This Week: Arizona (11-7, 2-2) travels to Northern California for two Pac-10 matches this weekend. The Wildcats take on No. 15 Stanford on Friday, April 14, at 1:30 p.m. before facing No. 24 California on Saturday, April 15 at 1 p.m.
Last Time Out: Arizona split its matches with Oregon and Washington last weekend. The Wildcats did not lose a single set on Friday, easily defeating the Ducks, 7-0. On Sunday, Arizona dropped the doubles point and was unable to recover in singles, falling to Washington, 5-2.
Scouting Stanford: The Cardinal (12-3, 3-1) split its matches with USC and UCLA last weekend. Stanford got a 4-3 win at USC, but fell 6-1 to the Bruins. No. 14 Matt Bruch and No. 24 KC Corkery lead Stanford in singles. Corkery and partner James Pade are ranked No. 13 in doubles.
Scouting California: The Bears (12-5, 5-3) were able to get a 4-2 win over USC last weekend, but fell to UCLA by the same score. No. 11 Conor Niland leads Cal with a 16-0 record at the No. 1 spot. Niland defeated UCLA’s first-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel over the weekend. Teammate Tyler Browne is ranked No. 98 in singles while Browne and Niland are the 11th-ranked doubles pair.
Series History: Arizona and Stanford have played 57 previous times. The Wildcats have claimed only two victories in the series. In this season’s earlier match-up, Stanford defeated Arizona 5-1. This is the 51st meeting between the Wildcats and Bears. The Wildcats are 13-37 in the series. Arizona fell earlier this season to California, 5-2.
Super Sophs: Claudio Christen and Jason Labrosse have given Arizona very solid play over the last four weeks. Christen has won five out his last six, mostly in the No. 3 spot. Last weekend, he upset Washington’s No. 90 Jean-Noel Insausti. Labrosse, Arizona’s No. 5 singles player, has also won five of his last six, including a win at the No. 4 position. Both players boast a 3-1 Pac-10 singles record.
Solid Seniors: Arizona’s three seniors are a combined 21-15 this season. Roger Matalonga and Jeff Groslimond are both 10-7 at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, respectively. Matalonga has been honored as Pac-10 Player of the Week twice this year. Groslimond has received the honor once.
Match Point Matalonga: In Arizona’s match against UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 2, 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 victory over the Gauchos.
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 remains at No. 43 this week in the rankings. New individual and doubles rankings will be released on Tuesday, April 18. The team fell seven spots in the rankings to No. 46.
Stacked Pac: The Pac-10 is difficult again this year with three teams currently ranked in the Top 25: No. 7 UCLA, No. 15 Stanford and No. 24 California. UCLA, the defending national champion, features first-ranked singles player Benjamin Kohlloeffel.
Home Court Advantage: Arizona’s schedule this season included 15 home matches. All but two of its non-conference matches were played in Tucson. Seven of those matches were against teams that finished in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings last season. The Wildcats took advantage of their home schedule posting a 10-4 record in Tucson. Arizona is 1-3 away from home this.
Next Match: Arizona will wrap up its regular season schedule at in-state rival Arizona State. The Wildcats will take on the Sun Devils next Saturday, April 22, in Tempe, Ariz.