TUCSON, Ariz. ?- A tumultuous spring for the University of Arizona men’s tennis team (5-17) came to an end on Saturday. In a season marred by tight losses, the Wildcats came into the day hoping to go out on a high mark by upsetting instate rival No. 46 Arizona State (13-9). Despite their best efforts, another 4-3 loss was the result, Arizona’s sixth of the year.
In the first match of the day, ASU’s doubles team of Jack Marsh and T.J. Bellama defeated Peter Zimmer and Francois VanderMerwe 8-4. At No. 1, Arizona’s Claudio Christen and Jason Labrosse topped Matt Brooklyn and Wes Miller 8-5. The doubles point was eventually decided by the match taking place on court two, which looked unfortunate for the Wildcats as their team of Ravid Hezi and Bruno Alcala were down a break 4-7 against Nick Hegarty and Juan Carlos Rebaza. Alcala and Hezi fought back, though, and pushed the match to eight-all. In the tiebreaker, Arizona’s duo came away with a 7-3 victory, giving the Wildcats a one point lead.
In singles, the Sun Devils jumped out to a 2-1 lead with victories at the four and two positions. Zimmer tied things up for Arizona in a straight set win over Hegarty before Jason Labrosse fell to Marsh in a close three-setter. With their team down 3-2, the Wildcats needed wins from both Christen and Alex Labrosse. Labrosse kept the Wildcats in contention, defeating Marsh 6-1 in the third set. The dual came down to the match on court one featuring Christen and Arizona State’s Matt Brooklyn. After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker, Christen broke serve to take the second 6-4. In the third, Christen was able to break again, and looked poised to put the match away serving at 5-4. Brooklyn came up big, though, and forced the match into another tiebreaker. Brooklyn prevailed, holding off the Wildcat charge and securing the victory 4-3.
“Claudio left it all out there, the other guy just played better in the end,” commented assistant coach Tom Lloyd. “I was impressed with his (Brooklyn’s) play.”
Before the match, the Wildcats honored Jason Labrosse as a part of the Senior Day tradition. Labrosse has another year of eligibility athletically after redshirting as a freshman, but is a senior academically and has opted to graduate. “I’ve had a lot of valuable experiences both on and off the court here at Arizona, but I’m ready to take those experiences and use them in the business world,” said Labrosse.
The University of Arizona men’s tennis team has one event remaining on its schedule, the Pac-10 Championships. “It’s an opportunity for the guys to put an exclamation on the end of their year individually,” said Lloyd. The individual singles and doubles tournament takes place in Ojai, Calif. and begins on April 26.
No. 46 Arizona State 4, Arizona 3
1. Christen/J. Labrosse (UA) def. Brooklyn/Wes Miller (ASU) 8-5
2. Alcala/Hezi (UA) def. Hegarty/Rebaza (ASU) 9-8 (3)
3. Marsh/Bellama def. Zimmer/Francois VanderMerwe (UA) 8-4
1. Matt Brooklyn (ASU) def. No. 106 Christen (UA) 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(3)
2. No. 80 Juan Carlos Rebaza (ASU) def. Alcala (UA) 6-2, 6-2
3. Jack Marsh (ASU) def. J. Labrosse (UA) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
4. T.J. Bellama (ASU) def. Hezi (UA) 7-6, 6-1
5. Zimmer (UA) def. Nick Hegarty (ASU) 6-3, 7-6(4)
6. A. Labrosse (UA) def. Murilo Souza (ASU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1