete Indoors

Jan. 27, 2010

ITA National Indoors

No. 23 Arizona vs. No. 25 Alabama

Date: Saturday, January 30, 2010

Time: 2:00 p.m. (MST)

Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala.


ITA National Indoors

No. 23 Arizona vs. No. 18 Duke University/No. 22 Auburn University

Date: Sunday, January 31, 2010

Time: 2:00 p.m. (MST)

Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala.


This Weekends Match Data:  The Wildcats (1-0, 0-0 Pac-10) travel to the ITA National Indoors in Tuscaloosa, Alab. to take on the University of Alabama in their second match of the season.   The Wildcats will then play either No. 18 Duke University or No. 22 Auburn University on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 2:00 p.m. MST.


Cats in the Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona improved one spot from last week’s No. 24 ranking.  The Wildcats are listed at No. 23.


Arizona Head Coach Tad Berkowitz enters his fifth season as the head coach of the Wildcats. Berkowitz is the reigning Pac-10 Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year and the Wilson/ITA West Region Coach of the Year.  Last season, he led the Wildcats to an 18-6 overall record last season and the program’s seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament.

He 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 was a top collegiate player for the universities of Kentucky and New Mexico, respectively.

Rolling back to the Tide:  Berkowitz began his coaching career in 1999 as an assistant coach for Alabama.  He coached the Crimson Tide for three seasons and in his final year there he helped them earn a No. 18 national ranking and a berth to the NCAA Championships.


Last Time Out: Arizona opened their 2010 season with a 7-0 win at home against Montana State University on Sunday, Jan. 24.  The Wildcats swept the Bobcats in all three double matches and six singles matches.  Sophomore Jason Zafiros picked up his first career win in the No. 1 position. 


Scouting the Crimson Tide: In their first match of the season, the University of Alabama who was ranked at No. 18 was defeated by then No. 47 Northwestern University, 4-3 at the SEC Indoor Championships in Evanston, Ill.  The Crimson Tide won two of their double matches, but fell in four of their six singles matches.

The Series vs. Alabama: This will be the fifth meeting between the two schools, with the Wildcats and Crimson Tide tied at two wins and two losses apiece.


Scouting the Tigers:  Auburn who was previously ranked 23rd competed last weekend in the Hokie Challenge three day tournament at Texas Tech. On the first day of competition the Tigers faced Harvard and won 10 of their 12 matches.  On day two, the Tigers notched seven wins against No. 27 Virginia Tech and on the final day of competition the Tigers won six matches against the Indiana Hoosiers.

The Series vs. Auburn: This will be the second meeting of the two schools if they do in fact play each other.  The Wildcats hold an advantage in the series with one win.


Scouting the Blue Devils: The Blue Devils who were ranked at No. 19 swept then No. 70 Elon University in their first match of the season, 7-0.   The Blue Devils are led by No. 17 ranked Henrique Cunha at the No. 1 singles position.  Cunha is also ranked No. 8 in doubles along with teammate Reid Carleton. 

The Series vs. Duke: If the Wildcats face the Blue Devils it will also be their second meeting against each other.  The Blue Devils hold a one match advantage over the Wildcats.


Stacked Non-Conference Schedule: As always, the Wildcats face a competitive non-conference schedule.  The team will compete in the Blue and Gray Tennis Classic over Spring Break and 10 of the 15 non-conference teams are currently ranked in the ITA top 75.


18) Duke                                  44) San Diego State

21) Boise State             62) BYU

22) Auburn                               63) Denver

25) Alabama                            65) Nebraska

40) Texas Tech                        68) New Mexico State


Tough Pac-10 Conference: The Pac-10 holds 49 NCAA Men’s Team Titles.  A glance at the ITA rankings around the Pac-10 finds every team outside of Oregon ranked.


1) USC


9) Stanford

23) Arizona

26) Washington

33) California


Home Sweet Home: The Wildcats only lost one match at home last season, improving their home record to 14-1.  This season they are 1-0 at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.


Some New Volunteer Coaching Help: This season, the Arizona men’s tennis team is pleased to welcome Ryan Johnson to their team as a volunteer assistant coach.  Johnson joined the Wildcats in the fall and brings a lot of tennis experience with him from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he played for two seasons. At UNC Charlotte he played No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles and helped lead his team to the programs first ever Atlantic 10 Conference Title and NCAA bid in 2007.


Fall Season: The Wildcats participated in five tournaments in the fall.  The team competed in the NMSU Fall Invitational, the Pepperdine Fall Classic, the D'Novo/ITA All-American Championships, the ITA West Regional Championships, and the UNLV Fall Classic. Ravid Hazi advanced to the quarterfinals in the Rebel Classic while Pat Metham advanced to the semifinals. Andres Carrasco advanced to the semifinals at the Rebel Classic while Geoff Embry won the tournament.  Jason Zafiros advanced to the semifinals in the 2009 Wilson/ITA Southwest Regional Championships.


Up Next: Arizona will return home to face No. 68 New Mexico State on Friday, Feb. 12 at 12:00 p.m. MT.


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