Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcats Head to California
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 21, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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This Week for the Wildcats: After taking a week off, the No. 64 Arizona Wildcats (2-4) head to California to take on two Pac-10 opponents. On Friday, Feb. 23, Arizona squares off against No. 29 Cal-Berkeley at 1:30 p.m. The next day, Arizona travels to face No. 28 Stanford. The match will take place at the Taube Tennis Center in Palo Alto, Calif. and is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.


Last week: The Wildcats had last week off, but were in action the week before at home against two ranked opponents. On Feb. 12 Arizona dropped a close one to No. 73 Santa Clara 4-3. That was the beginning of a five-match win streak for the Broncos. The next day the Wildcats squared off against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (4-3). In another close battle that reached three-all, junior Jason Labrosse came up big for the Wildcats, securing the upset with a three-set victory over Jorge Delgado. At the time of the match Louisiana-Lafayette was ranked No. 46, but has since dropped fourteen spots to No. 60.


Against Cal-Berkeley: The Golden Bears hold a favorable record against the Wildcats. Overall, they are 38-13 against Arizona.


Scouting the Golden Bears: Cal-Berkeley men’s tennis team has had an up and down season. After winning their first three matches of the spring season, the Golden Bears dropped their next four. Heading into Friday’s match against Arizona, California is coming off a 7-0 victory against UC Santa Barbara. The Golden Bears are led by No. 19 Pierre Mouillon, who has amassed a 16-7 record dating back to the fall tournament season.


Against Stanford: In their all-time match history against Stanford the Wildcats are 2-56.


Scouting the Cardinals: As the alma-mater of tennis legend John McEnroe and the current No. 1 doubles team in the world of Bob and Mike Bryan, Stanford has historically been recognized as one of the nation’s strongest collegiate tennis programs. The Cardinals entered the season ranked No. 9, but were unable to live up to those lofty expectations, losing their first six matches of the spring season. Last weekend, they picked up their first victory of the season 4-3 against the No. 26 University of Miami.

Wildcats in the Rankings: After upsetting No. 60 Louisiana-Lafayette, the Wildcats have jumped eight spots in the rankings to No. 64. Junior Claudio Christen is the only ranked singles player for Arizona at No. 86.


Jubilant Jason: In the midst of a four-match losing streak, the Wildcats needed someone to step up and produce in the clutch. Junior Jason Labrosse did just that in a three-set thriller to secure an upset against Jorge Delgado of Louisiana-Lafayette. Struggling with a recent abdominal strain, Jason spent the first set figuring out to adjust his style of play in order to compensate for his weakened serve. He dropped the first 7-5, but from that point he took over, winning the final two sets 6-2, 6-1. As Jason nears towards full physical recovery he will be a valuable asset to the Wildcat team. His effort on the court and his support of others has garnered him the respect of his teammates and coaches. Bruno Alcala said, “He’s a fighter. If a match is tied 3-3, you can almost always assume that Jason is the last one on the court. We’re confident with him in that position.”


Fall Action: Fall tournament results were sporadic for Arizona, with some players falling in the early rounds while others pulled out unexpected victories. The Wildcats ended their tournament schedule on a high note as Bruno Alcala and Claudio Christen teamed up to reach the semifinals of the ITA West Regional Championships. The team’s only sophomore, Tucson’s own Peter Zimmer, compiled the best record through the fall at 7-3. Christen pulled the biggest upset of the fall, defeating Baylor’s Michal Kokta, who was No. 23 in the nation at the time.


Pac-10 Elite: Once again the Pac-10 is the premier conference in the nation for men’s tennis. In the current rankings perennial powerhouse UCLA ranks the highest among Pac-10 teams at No. 6. Washington is next at No. 15 with Stanford and Cal-Berkeley not far behind at No. 28 and No. 29, respectively. Arizona State is No. 45, slightly ahead of the No. 64 Wildcats. Oregon has gained a spot in the national rankings at No. 75.


Next Week: The Wildcats return home to Tucson for one match on Sat. March 3 against No. 74 UNLV (2-5). The match is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. and will take place at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

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