No. 23 Cats host NMSU & Cal Poly

Feb. 10, 2010

No. 23 Arizona vs. No. 68 New Mexico State

Date: Friday, Feb. 12, 2010

Time: 12:00 p.m. (MST)

Location: Tucson, Ariz.


No. 23 Arizona vs. Cal Poly

Date: Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010

Time: 12:00 p.m. (MST)

Location: Tucson, Ariz.


TUCSONThe University of Arizona men’s tennis team is set to host their next four home matches at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center starting Friday against New Mexico State.


“We’re looking forward to getting back home and competing against two quality opponents,” said head coach Tad Berkowitz.


This Weekends Match Data:  The Wildcats (2-1) return home to host the No. 68 New Mexico State Aggies (2-1) on Friday, Feb. 12 and the Cal Poly Mustangs (0-2) on Sunday, Feb. 13.  Both matches will be played at the LaNelle Robson Center.


Cats in the Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona remained at No. 23 for the second consecutive week. Sophomore Jason Zafiros remains ranked at No. 113.   


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.


Last Time Out: The Wildcats had a week off of competition last week.  Prior to that, Arizona competed at the ITA National Indoors in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 where they finished 1-1.  Arizona fell to then No. 25 the University of Alabama 4-0 and then bounced back and swept then No. 22 Auburn University 4-0.   


Scouting the Aggies: In their first match of fall competition Arizona faced the Aggies at the NMSU Fall Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M. on Sept. 11, 2009.  Jason Zafiros and Geoff Embry teamed up to take down Aggies’ Craig Duran and Scott Keaton 8-3 in doubles competition. Embry also defeated NMSU’s Armando Morales 6-0, 6-1 while Zafiros topped Gustave Diep 6-2, 7-5.  So far this spring season, the Aggies hold a 2-1 record with wins coming against No. 67 Texas A&M Corpus Christi 5-1 and the University of Southern Mississippi 6-1. The Aggies only lost was against UNLV 5-2 in their second match of the season. NMSU has one player, junior Jim Brouleau ranked in the ITA single’s rankings at No. 56.  


The Series vs. New Mexico State: This will be the 17th meeting between the two schools, with the Wildcats holding a 15-1 advantage over the Aggies.


The Last Meeting: Arizona 6, New Mexico State 1, March 6, 2009: The Wildcats beat the Aggies at home to extend an eight match winning streak. Arizona also came into the match ranked No. 17, the highest ranking the team had earned in nearly three decades.


Scouting the Mustangs:  The Wildcats faced some of the Mustangs’ players during fall competition at the ITA West Regional Championships in Malibu, Calif. in October.  The duo of junior Geoff Embry and senior Pat Metham defeated Mustangs’ Jordan Bridge and Andre Dome 8-5 in doubles competition.  In single’s competition, sophomore Jason Zafiros topped Mustangs’ Andre Dome 6-1, 6-2 and senior Ravid Hazi beat Mustangs’ Blake Wardman 6-2, 6-4. Arizona also competed against the Mustangs at the Rebel Classic in Las Vegas in November. Embry defeated Mustangs’ Sebastian Bell 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals and then topped Mustangs’ Brian McPhee 6-3, 6-2 in the finals.  Junior Andres Carrasco faced Mustang’s Drew Jacobs in the second round.  Carrasco beat Jacobs 7-6, 6-0.  Dome and Embry both took the win in different flights of the Classic. So far this spring season, through two matches, the Mustangs hold a 0-2 record.  Both losses have come away from their home court.  The first one coming against then No. 13 Pepperdine University 6-1 and the second one coming against Santa Clara University 6-1. The Mustangs will meet up with the Aggies on Saturday at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.


The Series vs. Cal Poly: This will be the seventh meeting between the two schools, with the Wildcats holding a 6-0 advantage over the Mustangs.


The Last Meeting: Arizona 7, Cal Poly 0, March 14, 2009.  The Wildcats were ranked No. 16 at the time and took all three doubles matches and Jason Zafiros improved his single’s record to 13-0.


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 started the spring season 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 to begin the spring season.


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: After this weekend’s match-ups, Arizona remains at home for their next two matches.  They will face No. 62 Brigham Young University on Friday, Feb. 19 at 12 p.m. MT and South Alabama on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 9:30 a.m. MT. 

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