Coming Up:The No. 54 Arizona men’s tennis team will finish out the 2005 dual-match season at home against the No. 52 Arizona State at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday, April 16. This will be the second meeting between both teams this season, as the Wildcats took the first match, 5-2, on Feb. 25, in Tempe. This will be the final regular-season match of the year for the Wildcats before heading into the Pac-10 Tournament.
Last Time Out: The Arizona men’s tennis team traveled to the Northwest last Friday, April 8, to face the No. 12 Washington Huskies. After being swept in doubles play for only the second time this year, the Wildcats lost three of the four singles matches, to lose 4-2. On Saturday, April 9, the Wildcats came up short against the Oregon Ducks, 5-2. After losing the doubles point for the second day in a row, Arizona dropped four of the six singles matches, snapping Oregon’s 11-match losing streak.
Scouting Arizona State: The Sun Devils come into this weekend with a 7-12 (1-5 Pac-10) record, having split with Washington and Oregon last weekend. Friday, April 8, the Sun Devils defeated the Ducks, 5-2, after taking the doubles point along with four of the six singles matches. Saturday, the Sun Devils fell to No. 12 Washington, 6-1. The Sun Devils tandem of Nick Hegarty and Ryan McBride are making some noise for ASU in doubles and singles action this season. The tandem has compiled an 8-6 doubles record, which leads the team, and a 3-3 Pac-10 record. Individually, both Hegarty and McBride have a 3-3 Pac-10 singles record. ASU seniors Andy Colombo and Clinton Letcher take to the courts Saturday for their final regular season dual of their career. Colombo has been plauged with injuries while at ASU, but has played at the Sun Devils top spot in both singles and doubles. Letcher has played at the No. 2 spot for the Sun Devils as of late, and goes into Saturday’s match with a 10-9 record. He is one of only two Sun Devils that have a winning dual meet record this season. Arizona State moved to the No. 52 ranking this week, as determined by the ITA.
The Doubles Point: Arizona’s top-ranked pair of No. 15 Roger Matalonga and Colin O’Grady have been nothing but solid this season in doubles play. With a 13-5 record, O’Grady and Matalonga have helped the Wildcats secure nine team doubles points, seven of which led to dual match victories. This spring, the doubles point has been a good indication on how the Wildcats will fair in singles action.
Bidding Farewell: Saturday’s match will mark the final home match for Arizona’s two seniors. In singles play, Colin O’Grady has split time between the No. 1 and 2 spots for the Wildcats, but has remained as the top doubles competitor. Paul Warkentin, in his third year with the Wildcats, has been a tough competitor throughout his career, including a 21-11 record for the Wildcats in 2003-2004.
Series History: Going into this weekend, the Wildcats hold an all-time series record of 55-30 against the Sun Devils. Arizona defeated ASU Feb. 25, 2005, 5-2, in Tempe, Ariz.
Ranked Cats: With their two losses last weekend, the Wildcats dropped five spots from last week’s poll, to the No. 54 spot in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings. The Wildcats are 8-11 on the season.
Stacked Pac: Arizona is once again competing against several of the top programs in the nation this spring. All eight of the participating Pac-10 schools were ranked in the preseason polls. In this week’s poll, here’s how the Pac-10 schools rank: UCLA No. 7, Washington No. 11, Stanford No. 16, USC No.19, California No. 24, Arizona State No. 52, Arizona No. 54 and Oregon No. 66.
Up Next: The Wildcats travel to Ojai, Calif. for the Pac-10 Championships next Thursday-Sunday, April 21-24.