Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
2006 Arizona Men's Tennis Outlook
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 09, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Heading into the 2006 season, the Arizona men’s tennis team is looking to improve on last year’s 8-12 record and final ranking of No. 55. The team will be led by first year head coach Tad Berkowitz. The team returns eight letterwinners from last season including two seniors, one junior and five sophomores, as well as one redshirt freshman.


The fall season was successful for the Wildcats with five players posting winning records. It was an opportunity for a lot of the younger players to get even more experience before starting the spring season.


“The most important thing is to get a lot of matches and confidence going into the spring. We achieved that,” said Berkowitz.


The team looks to use leadership and experience to build on last season.


“As a top-20 player in the country and a senior, our young guys will follow Roger’s (Matalonga) lead,” said assistant coach Cory Hubbard.  His intensity, determination and competitiveness are contagious, which is exactly what you look for in your top player.”


Matalonga is coming off a strong season in which he was selected for the NCAA tournament in singles play. He finished the year with a 16-16 record, going 7-5 in the fall season. Paired with Colin O’Grady in doubles, he advanced the elite eight and ended the year with a 21-12 record.


This season Matalonga along with fellow senior Daniel Andrus earned a preseason ranking of No. 31. The pair had a strong fall season going 6-1 while winning the Midland Invitational. Matalonga posted an 8-3 singles record in the fall while being ranked No. 30.


The team will look for major contributions from Matalonga and Andrus as well as fellow returnees Bruno Alcala, Claudio Christen and Jason Labrosse. All three had success in the fall going 5-4, 8-3 and 7-3, respectively.


The team will also be joined by redshirt freshman Peter Zimmer.


 “Peter is probably the best pure athlete on the team.  With further instruction and experience, there is no telling how far he can go,” said Berkowitz.  


Senior transfer Jeff Groslimond is the lone newcomer to the team. Groslimond was a three year contributor at Florida State University. Last season, he posted a 27-7 record in doubles play.


He is one of the best doubles players in the country, and his experience playing in the NCAA tournament last year will hopefully carry over and lead our team to the postseason,” said Hubbard.


Arizona’s schedule this season includes 15 home matches. All but one of their non-conference matches will be played in Tucson. Seven of these matches will be against teams that finished in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings last season.


The Pac-10 will be even more difficult with five teams finishing last season ranked in the top 25. UCLA is the defending national champion and is led by Benjamin Kohlloeffel’s No. 3 preseason singles ranking. Along with UCLA, Stanford, USC, Washington and Arizona feature both a singles and doubles pair with a preseason ranking.


Once again, the Pac-10 will be the premier tennis conference in the country.
UCLA, is the defending national champion and perennial powers Stanford, USC,
Washington and Cal will begin the year ranked in the top 15.  But the depth and parity should be better this year, as the other teams will be improved,” Hubbard said. “We believe we have a group that can compete with the top teams and look to use our home-court advantage to pull a few upsets.  Finishing with a winning record in the Pac-10, would be a great accomplishment and springboard for the future of our program.”

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