TUCSON, Ariz. – A two-week break comes to a conclusion for the Arizona men’s tennis team, as they host four matches in a span of one week beginning Monday. The Cats play No. 29 Louisville on Monday, Mar. 10 at 12 p.m., Utah State on Thursday, Mar. 13 at 12 p.m., Fresno State on Saturday, Mar. 15 at 12 p.m., and Saint Mary’s on Sunday, Mar. 16 at 11:00 a.m.
For many the recess was welcome, giving them much needed rest after a grueling first half schedule.
“It’s good to have a break,” said junior Sumeet Shinde. “We played so many matches that mentally we were a little tired but now we’re fresh and ready to go. I feel really fit to get back and finish the second half of the season.”
The Wildcats were also able to regroup, work on fundamentals, and go through individual progressions.
“It’s nice to have a few days for them work on fundamentals,” said assistant coach Arron Spencer. “It gave us the chance to step back and practice a couple of individual things.”
Arizona moves into the second-half of their schedule in dramatic fashion, playing four games in seven days, starting with the No. 29 Louisville Cardinals.
“This week is going to be a grind but the guys are fit and we’ve been working hard,” said head coach Tad Berkowitz.
On Louisville, Berkowitz recognized the challenge ahead for the Cats.
“They’re a really good team. We need to get off to a good start, but we’re going to be fresh. They’re pretty similar to Boise State, who we played earlier, so it will be a challenge.”
Led by head coach Rex Ecarma, the Louisville Cardinals are off to a 10-3 start on the year with their only losses coming against North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Oklahoma. Albert Wagner and Seb Stiefelmeyer have held down the one and two slots so far on the season. In 2014, Wagner has gone 7-8 while Stiefelmeyer has posted a record of 8-9.
On Utah State
The Aggies are led by reigning Mountain West Men’s Tennis Player of the Week Dennis Baumgartner, a freshman who competes at the number one slot in both singles and doubles. Utah State currently sits at 6-5 on the year, but come into Tucson riding a three match win-streak.
On Fresno State
The Bulldogs are 4-7 on the year, with an 0-2 conference record. The non-conference schedule for Fresno State was a tough one, consisting of four matches against top-100 teams. Two were dropped to No. 51 Oregon, and the Bulldogs were narrowly defeated by both No. 53 San Diego State and No. 69 New Mexico. The team will have a match on Saturday before travelling down to Tucson.
On Saint Mary’s
The 5-2 Gaels are coming off a convincing victory over Sacramento State, and have only lost to No. 12 California and UC Davis. Before facing Arizona, Saint Mary’s will play No. 2 UCLA, San Diego, and Utah State.For continued coverage of Arizona men’s tennis, visit ArizonaWildcats.com, follow @ArizonaMTennis on Twitter and Instagram, and on Facebook at facebook.com/ArizonaMensTennis