Cats Host 'Huskers & Broncos

March 3, 2010

No. 35 Arizona vs. Santa Clara

Date: Friday, March 5, 2010

Time: 1:00 p.m. (MST)

Location: Tucson, Ariz.


No. 35 Arizona vs. Nebraska

Date: Sunday, March 7, 2010

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

Location: Tucson, Ariz.


TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona men's tennis team will host the Santa Clara Broncos and the Nebraska Cornhuskers this weekend at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.


'After looking at some of their results, they both are very tough teams,' said head coach Tad Berkowitz.  'It's that time of year where our schedule works out where all the teams are really strong.  Our guys are fired up and we will be ready to go.'


This Weekends Match Data:  The Wildcats (6-3) return home for two matches.  The Wildcats face Santa Clara (7-2) on Friday, March 5 at 1 p.m. and the Cornhuskers (5-3) on Sunday, March 7 at noon.  Both matches will be played at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.


Cats in the Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona dropped to No. 35, ten spots from their previous No. 25 ranking.


Electric Hot Sauce: The Wildcats doubles duo of Geoff Embry and Ravid Hazi enter the rankings for the first time this season at No. 51. The pair defeated Texas Tech's No. 16 Gonzalo Escobar and Andre Stabile 9-8 (7-5) this past weekend.  They also topped Denver's Yannick Weihs and Jens Vorkefeld in a tiebreaker 9-8 (16-14). 


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, who were ranked No. 25 at the time, fell in both of their matches last weekend in Lubbock, Texas.  The team was defeated by then No. 32 Texas Tech on Friday 4-3.  The team fought hard winning the doubles point, but fell in four out of the six singles matches.  On Saturday, the Cats lost to then No.49 Denver 4-3. Arizona clinched the doubles point, but fell again in four out of the six singles matches.


'Denver is a fine program,' Berkowitz said.  'They are well coached and are a very competitive team.  They came to win.  They had good effort and great energy. Quite honestly they deserved to win.  They fought harder and got the job done. We will continue to fight on and hopefully we will cross paths with them sometime down the road.' 


Scouting the Broncos: The Broncos hold a 7-2 record and are currently on a four match winning streak.  During their last match they swept then No. 74 Xavier 7-0.  The team also has some quality wins this season against Cal Poly and then No. 74 UNLV.


The Series vs. Santa Clara: This will be the fourth meeting between the two schools, with the Wildcats holding a 2-1 advantage over the Broncos.


The Last Meeting: Arizona 3, Santa Clara 4, Feb. 10, 2007.


Scouting the Cornhuskers: The team holds a 5-3 record and will take on Drake and Santa Clara before they face the Wildcats on Sunday.  The Cornhuskers fell out of the rankings this week after their previous ranking at No. 68.  During their last match on Feb. 20, the Cornhuskers took down Western Michigan 5-2.  Nebraska has two players, junior Calin Paar and sophomore Christopher Aumueller ranked in the ITA single's rankings.  Paar is ranked at No. 82, while Aumueller is ranked at No. 113.  The Cornhuskers also have a pair ranked in the doubles standings.  Senior David Bendheim and Paar are ranked at No. 54.    


The Series vs. Nebraska: This will be the fourth meeting between the two schools, with the Wildcats holding a 2-1 advantage over the Cornhuskers.


The Last Meeting: Arizona 3, Nebraska 4, Feb. 3, 2007: The No. 61 Wildcats fell to then No. 63 Nebraska after winning the doubles point to begin the match. Ravid Hazi, a freshman at the time, fell in his match in the No. 4 position 6-1, 6-4, but was successful in doubles competition with partner Jason Labrosse winning 8-2.


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 5-0 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: Following this weekend's matches, Arizona will travel to San Diego to take on San Diego and San Diego State.  They face San Diego on Saturday, March 13 at 1 p.m. PT (2 p.m. MST) and San Diego State on Monday, March 15 at 2 p.m. PT (3 p.m. MST).

The Wildcats play their next five matches on the road before returning home for their remaining five matches of the regular season.

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