This Week: Arizona (8-5) will host archrival No. 54 Arizona State this weekend. The Wildcats and Sun Devils will face off on Saturday, March 25, at 1:30 p.m.
Last Time Out: Arizona was victorious over Portland on Friday, March 11, 6-1. The win came despite Roger Matalonga sitting out the match. Matalonga sat out in compliance with NCAA rules so that he could appear in Arizona’s remaining matches. The Wildcats match against San Diego State was cancelled due to rain. The match will possibly be rescheduled this season.
Scouting Arizona State: The Sun Devils (6-8) were upset last weekend by unranked Hawaii, 4-3. Arizona State is winless in its last three matches, falling to Clemson and California. The Sun Devils are led by Jonathan Kinsella, the 85th-ranked singles player.
Series History: This is the 92nd meeting between the Wildcats and Sun Devils. Arizona has a 56-35 all-time advantage in the in-state battle.
Absent All-American: Without Roger Matalonga in the lineup against Portland, four Wildcats made impressive debuts at higher singles positions. Jeff Groslimond was victorious at the No. 1 spot while Claudio Christen had a commanding win at the No. 2 position. Jason Labrosse won easily on court four and Peter Zimmer only needed two sets to win at the No. 5 spot. In doubles, Alcala and Zimmer played their first match at No. 2 and were able to improve their record to 8-3 with an easy victory.
Solid Seniors: Arizona’s three seniors are a combined 16-10. Roger Matalonga and Jeff Groslimond are 7-5 and 8-4 at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, respectively. Both have been honored by being named Pac-10 Player of the Week this year.
Match Point Matalonga: In Arizona’s match against UC Santa Barbara, Roger Matalonga was able to fight off 11 match points to earn his victory over Nick Brotman. The win also gave the Wildcats a 4-3 win over the Gauchos.
By Position: The Wildcats have had very solid play from the No. 2 and No. 3 positions in both singles and doubles. Jeff Groslimond is 8-4 at the two spot, while Claudio Christen is 7-2 at the No. 3 position. In doubles, Arizona is a combined 19-5 at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions.
Fall Finishers: Redshirt freshman Peter Zimmer led the Wildcats with a 10-4 record in the fall, including a win streak of six matches. Roger Matalonga and Claudio Christen also had solid showings in the fall season, going 9-4 and 8-3, respectively. Three pairs posted winning records for Arizona in the fall. Daniel Andrus was a part of two of those pairs that included Matalonga and Francois VanderMerwe. Christen and Zimmer made up the third pair.
Wildcats in the Rankings: Roger Matalonga falls to No. 58 this week in the rankings. The team drops to No. 62.
Stacked Pac: The Pac-10 is difficult again this year with five teams beginning the season ranked in the top 25. UCLA is the defending national champion and is led by Benjamin Kohlloeffel’s No. 3 singles ranking. Along with UCLA, Stanford, Washington and Arizona opened the spring season with both a singles and doubles pair ranked.
Home Court Advantage: Arizona’s schedule this season includes 15 home matches. All but two of its 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. So far this season the Wildcats are taking advantage of their schedule posting a 7-2 record at home.
Next Match: Arizona will begin Pac-10 play at home next weekend. The Wildcats will host USC on Friday, March 31, at 1:30 p.m. They will then take on defending national champion UCLA on Saturday, April 1, at 1 p.m.