Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcats Look to Rebound on the Road
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 01, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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This Week: Arizona will travel to Boise, Idaho this weekend to take on No. 32 Boise State and No. 73 William & Mary. The Wildcats will face the Broncos on Friday, March 3, at 2 p.m. Arizona’s match against the Tribe is on Sunday, March 5, at 10 a.m. This is the only time this season that the Wildcats will face non-conference teams on the road.


Last Time Out: Arizona suffered its first losses of the season. The Wildcats fell to defending national champion UCLA, 6-1, on Friday. On Saturday, they lost a close match to No. 25 Southern California, 4-3.


Scouting Boise State: The No. 32 Broncos (5-3) are led by Luke Shields, ranked No. 39 in singles and No. 12 with his partner Thomas Schoeck. In its last outing, Boise State won at No. 75 Brigham Young, 6-1.


Scouting William & Mary: The Tribe began the season as the 65th-ranked team but have since dropped to No. 73. They do not have any ranked singles players or doubles pairs. William & Mary was swept by No. 1 Georgia in its last match.


Series History: Arizona has faced Boise State on one previous occasion. The Wildcats are 0-1 in the series. This is the first meeting between Arizona and William & Mary.


Match Point Matalonga: In Arizona’s match against UC Santa Barbara, Roger Matalonga was able to fight off 11 match points to earn his victory over Nick Brotman. The win also gave the Wildcats a 4-3 win over the Gauchos.  He was named the Pac-10 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week for Jan. 30-Feb. 5.


Tremendous Transfer: Since transferring from Florida State, Jeff Groslimond is 6-2 at No. 2 singles and 4-4 in doubles. In a match against Pacific on Feb. 5, Groslimond upset No. 67 Arnar Sigurdsson in straight sets, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4). Groslimond gained his second upset win on Feb. 19, defeating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s No. 51-ranked Andrey Kumantsov in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0. After the impressive upsets, Groslimond was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Feb. 13-20.


By Position: The Wildcats have had very solid play from the No. 2 and No. 3 positions in both singles and doubles. Jeff Groslimond is 6-2 at the two spot while Claudio Christen is 7-0 at the No. 3 position. In doubles, Arizona is a combined 14-2 at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions.


Starting It Off: Heading into the 2006 season, the Arizona men’s tennis team is looking to improve on last year’s 8-12 record and final ranking of No. 55. The team will be led by first-year head coach Tad Berkowitz. The team returns eight letterwinners from last season including two seniors, one junior and five sophomores, as well as one redshirt freshman. The fall season was a successful one for the Wildcats, with five players posting winning records. It was an opportunity for Arizona’s younger players to get experience before starting the spring season. The team looks to use leadership and experience from its three seniors to build on last season.


Fall Finishers: Redshirt freshman Peter Zimmer led the Wildcats with a 10-4 record in the fall, including a win streak of six matches. Roger Matalonga and Claudio Christen also had solid showings in the fall season, going 9-4 and 8-3, respectively. Three pairs posted winning records for Arizona in the fall. Daniel Andrus was a part of two of those pairs that included Matalonga and Francois VanderMerwe. Christen and Zimmer made up the third pair.


Wildcats in the Rankings: Arizona moves up to No. 46 in the rankings this week despite losing two matches over the weekend. Roger Matalonga stays at No. 80 in singles. Jeff Groslimond remains at No. 84. Matalonga and Daniel Andrus are ranked No. 45 as a pair.


Stacked Pac: The Pac-10 will be difficult again this year with five teams beginning the season ranked in the top 25. UCLA is the defending national champion and is led by Benjamin Kohlloeffel’s No. 3 singles ranking. Along with UCLA, Stanford, Washington and Arizona open the spring season with both a singles and doubles pair ranked.


Home Court Advantage: Arizona’s schedule this season includes 15 home matches. All but two of their non-conference matches will be played in Tucson. Seven of these matches will be against teams that finished in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings last season.


Next Match: Arizona will face Pac-10 foes California and Stanford at home. The Wildcats and Bears will face off on Friday, March 10, at 1:30 p.m. The Stanford match will be on Saturday, March 11, at 1 p.m.

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