Men's tennis to host NAU, UC Santa Barbara

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File Photo | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona tennis athlete Trevor James swings on the tennis court on Jan. 1, 2015. James is now a senior on the tennis team, playing his final season.

Arizona men’s tennis is off to a 5-3 start in the spring season, allowing the team to set its sights on the NCAA tournament.

The Wildcats have the chance to pick up two more non-conference wins when they host upcoming matches against NAU and UC Santa Barbara.

Arizona head coach Tad Berkowitz is seeing Arizona’s offseason preparation pay off.

During the fall and pre-season, the UA played in a number of matches that were meant to build toughness and endurance for the long spring season.

According to Berkowitz, the fall training particularly focused on fitness and individual skill development.

“Going into the spring it’s a matter of building on each match, and keeping the confidence rolling,” Berkowitz said.

The Wildcats are indeed feeling confident approaching their Saturday match against state rival NAU.

Since ASU does not have a men’s tennis team, NAU is Arizona’s only in-state rival.

One of the goals for the weekend, Berkowitz said, is to hold onto the top spot in Arizona. “It’s our goal to control the state and make sure we are taking care of business,” he said.

Defeating NAU could be a challenge, as Lumberjacks head coach Ki Kroll is trying to elevate the program’s level. However, the Lumberjacks are off to a rough 0-4 start to the spring season.

“They have a good coach who has been able to get some good recruits,” Berkowitz said.

Arizona’s tougher contest could come on Monday, when the UA hosts UC Santa Barbara.Santa Barbara is ranked No. 48 in the national rankings with quality wins over Washington and Louisville.

“They’re a good team; they’ve already had a nice Pac-12 win against Washington,” Berkowitz said. “It will be a great opportunity to play a solid quality team at home.”

The Wildcats will take on NAU at 10 a.m. on Saturday and UC Santa Barbara on Monday at 11 a.m.


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