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Men's Tennis Set to Face Denver
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/18/2011
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 18, 2011

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Date: Sunday, February 20, 2011 vs. No. 48 Denver

Time: 11:00 a.m.

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

 

Match Data: The Wildcats (4-3, 0-0 Pac-10) are set to host No. 48-ranked Denver (2-4, 0-0 Sun Belt) at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

 

Follow the Match Live: During Sunday's match follow the action through a live blog here.

 

Swinging Into The Rankings: In this week's rankings the Wildcats dropped three spots to No. 46. Senior Andres Carrasco 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 hosted New Mexico and San Diego last weekend, splitting the two matches. Then No. 43 Wildcats swept New Mexico 7-0 on Friday after clinching the doubles point and all six singles matches. Jay Goldman, Andres Carrasco, Jason Zafiros, Andre Vidaller, Geoff Embry and Mario Urquidi all claimed singles wins. In the second match of the weekend, the Wildcats dropped their first home match, falling to No. 50 San Diego 6-1. The Wildcats fell in doubles action for the first time this season, dropping one out of the three matches. Senior Borja Malo scored Arizona's only point of the day in singles action.

 

Scouting the Pioneers: The team holds a 2-4 overall record heading into Sunday's match. Denver fell last Saturday to New Mexico State 4-3 in Denver. The Pioneers have one player ranked in the ITA singles rankings. Enej Bonin is ranked at No. 44.

 

The Series vs. Denver: This will be the 5th meeting between the two schools, with the Wildcats holding a 3-1 advantage over the Pioneers.

 

The Last Meeting: Denver 4, Arizona 3, Feb. 27, 2010: Then No. 49-ranked Denver upset No. 25-ranked Arizona 4-3 in Lubbock, Texas. Arizona clinched the doubles point claiming two out of the three matches. Current Wildcat seniors Borja Malo, Geoff Embry and Andres Carrasco competed in doubles action. In singles, senior Jay Goldman, junior Jason Zafiros, Carrasco and Embry all competed. 

 

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.

2) USC

6) UCLA

7) Stanford

19) Cal

29) Washington

46) 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 53 wins. Zafiros claimed wins against New Mexico, Northern Arizona, and Pacific to bypass the milestone. 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 just tallied his 61st win on Friday against New Mexico bypassing the 60+ singles win mark.

 

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 4-1.

 

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 Sunday's action, the Wildcats will trek to Montgomery, Ala. to compete in the Blue/Gray Tennis Classic. Action begins on Friday, Feb. 25 and continues through Sunday, Feb. 27. Last season the Wildcats advanced to the semifinals.

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