Arizona Set to Compete in Blue/Gray Classic

March 17, 2010

No. 33 Arizona vs. No. 69 College of William & Mary

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010

Time: 11:00 a.m. (9 a.m. MST)

Location: Montgomery, Ala.


TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona men's tennis team travels to Montgomery, Ala. to compete in the prestigious Blue/Gray Tennis Classic.  In a first round match the Wildcats will take on the No. 69 College of William & Mary Tribe. The Wildcats could play a total of four matches throughout the tournament.


'All 16 teams in this event are very strong,' said head coach Tad Berkowitz.  'We look forward to the challenge ahead of us.'


This Weekends Match Data:  The Wildcats (9-4) face the College of William & Mary (12-8) on Thursday, March 18 at 11:00 a.m.  With a win, the Wildcats play on Friday the winner of the Tulsa/Furman match.  There are 16 teams in the tournament.


Cats in the Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona climbed one spot to No. 33 after sweeping the San Diego schools last weekend.


Beastly Duo: The Wildcats doubles duo of Pat Metham and Borja Malo enter the rankings for the first time this season at No. 55. The pair defeated San Diego's Dean Jackson and Nils Schive on Saturday after San Diego had to retire at 4-1.  The pair holds a 7-4 record overall and are 5-1 at home.


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. 34 at the time, topped San Diego 5-1 on Saturday and San Diego State 5-2 on Monday.  On Saturday, Arizona won the doubles point against San Diego and won four points in the singles competition to earn the victory.  On Monday, the Wildcats bounced back after losing the doubles point and fought hard in singles, winning five of the six singles matches. 


Scouting the No. 69 Tribe: The Tribe hold a 12-8 record and are in the Colonial Athletic Association.  During their last match William & Mary fell to then No. 40 North Carolina State 2-5.   The Tribe has one player, senior Keziel Juneau ranked in the ITA single's rankings at No. 109.  Juneau is also ranked with partner Sebastian Vida in the double's rankings at No. 26.   


The Series vs. William & Mary: This will be the second meeting between the two schools, with the Wildcats holding a 1-0 advantage over the Tribe.


The Last Meeting: Arizona 4, William & Mary 1, March 5, 2006. 


Blue/Gray Tennis Classic Teams:

Other teams in the Classic include:


No. 26 Fresno State

No. 63 Harvard

No. 38 Notre Dame

No. 54 Oklahoma State

San Diego State

No. 16 Texas Tech

Virginia CommonWealth

No. 71 Boise State


Middle Tennessee State

No. 17 Oklahoma

No. 44 Penn St.

No. 66 South Florida

No. 39 Tulsa


Stacked Non-Conference Schedule: As always, the Wildcats face a competitive non-conference schedule, 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 6-1 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.


Catch the Blue/Gray Action: Follow the team at where there will be live scoring, plenty of photos posted everyday and other interesting stuff.  Also, RadioTennis will be broadcasting the first two days.


Up Next: Following the Blue/Gray Classic, Arizona will travel to California to begin Pac-10 play.  The Wildcats will face California on Friday, March, 26 at 1:30 PT before taking on Stanford on Saturday, March, 27 at 1:00 p.m. PT.

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