Pac-10 Season:After having last week off, the No. 45 Arizona men’s tennis team travels to Los Angeles to face off against No. 5 UCLA on Friday, Mar. 25, at 1:30 p.m. and No. 9 USC on Saturday, Mar. 26, at 1 p.m. These matches will mark the start of the Pac-10 season for the Wildcats.
Last Time Out: The Arizona men’s tennis team competed at home, Tuesday, Mar. 8, against the Memphis Tigers. After losing the first doubles match, the Wildcats took over winning the remaining two doubles matches, along with five of the six singles matches. Overall the Wildcats defeated the Tigers, 6-1, to move to 7-4 on the season. Friday, Mar. 11, the Wildcats fell to No. 9 USC, 5-2. On Saturday, Mar. 12, after winning the doubles point, the Wildcats fell to No. 8 UCLA, in a tough match, 5-2. The Wildcats, come into this weekend seeking their first win over the Bruins in their all time series record.
Scouting USC: The Trojans are coming off a 4-3 loss to No. 31 Clemson on Saturday, Mar. 19, at home. Their match, scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 19, against Texas was cancelled due to rain. The Trojans return seven players from last year’s squad in which they earned a trip to the NCAA Semifinals, compiled a 23-4 record, and earned a share of the Pac-10 title. In singles, the Trojans are led by No. 28 sophomore Jamil Al-Agba and No. 62 senior Drew Hoskins, who together have compiled a 11-8 record this season. In doubles, the Trojans are led by Johan Berg and Al-Agba who have earned the No. 36 ranking in this week’s ITA poll. The Trojans will host No. 2 Illinois on Wednesday, Mar. 23, at 5 p.m. and No. 38 Arizona State on Friday, Mar. 25, at 1:30 p.m. before hosting the Wildcats on Saturday, Mar. 26, at 1 p.m.
Scouting UCLA: The Bruins are coming off a 7-0 victory over a undermanned Virginia Commonwealth University. UCLA has gained three spots in this week’s poll to the No. 5 position, with last weeks victory over VCU. This year, the Bruins are led by No. 10 sophomore Benjamin Kohlloeffel and No. 7 junior Luben Pampoulov. The story for the Bruins this year is their play against ranked opponents. In all, UCLA players own a 34-23 record when facing ranked opponents this season. Along with their impressive singles play, Kohlloeffel and Pampoulov have come together on the doubles court, as they have compiled a 11-4 record, earning them the No. 59 ranked spot by the ITA in the Mar. 22 poll. In addition to their top two players, UCLA has three other ranked players which include No. 74 junior Alberto Francis,No. 64 freshman Philipp Gruendler, and No. 50 Krzysztof Kwinta.
Series History: The Wildcats, going into this weekend, hold an all time series record of 15-36 against the Trojans, including a 15-match winning streak held by USC. The Wildcats go into Saturdays match, having never beat UCLA, with an all time series record of 0-55.
Ranked Cats: The Wildcats gain three spots from last weeks poll, to the No. 45 spot, in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings. The Wildcats are 7-6 on the season.
Stacked Pac: Arizona will once again compete against several of the top programs in the nation this spring. All eight of the participating Pac-10 schools were ranked in the preseason polls. In this week’s poll, here’s how the Pac-10 schools rank: UCLA No. 5, USC No. 9, Stanford No. 10, Washington No. 19, California No. 29, Arizona State No. 38, Arizona No. 45, and Oregon No. 73.
Up Next: The Wildcats will return home next weekend to host No. 19 California, Friday, April. 1, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2, the Wildcats will conclude the weekend against No. 10 Stanford with first serve scheduled for 1 p.m.