Feb. 23, 2011
Date: February 25
Time: 2 p.m. CT (1 p.m. MT)
Location: Montgomery, Ala. at the Lagoon Park Tennis Center
Match Data: The Wildcats (5-3, 0-0 Pac-10) are set to compete in the prestigious Blue/Gray Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. over the weekend. The Wildcats are guaranteed to play three matches over the course of three days. First up for the Wildcats is No. 17-ranked Texas Tech. The Red Raiders received the No. 1 overall seed in the draw.
2011 Complete Draw: http://www.bluegraytennis.com/draw/
Catch the Blue/Gray Action: Follow the team at www.bluegraytennis.com for live scoring, plenty of photos posted everyday and other interesting stuff. The action begins on Friday, Feb. 25 and continues through Sunday, Feb. 27.
Swinging Into The Rankings: In this week's rankings the Wildcats maintained their No. 46 spot. Senior Andres Carrasco received a No. 16 spot in the first rankings of the ITA Southwest Regional.
Arizona Head Coach Tad Berkowitz enters his sixth season as the head coach of the Wildcats. During the 2008-09 season he was named the Pac-10 Men's Tennis Coach of the Year and the Wilson/ITA West Region Coach of the Year. Last season, he led the Wildcats to a 13-11 overall record and the program's eighth trip to the NCAA Tournament. He joined the program in 2004 and has held numerous national and collegiate coaching positions. He was promoted to the head coaching position in the spring of 2005 after serving as hall-of-famer Bill Wright's assistant. Berkowitz was a top collegiate player for the Universities of Kentucky and New Mexico, respectively.
Super Six: The Wildcats return six players from the 2009-10 team including four seniors. The team has a strong nucleus and brings a lot of experience to the courts. Arizona's seniors: Andres Carrasco, Geoff Embry, Jay Goldman and Borja Malo will all be looked at in singles and doubles competition. Junior Jason Zafiros returns as one of the Cats strong singles players and sophomore Frank Chen will also add experience to the team.
High Five to the Fresh: Head coach Tad Berkowitz is right on target with the signing of five freshmen to the 2010-11 roster. The team welcomes the addition of four freshmen right before the season: Sam Barr, Giacomo Miccini, Kieren Thompson and Andre Vidaller. Adding to the four is freshman Mario Urquidi who joined the team in the fall. All five could play important roles.
Last Time Out: No. 46 Arizona hosted then No. 48-ranked Denver at home. The Wildcats came out sweeping in doubles action on all three courts and tallied four singles wins en route to 5-2 victory. Senior Andres Carrasco, junior Jason Zafiros, Freshman Andre Vidaller and senior Geoff Embry all claimed wins for the Wildcats. The Wildcats improved to 5-1 at home.
Scouting the Red Raiders: The team holds a 6-4 overall record heading into this weekend's matches. Then No. 13 Texas Tech fell 4-1 to then No. 9 Texas A&M on Sunday in Lubbock, Texas. The Red Raiders have three players ranked in the ITA singles rankings. Gonzalo Escobar is ranked No. 18, Raony Carvalho is ranked No. 22 and Rafael Garcia is ranked No. 116. Texas Tech also has a pair of doubles ranked in the ITA doubles rankings. The Red Raiders' duo of Escobar and Vitor Manzini are ranked No. 59 and Carvalho and Garcia are ranked at No. 76.
The Series vs. Texas Tech: This will be the seventh meeting between the two schools, with the Wildcats holding a 5-1 advantage over the Red Raiders.
The Last Meeting: Texas Tech 4, Arizona 3, Feb. 26, 2010: Then No. 32-ranked Texas Tech upset No. 25-ranked Arizona 4-3 in Lubbock, Texas, snapping the Wildcats five match winning streak. Arizona clinched a tight doubles point claiming two out of the three matches. Current Wildcats Jay Goldman, Andres Carrasco, Jason Zafiros and Geoff Embry all competed in singles action, with Embry claiming one of the two singles wins.
Saturday's Match-ups: The Wildcats will face the winner/loser of the Boise St.-Auburn match-up on Saturday. Auburn received the No. 3 seed in the draw.
2010 Blue/Gray Tennis Classic: Last season the Wildcats had an impressive run in the tournament. The team advanced to the semifinals. On the first day, then No. 33-ranked Arizona blanked No. 69-ranked William & Mary 4-0 to advance to the quarterfinals. The Wildcats then topped No. 39-Tulsa 4-2 to advance to the semifinals where they dropped the match to No. 17-ranked Oklahoma 4-1.
The Eight Teams Competing in the Blue/Gray Tennis Classic:
No. 32 Alabama Crimson Tide
No. 22 Auburn Tigers
No. 26 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
No. 21 Pepperdine Waves
No. 37 Boise State Broncos
No. 69 Penn St. Nittany Lions
No. 17 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Blue/Gray Update: This year the eight teams participating in the tournament will compete over the span of three days instead of four years like previous years. Each team is set to play three matches. The semifinals will be on Saturday followed by the finals on Sunday.
Blogging with JZ: Check out junior Jason Zafiros' blog from the Blue/Gray Tennis Classic last season: http://bluegraytennis.com/news/100323.php
Stacked Non-Conference Schedule: As always, the Wildcats face a competitive non-conference schedule, 10 of the 15 non-conference teams started the spring season ranked in the ITA top 75 in the first rankings of the year.
10) Texas A&M 44) Miami
17) Oklahoma 46) Indiana
40) Denver 58) San Diego
41) Mississippi State 67) New Mexico State
43) Boise State 73) Idaho
Tough Pac-10 Conference: The Pac-10 holds 50 NCAA Men's Team Titles. A glance at the ITA rankings around the Pac-10 finds six of the seven teams ranked in the top 75.
NCAA Year By Year Tournament Results:
1996: (0-1): L, 4-2 to UC-Santa Barbara
1998: (0-1): L, 4-3 to Arizona State
2001: (0-1): L, 4-2 to Georgia Tech
2003: (0-1): L, 4-1 to Boise State
2004: (1-1): W, 4-3 over Florida State, L, 4-0 to Florida
2006: (0-1): L, 4-1 to Colorado
2009: (1-1): W, 4-0 over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, L, 4-0 to Texas A&M
2010: (0-1): L, 4-1 to Minnesota
2010 NCAA Run: The Wildcats advanced to the first round of the 2010 NCAA tournament for the eighth time in school history. Last season No. 30 Arizona fell to then-No.35 Minnesota 4-1 in the opening round. The Wildcats finished the season 13-11 (2-4 Pac-10) and finished the season ranked No. 31 in the ITA rankings.
Four Slammin' Seniors: The Cats will be led by their four senior leaders, Andres Carrasco, Geoff Embry, Jay Goldman and Borja Malo. Andres "Nacho" Carrasco has reached the 50+ singles wins as a Wildcat. In his three years, he has a combined 54-30 singles record while holding a 29-19 doubles record. Goldman, who also enters his fourth year as a Wildcat holds an overall 40-32 singles record while tallying a 22-14 doubles record. Embry and Malo enter their second year as Wildcats, after transferring from Oregon, and the University of Georgia, respectively.
A "Too Good" Duo: As the lone junior on the team Jason Zafiros has established himself as one of the Wildcats most consistent singles players. As a freshman he finished with an impressive 22-4 overall singles record and tallied a 22-15 record last season. Sophomore Frank Chen enters his second season as a Wildcat. He will look to gain match experience and provide leadership on the court. Chen competed in seven fall matches.
All aboard: Four of the five freshmen arrive to Tucson from four different countries. Giacomo Miccini hails from Recanati, Italy; Andre Vidaller is from Santos, Brazil; Kieren Thompson is from Brisbane, Australia; while Sam Barr is from Whakatane, New Zealand. Mario Urquidi, who competed in fall action is a native of El Paso, Texas and finished 5-6 in singles action while competing in three fall tournaments.
50+Milestones: Junior Jason Zafiros has just passed the 50+ milestones for singles wins. The Bradenton, Fla. native has just passed the milestone with 54 wins. Senior Jay Goldman is just two singles win shy of tying the mark.
60+Milestones: Senior Andres Carrasco has now reached a new milestone. The Cabrils, Barcelona, Spain native just tallied his 62 win on over the weekend bypassing the 60+ singles win mark.
Sweet Home History: Last season, the Wildcats finished 8-4 at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center, including a 4-3 win against No. 10 UCLA for the first time in school history. This season the Wildcats are 5-1.
Fall Season: The Wildcats participated in six tournaments in the fall. The team competed in the NMSU Fall Invitational, the D'Novo/ITA All-American Championships, the Aztec Invitational, the ITA West Regional Championships, the UNLV Invitational, and the Lakewood Ranch Collegiate Invitational. Freshman Mario Urquidi clinched the Aztec Invitational main draw singles title while junior Jason Zafiros won the back draw singles title. Senior Jay Goldman fell in the finals of the singles main draw at the UNLV Invitational while senior Andres Carrasco fell in the finals of the singles main draw at the Lakewood Ranch Collegiate Invitational.
Up Next: Following the Blue/Gray Classic, Arizona will return home to host their next four matches. The Wildcats will face Sacramento State on Friday, March 4 at 10 a.m. before taking on New Mexico State on Sunday, March 6 at 9 a.m.