Feb. 27, 2011
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The No. 46-ranked Arizona men's tennis team dropped four singles matches and couldn't hold off No. 32-ranked Alabama today, falling 4-1, in the consolation finals of the Blue/Gray National Tennis Classic at the Lagoon Park Tennis Center.
"We had our opportunities, but 'Bama did a good job closing out the match," head coach Tad Berkowitz said. "This weekend we proved that we can compete at a high level regardless of who plays in the lineup."
The Wildcats (6-5, 0-0 Pac-10) began the day in singles action and took the early 1-0 lead, when junior Jason Zafiros edged out Jarryd Botha in a tight 7-5 first set in the No. 2 spot. Zafiros then cruised to a 6-3 win in the second set, clinching the Wildcats only point of the day.
The Crimson Tide (7-2) responded capturing the next four matches. In the No. 4 slot, senior Geoff Embry dropped straight sets to Daniil Proskura 6-3, 6-2, putting the Crimson Tide on the board. Freshman Mario Urquidi battled Carlos Taborga in the No. 6 spot falling in a tight 7-6 (4) tiebreaker and Taborga rolled on to win 6-1 in the second set to build the 2-1 lead.
Alabama's momentum grew, claiming two more wins in the No. 5 and No. 3 spots. In the No. 5 spot, the Thompsons squared off. Arizona freshman Kieren Thompson fell 6-3 in the first set to Michael Thompson, then bounced back to win 6-4 in the second, but Alabama's Thompson went on to win 6-4.
The match was clinched in the No. 3 position. Freshman Andre Vidaller looked to be propelling his way to a win over Vikram Reddy, after squeezing a 7-5 first set win, but fell 6-2 in the second and suffered a tight 7-6 (9-7) tiebreaker to close the match.
Senior Jay Goldman faced Alabama's Ricky Doverspike in the No. 1 spot. Goldman notched the first set 7-6 (3), fell short 6-3 in the second, and was trailing 3-0 when play was stopped.
Arizona drops to 6-5, while Alabama improves to 7-2.
The Wildcats end the Blue/Gray National Tennis Classic with a record of 1-2. On Friday, Arizona was swept by No. 17-ranked Texas Tech 4-0, then answered with a 4-2 victory over the No. 37-ranked Boise State Broncos on Saturday before falling to the Crimson Tide today in the consolation finals.
Arizona returns home to host a pair of matches on Friday, March 4 at 10 a.m. against Sacramento State and Sunday, March 6 at 9 a.m. against New Mexico State. Both matches will be played at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.
No. 32 Alabama 4, No. 46 Arizona 1
Lagoon Park Tennis Center -- Montgomery, Ala.
1. Ricky Doverspike (ALA) vs. Jay Goldman (UA) 6-7 (3), 6-3, 3-0 DNF
2. Jason Zafiros (UA) def. Jarryd Botha (ALA) 7-5, 6-3
3. Vikram Reddy (ALA) def. Andre Vidaller (UA) 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7)*
4. Daniil Proskura (ALA) def. Geoff Embry (UA) 6-3, 6-2
5. Michael Thompson (ALA) def. Kieren Thompson (UA) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
6. Carlos Taborga (ALA) def. Mario Urquidi (UA) 7-6 (4), 6-1
Order of finish, 2,4,6,5,3*
*Clinched the match