Arizona men's tennis starts out season in Napa
Arizona’s fall tennis season starts this weekend at the Napa Valley Collegiate Invitational. Participants include UNLV, San Francisco, Idaho, Fresno State, and Oklahoma State.
Wildcat seniors Mario Urquidi and Kieren Thompson, junior Sumeet Shinde and sophomore Naoki Takeda will be key players in the tournament.
“Our main goal is for what happens in the spring season,” said head coach Tad Berkowitz. “This fall, the individual results are important for the guys but our main purpose is to get as prepared through competition, mentally and physically, for the spring.”
Thompson from Brisbane, Australia was one of four Arizona athletes to receive the 2013 Student-Athlete of the Summer award. Thompson reached the singles championship in the 2012 Easley Memorial Classic in Las Vegas.
Shane Bekian / The Daily Wildcat Matt Dunn, a Pre-Business sophomore, serves the ball to his teammate during the Men's Tennis Team practice on Friday.
“We came off a tough season but it’ll be good to get a bit of down time to prepare and play tournaments in the fall and get back to playing well in the spring again,” Thompson said.
Assistant coach Arron Spencer is going into his first season with Arizona. Spencer was previously the assistant coach for men and women’s tennis at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C.
“Getting to the NCAA’s is the goal we both set down before I even took the job,” Spencer said. “Tom (Lloyd), the assistant before, was here seven years so I have pretty big shoes to fill.”
The fall season will be critical in preparing for improved results in the spring. Arizona had an overall record of 10-13 last spring but was defeated in all seven matches of Pac-12 conference play.
“Hopefully we can do really well and get of to a good start to get the momentum rolling for the season,” Urquidi said. “The fall is mostly individual where you’re playing for yourself but the spring is where we really enjoy playing as a team.”
— Follow Zach Tennen @ZTennen11