LA schools sweep Arizona tennis
Arizona men’s tennis went 0-2 over the weekend at home, dropping its record to 11-14 on the year.
During the first match on Friday, No. 2 USC beat the Wildcats 4-0.
“USC is a good team and has a shot to win the national championship,” head coach Tad Berkowitz said.
Then on Sunday, Arizona had another tough opponent as it hosted No. 3 UCLA. Arizona kept the matches close, but lost 4-0 to the Bruins.
Freshman Will Kneale plays against USC on Friday. Arizona fell 4-0 to the Trojans, and Kneale lost to USC's Eric Johnson on 6-2, 6-1 at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center on Friday.
“We came after them a little bit better [Sunday], even though UCLA got the best of us, I felt we played a little more loose, a little more relaxed today,” Berkowitz said. “We went out there and saw what we got, against obviously one of the best teams in the country.”
Arizona sophomore Naoki Takeda and junior Sumeet Shinde lost to Marcos Giron and Karue Sell 8-3, giving the Bruins the doubles point.
Arizona senior Kieren Thompson lost to Clay Thompson, 6-4, 6-1, clinching the win for UCLA.
“It’s a good character check for our guys,” Berkowitz said. “Hopefully we came out of this weekend tougher than before the weekend started. We have a big match coming up against Utah, and we have to rest up and get back to work this coming week.”
The Wildcats return to action at home on Friday against Utah.
Arizona women’s tennis also went 0-2 this weekend to two tough Southern California schools.
The No. 25 Wildcats lost 7-0 to No. 2 UCLA on Friday.
“[Friday’s] match up was a tall order,” head coach Vicky Maes said in a press release. “UCLA is a tennis powerhouse, and they didn’t give us an inch. At the same time, I really felt we were in the match and had some opportunities.”
Freshman Lauren Marker and senior Kim Stubbe lost 8-4 to the NCAA’s No. 1 doubles team of Robin Anderson and Jennifer Brady.
“In doubles, we played them close and a few points just didn’t go our way,” Maes said. “In singles, we fought and created good momentum, but just couldn’t convert on the big points.”
No. 13 USC beat Arizona 4-0 on Saturday in Los Angeles.
“I am disappointed with [Saturday’s] results,” Maes said. “I really felt we had a good chance to win, but we didn’t step up as a team.”
Maes said losing the doubles point put the Wildcats in a tough position.
“The last four competitors did put up a fight, but it was simply too late,” Maes said. “We must recover from this performance and bring better tennis to the courts next week.”
This weekend puts the Wildcats at 3-5 on the road. They return home next weekend to take on No. 19 ASU in the last home match of the season.
—Follow Zoe Wolkowitz @Zowolko