Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Men's Tennis Set to Host Hornets and Aggies
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 02, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 2, 2011

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Date: Friday, March 4, 2011 vs. Sacramento State

Time: 10:00 a.m.

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


Date: Sunday, March 6, 2011 vs. No. 56 New Mexico State

Time: 10:00 a.m.

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


Match Data: The Wildcats (6-5, 0-0 Pac-10) return home to host their next four matches. First up for No. 42-ranked Arizona is Sacramento State (4-6, 0-0 Big Sky) at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.


Swinging Into The Rankings: In this week’s rankings the Wildcats moved up four spots to 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 traveled to the Blue/Gray National Tennis classic over the weekend, competing in three matches. Arizona was one of eight teams competing in the three-day event. On Friday, Arizona was swept by No. 17-ranked Texas Tech 4-0, and then answered with a 4-2 victory over the No. 37-ranked Boise State Broncos on Saturday. Arizona dropped the doubles point but secured four singles wins, with four freshmen in the lineup. Freshmen Andre Vidaller, Mario Urquidi and Sam Barr all claimed victories, along with senior Geoff Embry. On Sunday, the Wildcats fell short in the consolation finals to No. 32-Alabama 4-1. 


Scouting the Hornets: The team holds a 4-6 overall record heading into Friday’s match. Sacramento State fell short last Sunday at home to Saint Mary’s 4-3. The Hornets have two players ranked in the ITA singles rankings. Kiryl Harbatsiuk is ranked No. 26 and Jason Smith is ranked at No. 106. Sacramento State also has a doubles team ranked in the ITA doubles rankings. Harbatsiuk and Marko Starcevic are ranked No. 80.


The Series vs. Sacramento State: This will be the third meeting between the two schools, with the Wildcats holding a 2-0 advantage over the Hornets.


The Last Meeting: Arizona 7, Sacramento State 0, Feb. 6, 2004: Then No. 38-ranked Arizona improved to 3-1 sweeping the Hornets 7-0 at home. Current assistant head coach Tom Lloyd competed for the Wildcats in both singles and doubles action. In singles action Lloyd won in the No. 2 spot claiming straight sets and teamed up with Whi Kim in the No. 2 spot to help the Wildcat’s earn the doubles point.


Sunday’s Match-Up Data: In the second match of the weekend, the Wildcats host No. 56 New Mexico State (6-4, 0-0 WAC) at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center on Sunday, March 6 at 10 a.m.


Scouting the Aggies: The team holds a 6-4 record heading into Saturday’s action against Sacramento State. New Mexico State is set to play the Hornets before facing the Wildcats on Sunday. The Aggies are heading into Saturday riding on a five match winning streak. On Feb. 19, New Mexico State edged out the University of Texas-San Antonio 5-2 at home. The Aggies have one player ranked in the ITA singles rankings. Arthur Surreaux is ranked at No. 77. New Mexico State also has a doubles team ranked in the ITA doubles rankings. Jim Brouleau and Surreaux are ranked at No. 37. 


The Series vs. New Mexico State: This will be the 18th meeting between the two schools, with the Wildcats holding an impressive 16-1 advantage over the Aggies.


The Last Meeting: Arizona 4, New Mexico State 3, Feb. 12, 2010: Then No. 23-ranked Arizona edged out No. 73 New Mexico State 4-3 at home. Current Wildcats, Borja Malo, Andres Carrasco and Jason Zafiros competed in doubles action, helping the Wildcats clinch the doubles point. Zafiros and Carrasco also secured their singles matches to help Arizona win.


Facing the Aggies in the 2010 Fall Season: Arizona met up with the Aggies during the fall season several times. First, the Wildcats competed in the New Mexico State Invitational in September and freshman Mario Urquidi clinched the White Singles Main Draw title, going 4-0 in the tournament. Zafiros claimed the Crimson Singles Back Draw title, with a record of 2-1. Senior Geoff Embry came in second in the Crimson Singles Main Draw, with a record of 3-1, facing three Aggies along the way. Embry met up with Aggies’ Jim Brouleau in the quarterfinals and won in straight sets, then defeated Orlando Superlano in straight sets, before falling to Arthur Surreaux in straight sets. Embry and Zafiros teamed up to come in second in the doubles main draw, with a record of 3-1. The Wildcat duo faced two pairs of Aggies in the semifinals and finals. Zafiros and Embry defeated Matej Stakne and Armando Morales 8-6 in the semifinals, before falling to Brouleau and Surreaux 8-5 in the finals. Sophomore Frank Chen and Urquidi also faced Stakne and Morales in the second round, falling 9-8. Once again Embry faced Brouleau at the ITA All-American Event in the first round of pre-qualifying. Embry dropped straight sets. 


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

23) 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 just passed the milestone with 55 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 62 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 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: After this weekend’s action, the Wildcats will host two more matches at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. Arizona will host Oklahoma and Indiana on March 11 and 15, respectively.

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