TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona men’s tennis team will head to California this weekend, competing against Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. They will face Cal Poly at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7 and UC Santa Barbara at 12 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9.
“Both of these teams are strong across the board, one thru six,” head coach Tad Berkowitz said. “They’re pretty even all the way down their lineups. The main thing for us is that we need to be ready to go at all our spots to handle their depth.”
Luckily for Arizona, depth has also been a strong point, highlighted by Naoki Takeda. The sophomore has primarily competed at the four spot and has posted a 7-1 individual record this spring.
“It’s because of my fitness,” Takeda said. “I lost about fifteen pounds over the past eight months and it’s helped me move quicker.”
If these improvements continue to translate into victories, the Cats could see big things from Takeda, who heavily contributed last season as a freshman going 10-9.
“I have more experience from last year and I feel more confident,” said Takeda.
Takeda went 2-0 last weekend, defeating Jack Schoebel of Gonzaga and Garrett Patton of Boise State. In those matches, Arizona defeated Gonzaga 7-0 but lost to No. 45 Boise State 5-2.
On Cal Poly
Coached by Nick Carless, Cal Poly is 0-6 on the season, most recently losing to Nevada and No. 16 Pepperdine. The Mustangs went 14-9 last year including a 5-1 conference record. Senior Marco Comuzzo returns for his final year, coming off a 15-7 dual season in which he was named an All Big West Conference First Team Performer. This year the Mustangs also feature freshman Ben Donovan, who was ranked the second best player in the state of Tennessee.
On UC Santa Barbara
The 1-2 Gauchos will face their third Pac-12 opponent of the year when they host Arizona. They had previously lost to No. 44 Washington and No. 51 Oregon. Led by coach Marty Davis, UC Santa Barbara finished their 2013 campaign at a 9-13 mark, but rallied to win the Big West Championship as a five seed. Junior Tobias Galskov is currently ranked at No. 79 in the nation, and is 1-2 so far in dual matches.
For continued coverage of Arizona men’s tennis, visit ArizonaWildcats.com, follow @ArizonaMTennis on Twitter and Instagram, and on Facebook at facebook.com/ArizonaMensTennis.