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Final Homestand For Four Men's Tennis Seniors
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/31/2011
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 31, 2011

Amber Sleek
 Arizona Athletic Media Relations
 

As the No. 56-ranked University of Arizona men's tennis team heads into their last two home matches of the season this weekend against No. 4 California and No. 12 Stanford, it will be the last time seniors Andres Carrasco, Geoff Embry, Jay Goldman, and Borja Malo will compete on the campus of the UA at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.  For Carrasco and Goldman it will be the last piece of Wildcat pride to add to their four years playing in front of the Wildcat nation. For Embry and Malo, it will end their two year stint at the Robson, under the guidance of head coach Tad Berkowitz.

 

"All four seniors have had some great wins in big situations for the team," Berkowitz said.

 

For Embry, it began two years ago, after playing two years for Pac-10 foe Oregon, the Phoenix, Ariz. native transferred to Arizona, joining the Wildcats for the 2008-09 season. But due to NCAA transfer rules, Embry had to sit out and watch from the stands. It gave him the opportunity to watch a Wildcat team that advanced to the NCAA tournament and upset Stanford at home. In 2009, Embry made his singles and doubles debut as a Wildcat, competing in three tournaments in the fall season, recording a 5-3 singles record.

 

Geoff Embry


Then in 2010, Embry made his dual match debut. In his first match of the season, he breezed past his Montana State opponent in straight sets in the No. 5 spot. Throughout the season he bounced back and forth between the No. 4 and No. 5 positions. In doubles action, he teamed up with fellow teammate Ravid Hazi in the No. 2 spot, tallying a 6-9 record. Embry was part of history during the 2009-10 season, when the team upset UCLA 4-3 at home for the first time in 75 attempts. He also helped his team advance to the NCAA tournament for the eighth time in school history.

 

This season, the senior, often referred to as "the stick man" or "electric man" has primarily competed in the No. 4 spot, recording a 7-5 dual match singles record, 4-3 in the fall season, for an overall 11-8 record, with six dual matches left in the regular season.

 

"It's been a journey but I'm looking forward to wrapping up my five years of college and facing Cal and Stanford at home," Embry said. "I will miss the fun times with the younger guys and the trips with the team."

 

Borja Malo, the senior from Santiago, Chile joined the Wildcats last January, after spending a year at the University of Georgia. In his much anticipated arrival, Malo jumped right into the No. 1 doubles slot teaming up with fellow teammate Pat Metham. The duo were dominate all season, tallying an 8-9 record, while  being ranked at No. 55 in the ITA doubles rankings during the week of March 18 through March 27. In his first year as a Wildcat, Malo recorded a 5-5 dual match single's record, and in similar fashion, in the fall of 2009 at Georgia, Malo finished with a 5-5 singles mark as well. In his first dual match as a Wildcat, Malo notched a 6-2, 6-2 singles win in the No. 4 slot.

 

"It is crazy that I'm heading into my last two matches at home after this long road that I have had between Georgia and Arizona," Malo said. "I'm working very hard so I can be healthy and I hope to finish my two last home matches on the tennis courts, which is the only thing that I wish right now."

Borja Malo


 

This season, Malo has been limited to play due to an injury, but in the four single's dual matches that Malo has competed in he has only lost one match, to tally a 3-1 record. In the fall season, the senior compiled a 3-2 record, and holds a 6-3 overall singles record. Malo, has also been a factor in doubles play this season, even though he's been limited. In just seven matches, he has compiled a 4-3 record. In the fall season, he tallied a 2-1 record, to combine for an overall 6-4 doubles record. For the senior from Chile, look for him to bounce back from his injury to finish on a positive note in the next six dual matches.

 

"This experience has changed me in many ways as a person and unfortunately in tennis I have been dealing with a lot of injuries during the season," Malo said. "Overall, I'm happy with my decision of coming to Arizona and I just want to finish in the best way possible for me and my team."

 

Hailing from Worcester, Mass., Jay Goldman entered the Wildcats singles lineup four years ago in the No.1 and No. 2 slots. In his first collegiate dual match, Goldman paired up with fellow teammate Claudio Christen in the No. 1 doubles spot ousting a pair of Gonzaga Bulldogs 8-2. The freshman then competed in the No. 2 spot in singles for the Wildcats, winning big in two sets, 6-0, 6-1. Goldman continued his powerful play throughout the 2008 spring season to finish with an impressive 18-8 record.

 

In his sophomore season during the 2008-09 season, Goldman competed only in the No. 1 position for the Wildcats in singles play and compiled a 13-8 record. During the season, as a sophomore he led the team to four victories over ranked opponents, including a win over then-No. 48 Bradley Klahn of Stanford, who the Wildcats will face on Sunday. Also during the season, he won seven straight singles matches to enter the ITA singles rankings for the first time in his Wildcat career. As a sophomore he checked in at No. 51 and during the week of March 9 through March 15 Goldman was tabbed Pac-10 Player of the Week and is the last Arizona player to garner the weekly honor. Goldman wrapped his sophomore season with Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention and helped his team advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Jay Goldman


 

Goldman started his junior season by being ranked No. 36 in the ITA preseason rankings. After struggling with a wrist injury, Goldman finished with an overall 3-13 singles record while competing in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots. Now in his fourth season, Goldman is still battling injuries, compiling an 8-10 record, with three of those wins coming in dual match competition.

 

As the senior heads into this weekend's matches and the final four regular season dual matches, he is just two singles wins shy of tying the 50+ singles mark in his four years as a Wildcat. Goldman currently has 48 singles wins.

 

"Arizona is a great place," Goldman said. "The environment, climate and the ability to partake in almost any outdoor activity all year long...you can't beat that."

 

Captain, Andres "Nacho" Carrasco hails from Cabrils, Barcelona, Spain, and joined the Wildcats four years ago making an immediate impact in singles and doubles action. In Carrasco's freshman year in 2007, he competed in the first tournament of the season at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic and advanced to the quarterfinals, setting up in what was a successful year for the freshman. Carrasco went on to claim 15 singles wins, primarily in the No. 2 and No. 3 positions, while recording eight doubles wins.

 

In his sophomore season, Carrasco competed in the No. 3 spot where he went 9-4 and in the No. 4 spot where he compiled an impressive 6-1 record. He also competed in the No. 2 spot where he went undefeated at 2-0. Carrasco led the 2008-09 tennis team to an 18-6 record, arguably one of the best seasons in school history and helped his team advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament. During that year, Carrasco clinched the upset victory over then-No. 8 Stanford at home. As a sophomore Carrasco tied Jason Zafiros for most single's victories on the team with 18. He was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Feb. 16 through Feb. 22 and also garnered Second Team Pac-10 All-Academic team honors. 

 

As a junior, Carrasco compiled a 13-7 record in singles play and tied Zafiros once again for most wins on the team with 13. In doubles action, Carrasco paired with fellow teammate Andres Arango where the duo went on to win nine matches. During his junior season, he helped his team advance to the semifinals at the prestigious Blue/Gray Tennis Classic by clinching the match against Tulsa to move on. To wrap the season, he earned all Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention accolades.  Now as a senior, the captain, holds a 6-4 record in dual match singles action, totaling an 11-8 overall record.  He currently holds an impressive 5-2 record at home at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

Andres Carrasco


 

"This weekend is very special for me," Carrasco said. "It is the last time that I am going to play an official dual match at our courts and I want to give everything I have got out there for one last time. It is a pleasure to finish my home career against two legendary Pac-10 teams such as Cal Berkeley and Stanford and I am very excited for it."

 

Heading into this weekend's matches and the final four regular season dual matches, Carrasco is five singles wins shy of tying the 70 singles mark in his four years as a Wildcat. Carrasco is well beyond the 50+ milestone club mark. The senior currently has 65 singles wins in his career as a Wildcat.

 

"Coming to the U of A has changed my life completely," Carrasco said. "Being far away from home in this unique environment as a student-athlete at the U of A has opened my mind as a person. Because of the U of A I now feel ready for the challenges life can bring. I will always be thankful and proud to be a Wildcat. I will miss my teammates and coaches a lot. I will miss the daily routine at the courts with all of them, the jokes, the laughing, the tension before a match, and the competition."

 

When the four seniors' tennis eligibility is up, three of the four will graduate in May, with Malo graduating next year. Embry will earn a degree in Family Studies, Goldman will earn a degree in Sociology, while Carrasco will earn a degree in Communication with a minor in Spanish and Malo will earn a degree in History next year with a minor in Sports Management.

 

The four seniors along with the rest of the 2010-11 men's tennis team will face No. 6 Cal on Friday at 1:30 p.m. before taking on No. 12 Stanford on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both matches will be played at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

Andres Carrasco, Jay Goldman, Geoff Embry and Borja Malo


 

Get to know the Wildcat seniors:

 

Geoff Embry:

What is your pre-game ritual and do you have any in-match superstitions?

"Pre-match: I have to listen to music.

In match: My water bottles have to be in the same place, my necklace has to be in my shirt, the cross on my necklace has to be in front, and I don't step on the lines between points."

 

If you could play against anyone in the world who would it be?

"Roger Federer even though it would be embarrassing it would be cool to see how clean he is."

 

What is your most embarrassing tennis moment?

"Playing at Kalamazoo on center court I picked up a racquet that had broken strings and went out to play, someone from the stands ended up telling me."

 

Your teammates would be shocked to know what about you?

"I eat fast food on a daily basis."

 

Most famous number in your cell phone?

"Coach Berkowitz."

 

 

Borja Malo:

What are two things you must have on the road with you?

"My IPOD with my house music and my F. C. Barcelona shirt."

 

What is your favorite tennis memory at Arizona?

"Since I have been in Arizona only two semesters, definitely my favorite tennis memory was when we beat UCLA at home last year for the first time in school history. We were all very proud of each other and it was an amazing feeling to see Rav clinching the match!"

 

What's your favorite thing about Tucson?

"Definitely the campus of the U of A. Is the most beautiful campus I have been to since I'm in college and I'm glad that is the one of our school. Also, the weather is amazing the whole year which makes a big difference when you don't have a car!"

 

What is your most embarrassing tennis moment?

"When I was playing a junior tournament in Mexico and my pants got stuck into the fence and they literally rip apart, leaving me in underwear in the middle of the court."

 

Most famous number in your cell phone?

"Fernando Gonzalez, Chilean tennis player (ex top ten in the world and triple Olympic medalist)."

 

 

Jay Goldman:

Why did you choose to come to Arizona?

"I came to the University of Arizona because of the academics, athletics and 300 days of sunshine."

 

What does it mean to you to be a Wildcat?

"Being a Wildcat is extremely important to me because it signifies being part of a long respected tradition and great camaraderie."

 

What are two things you must have on the road with you?

"Two things I must have on the road are my tennis rackets and my IPOD."

 

If you could play against anyone in the world who would it be?

"I would play against Roger Federer because who wouldn't want to test their skills against arguably the greatest player to ever play the game."

 

Most famous number in your cell phone?

"Borja Jesus Malo... legend."

 

 

Andres Carrasco:

What does it mean to you to be a Wildcat?

"It means absolutely everything. This school has given me everything I have ever dreamed. I am so honored and proud to be a Wildcat and will always be thankful to everyone who made this possible."

 

What is your pre-game ritual and do you have any in-match superstitions?

"I always need a good special breakfast and I read the newspaper in the morning. I like to have a lot of time and not stress before a match. 30 minutes prior to our meeting time, a trainer stretches me. Right before the match starts I throw some water in my neck and hair and then I am ready to play!"

 

What are two things you must have on the road with you?

"I must have my relaxation CD named "Sleep deeply" just in case I can't sleep well. I always play it and relax. I also like to have my computer since we spend many hours in the hotel rooms it always helps."

 

What is your favorite tennis memory at Arizona?

"I have so many extraordinary memories but if I have to choose one, it would be when I clinched against Stanford. Those 20 seconds I realized I won and the whole team was sprinting towards me to celebrate. It was unforgettable."

 

Your teammates would be shocked to know what about you?

"My teammates know too much about me!"

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