Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
No. 42 Wildcats Sting Hornets, 4-3
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 04, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 4, 2011

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TUCSON - After splitting the singles matches with Sacramento State, the 42-ranked Arizona men's tennis team squeezed out the doubles point to edge the Hornets 4-3 today at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. Arizona's freshmen stepped up securing the three singles matches and the Wildcats won two of the three doubles matches to improve to 7-5 and 6-1 at home.


"We've got 11 guys on the team and I'm proud that all of them have the ability to step up and get the job done when their name is called," head coach Tad Berkowitz said.


The Wildcats (7-5, 0-0 Pac-10) began the day in singles action and fell behind early. On court one, Jay Goldman dropped his first set 6-4 to No. 26-ranked Kiryl Harbatsiuk and then retired due to an injury.


Freshman Kieren Thompson evened the score in the No. 5 spot for the Wildcats. Thompson breezed past Sacramento State's (4-7, 0-0 Big Sky) Josh Lorentzen in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. In the first set, the Melbourne, Victoria, Australia native built a 4-1 lead before Lorentzen answered, and then secured the set at 6-2. In the second set, Thompson marked three unanswered games until Lorentzen responded at 4-1 and then in similar fashion Thompson sealed the set at 6-2.


The Wildcats padded the lead to 2-1 with a win on court three. Freshman Andre Vidaller like Thompson cruised to straight sets 6-2, 6-2 against Aliaksandr Malko. Vidaller tacked up a 5-1 lead before Malko answered. Then Vidaller finished the set at 6-2. In the second set, the Santos, Brazil native marked up a 4-1 lead before the two battled, but Vidaller earned the next games to clinch the 6-2 second set win.


The final three matches came down to three-setters. The Hornets notched the next two points on courts two and four to take the 3-2 lead.


In the No. 2 spot, junior Jason Zafiros dropped the first set 6-3 to No. 106-ranked Jason Smith. The Hornets' Smith built a 4-1 lead before the two traded games before Smith closed the set at 6-3. Then Zafiros powered his way back in the second set. After trailing 3-1, the junior climbed back to tie the match at 4-4, then rolled on to win the next two games to win 6-4. The third set, contained four ties, at 4-4, Zafiros dropped the next two games to fall 6-4.


On court four, senior Geoff Embry battled Marko Starcevic in a three-setter. Embry dropped the first set 6-3, after leading 3-2, Starcevic gained momentum, claiming four straight games to garner the 6-3 first set. In the second set, Embry and Starcevic were forced into a 6-6 tiebreaker, where Embry answered with a 7-4 win. In the third set, Starcevic held off Embry securing a 6-4 win. Embry led at 3-2, before Starcevic notched the next two games. Then Embry answered at 4-4, but it was all Starcevic earning the next two games to earn the 6-4 victory.


The Wildcats third and final singles point, to force doubles play, came on court six. Freshman Mario Urquidi outlasted Javier Millan in a three-setter. After dropping the first set 6-2, Urquidi battled back winning 7-5 and then downed Millian 6-1 in the third. In the first set, Urquidi fell behind 4-1 before the two traded games, and then it was Millian securing the next to games to win 6-2. In the second set, there were three ties, the two battled back and forth, until at 5-5, Urquidi powered his way, claiming the next two games to win 7-5. In the third, it was all the El Paso, Texas native, taking a 3-0 lead before Millan answered with a game, after that Urquidi rolled through three games to win 6-1.


After a slight delay, the Wildcats and Hornets squared off in doubles play with the Wildcats clinching two out of the three matches. In the No. 1 spot, the Wildcat duo of Zafiros and senior Embry teamed up for the first time since fall action and dominated, 8-3, over Harbatsiuk and Millian.


The Wildcats clinched the match and the doubles point in the No. 3 slot. The Arizona pair of Andres Carrasco and Thompson, breezed to an 8-2 victory over Smith and Lorentzen, to improve their doubles record to 3-0.


In the No. 2 spot, the freshman Wildcat tandem of Urquidi and Vidaller fell 8-5 to Starcevic and Malko.


With the win, the Wildcats improve to 7-5 and 6-1 at home. The Hornets drop to 4-7.


Next up, Arizona will host No. 56-ranked New Mexico State at 10 a.m.


Complete Results

No. 42 Arizona 4, Sacramento State 3

LaNelle Robson Tennis Center -- Tucson, Ariz.



1. Zafiros/Embry (UA) def.  Harbatsiuk/Millan (SAC ST.) 8-3

2. Starcevic/Malko (SAC ST.) def. Urquidi/Vidaller (UA) 8-5

3. Carrasco/Thompson (UA) def.  Smith/Lorentzen (SAC ST.) 8-2*

Arizona Wins Doubles Point

Order of finish, 1,3*,2

*Clinched doubles point and the match



1. No. 26 Kiryl Harbatsiuk (SAC ST.) def. Jay Goldman (UA) 6-4, ret. (inj.)

2. No. 106 Jason Smith (SAC ST.) def. Jason Zafiros (UA) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4

3. Andre Vidaller (UA) def. Aliaksandr Malko (SAC ST.) 6-2, 6-2

4. Marko Starcevic (SAC ST.) def. Geoff Embry (UA) 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4

5. Kieren Thompson (UA) def. Josh Lorentzen (SAC ST.) 6-2, 6-2

6. Mario Urquidi (UA) def. Javier Millan (SAC ST.) 2-6, 7-5, 6-1

Order of finish, 1,5,3,2,4,6

Bear Down Challenge M Ten