Jan. 21, 2009
Cats Kick-off spring season against Northern Arizona
Date: Friday, Jan. 23, 2009
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Tucson, Ariz.
Match Data: Arizona will kick-off its 2009 spring season against in-state rival Northern Arizona on Friday at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center at 1:00 p.m.
The Rankings: In the latest ITA collegiate rankings, Arizona is listed at No. 50 overall. Individually sophomore Jay Goldman is ranked No. 88 in singles play and the doubles team of Francois VanderMerwe and Pat Metham is listed at No. 18.
Arizona Head Coach Tad Berkowitz…will begin his fourth season at the helm for the Wildcats. He currently has a record of 28-37. Berkowitz 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, 34, was a top collegiate player for the universities of Kentucky and New Mexico, respectively. Berkowitz began his coaching career in 1999 as an assistant coach at Alabama for three seasons. In his final year he helped the Crimson Tide earn a No. 18 national ranking and a berth in the NCAA Championships. He is assisted by Tom Lloyd, who is in his third year in that capacity.
Scouting the Lumberjacks: NAU made it all the way to the Big Sky Championships last season, finishing the season with a 7-15 record overall. For the first time since 1991, the Lumberjacks have someone ranked in the ITA rankings. Chris Arena and Jaco Visagie are currently ranked No. 39.
The Series vs. NAU: The Cats lead the all-time series between the two rivals with a record of 22-1.
First Time in History: The singles rankings of Andres Arango (42), Andres Carrasco (83) and Jay Goldman (87) is significant because it is the first time in school history that three Wildcats were ranked in the ITA’s top 100 in singles.
Competitive Non-Conference Schedule: The Wildcats will face solid competition, preparing them for the ever challenging Pac-10. Seven of the 15 teams Arizona faces are currently ranked in the ITA top 75.
10) Florida 54) San Diego
21) Texas Tech 60) Iowa
40) South Florida 67) San Francisco
41) Fresno State
Tough Conference Slate: A glance at the rankings around the Pac-10 finds every team outside of Oregon ranked.
Some New (Volunteer) Coaching Help: This year Arizona is pleased to have ATP all-pro Taylor Dent as a volunteer assistant coach throughout the season. Dent, who was ranked as the No. 21 player in the world on August 8th 2005, suffered a back injury which caused him to miss most of the past seasons. After having successful surgery, Dent was contacted by good friend and former coach Tom Lloyd, now an assistant with Arizona, who extended the coaching invitation. Dent, while working on rehabbing his back, will coach the Wildcats on specific and individual techniques. Dent is known as an aggressive serve-and-volleyer with one of the biggest serves on the tour, tying Andy Roddick for the record of fastest serve at 155 mph.
Fall Season: The Cats participated in six fall tournaments during the fall semester...In the Aggie Fall invite, the Costa Mesa Futures, the Arizona Fall Classic, the All-American Championships, the ITA West Regional Championships and the UNLV Classic … In Las Cruces, N.M., senior Francois VanderMerwe defeated Brian Joiner from ACU 6-1, 6-4 in the Crimson Singles Flight (Final Round) … In the first annual Arizona Classic, freshman Jason Zafiros won the singles round … In Las Vegas, VanderMerwe lost to Maxime Adam of Fresno Pacific 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals … In Malibu, Calif., at the ITA West Regional Championships, four Wildcats- Jay Goldman, Pat Metham, Andres Arango, Andres Carrasco- all advanced to the Round of 16.
Up Next: Arizona will host Nevada on Sunday Jan. 25, 2009 at 12:00 p.m. at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.