Out on the Road:No. 34 Arizona (5-3) will travel to Malibu, Calif., to face-off against No. 65 New Mexico (1-2), Saturday, Feb. 19, at Pepperdine University. Sunday, Feb. 20, the Wildcats will face-off against No. 17 Pepperdine (5-1), at 1 p.m.
Last Time Out: The Arizona men’s tennis team fell to two different Pac-10 last weekend, while on the road in California. Last Friday, the Wildcats lost the doubles point to No. 7 Stanford (6-0), before play was halted due to inclement weather. On Sunday, play against Stanford was concluded, as the Wildcats fell 7-0. Last Saturday Arizona lost to the No.26-ranked California Golden Bears (3-2), by the score of 4-2. Doubles matches were not played.
Scouting New Mexico: The Lobos come into this weekend with a 1-2 record, having not played for the past two weekends. New Mexico has not played since their 4-3 victory over then-ranked No. 55 Michigan State on Jan. 29 in Seattle, Wash. This year, the Lobos are led by senior Ryan Stotland and freshman Max Jones. Jones, plays the No. 2 or 3 in singles and No. 1 or 2 in doubles, was named the Mountain West Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week for Feb. 2. Stotland, ranked No. 122 has compiled a 12-5 record through the 2004-05 season. In doubles, Stotland, along with fellow senior David Kowalski, are ranked No. 3 nationally, as of the Jan. 11 poll. Kowalski is nine wins shy of breaking the school’s all time record for career doubles wins (currently with 81), and is 24 wins shy of the all time singles record.
Scouting Pepperdine: The No. 17-ranked Pepperdine Waves come into this weekend with a 5-1 overall record, along with a 2-0 conference record. The
Waves are coming off an impressive 4-3 victory over then No. 14 Washington, last weekend, extending their win streak to four matches. Their only loss this season came against the No. 12-ranked Southern California, on Jan. 17. This year, the Waves are led by a duo of juniors, No. 13 Pedro Rico and No. 88 Scott Doerner. The pair come into this weekend’s match with a combined record of 9-2. In doubles, the Waves are led by the same pair of No. 26-ranked Rico and Doerner, withy a perfect 6-0 record this year.
Series History: The Wildcats, going into this weekend, hold an all-time series record of 31-7 against the Lobos. Against the Waves, the Wildcats look to bring themselves one game closer to .500, as they trail the all -time series record 5-7.
Coach Facing Off Against Mentor: Playing against New Mexico this weekend it’s a reunion for New Mexico’s head coach, Alan Dils, and Arizona’s assistant coach, Tad Berkowitz. In 1993, Berkowitz transferred from the University of Kentucky, to play at New Mexico for then-assistant coach Dils. While at New Mexico, Berkowitz led the Lobos to two-consecutive Western Athletic Conference titles in 1994 and 1995, as well as being a three-time All-WAC standout. From 1994-1996, Berkowitz competed in three NCAA Championships, was the 1994 ITA Regional Player to Watch and earned the WAC Player of the Year award in 1995. This will be the first match between Berkowtiz and Dils.
Ranked Cats: The Arizona Wildcats enter the week dropping down one spot to No. 33 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings. The Wildcats are 5-3 on the season.
Stacked Pac: Arizona will once again compete against several of the top programs in the nation this spring. All eight of the participating Pac-10 schools find themselves ranked in the preseason polls. Coming into spring, Pac-10 schools have had an impressive ranking. In this week’s poll, heres how the Pac-10 schools rank: UCLA No. 2, Stanford No. 7, Arizona No. 33, Washington No. 16, Arizona State No. 27, and Oregon No. 56.
Road Trips: Road trips seem to be a repeating thing for the Wildcats this season. To start of the Pac-10 season, the Wildcats will be on the road for the next three weekends against some worthy opponents. It will be key for the Wildcats this season to have some good sucess on the road this year as they head towards College Station, Texas, on May 20.
Up Next: The Wildcats will be back on the road, Friday, Feb 25, in their only match of the weekend, Arizona faces cross-state rivals Arizona State at 1:30 p.m..