Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Men's Tennis to Host No. 29 Sooners
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 09, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 9, 2011

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Date: Friday, March 11, 2011 vs. No. 29 Oklahoma

Time: 12:00 p.m.

Location: Tucson, Ariz. at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center


Match Data: The Wildcats (8-5, 0-0 Pac-10) are back at home to host the No. 29-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (6-2, 1-0 Big 12) at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center on Friday, March 11 at 12 p.m.


Swinging Into The Rankings: In this week's rankings the Wildcats maintained their spot at No. 42. Senior Andres Carrasco is ranked No. 107 in the ITA singles rankings and he also 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 in singles and doubles action and will add depth to the team's roster.


Last Time Out: The Wildcats hosted No. 56-ranked New Mexico State on Sunday and cruised to a 6-1 victory. Arizona clinched the doubles point, claiming two out of the three matches. Arizona's freshman-senior duo of Kieren Thompson and Andres Carrasco clinched the doubles point for the second match in a row and improved their doubles record to 4-0. The Wildcats captured five out six singles matches to snap the Aggie's six-match winning streak. Carrasco, Jason Zafiros, Geoff Embry, Kieren Thompson and Mario Urquidi all sealed singles wins, and Urquidi clinched his fourth singles match of the season.  The Wildcats improved to 7-1 at home and 8-5 overall.


Scouting the Sooners: The team holds a 6-2 (1-0 Big 12) record heading into Friday's action. Oklahoma topped Northwestern 6-1 at home last weekend in Oklahoma. The Sooners are heading into Friday riding on a four-match winning streak. Oklahoma has three players ranked in the ITA singles rankings. Ionut Beleleu is ranked at No. 28, Costin Paval is ranked at No. 59 and Peerakit Siributwong is ranked at No. 105. Oklahoma also has a doubles team ranked in the ITA doubles rankings. Ionut Beleleu and Costin Paval are ranked at No. 61. 


The Series vs. Oklahoma: This will be the fourth meeting between the two schools, with the Sooners holding a 2-1 advantage over the Wildcats.


The Last Meeting: Oklahoma 4, Arizona 1, March 20, 2010: Then No. 33-ranked Arizona fell in the semifinals at the Blue/Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. to then No. 17-ranked Oklahoma 4-1. Current Wildcats, Borja Malo, Andres Carrasco and Geoff Embry competed in doubles action, while, Zafiros, Carrasco, Embry and Jay Goldman all competed in singles action, with Zafiros earning the Wildcats their only point of the day.


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.

7) USC


10) Stanford

14) Cal

19) Washington

42) Arizona


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 passed the milestone with 56 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 has 63 singles wins in his Wildcat career.


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 7-1.


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: The Wildcats will host No. 41 Indiana on Tuesday, March 15 at 12 p.m. at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

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