Tennis teams wrap up fall slate
The fall season for men’s and women’s tennis ended last weekend.
The men traveled to Sarasota, Fla., for the Lakewood Ranch Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic. The women headed out to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the Weinman Foundation Invitational, where a rainout ended their fall.
Seniors Fredrik Ask and Kieren Thompson made the trip to compete in the men’s tournament.
On Saturday, Florida’s Florent Diep eliminated Ask 6-3, 7-5.
“Even though Fred lost, I thought that he went toe-to-toe with the guy,” said head coach Tad Berkowitz. “He put himself in position and gave himself a chance, and to me, and I think to his teammates, it gives us more confidence in him that he can compete with the best guys. … He can definitely beat those guys.”
On Friday, Ask advanced into the quarterfinals after defeating Franz Sydow of Minnesota, 6-2, 6-3. In his first match of the day, Ask secured a victory over Florida Gulf Coast’s Lucas Vaz, 6-2, 6-4.
“He played two solid players that first day,” Berkowitz said. “He took it to the guys and I felt he played well. He had one of the better tournaments I’ve seen with his toughness and his attitude and just his focus throughout the match as he played.”
Thompson was eliminated from singles after retiring from his consolation match against Tianyu Bao of Florida Gulf Coast due to cramping. In his first match, Thompson was defeated in three sets by North Florida’s Pablo Tellez, 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4.
“I retired in the back draw because I was cramping in the first match,” Thompson said. “I was struggling to walk towards the end and Coach decided to pull me out so I’d be good for doubles at night.”
Berkowitz said Thompson would’ve won if he hadn’t cramped up.
The two also teamed up for doubles, with play for the duo ending after a loss to Bruno Semenzato and Jason Tahir of Duke, 8-4. In their first match, Thompson and Ask defeated Gabriel Echeverry and Chris Perrigan of Florida Gulf Coast, 8-6.
“It was right at the end of the day, but we fought hard and it was a close battle in the end,” Thompson said.
Berkowitz said he was happy with the fall season.
“We had different guys do well in different spots throughout the fall, and I think the main thing this year is our guys have confidence in each other,” Berkowitz said. “It’s the most collective group that we’ve had in a couple of years and everybody knows what they want to do and everybody knows what they need to do to have a successful spring season.”
Men’s tennis will return for the spring season on Jan. 17 in New Mexico.
“I think we’re going to be a good team. We’re going to do something special next year, hopefully,” said senior Mario Urquidi, who played his last fall tournament at UNLV’s Larry Easley Memorial Classic at the start of November.
Berkowitz said the seniors will be the ones to watch for in the spring because of their experience.
Women rained out
Arizona women’s tennis headed back to Tucson after severe rain conditions canceled play for the second day in a row.
The tournament was the first time during the fall season that the whole team traveled together.
On day one, Arizona was able to compete without interference from the weather.
In doubles, seniors Lacey Smyth and Akilah James topped UC Irvine’s team of sisters, Kat and Ali Facey, 8-4. UC Irvine’s Franziska Goettsching and Brooke Schweyer beat senior Kim Stubbe and freshman Lauren Marker, 8-7.
Senior Susan Mc Rann and freshman Carly Cassity teamed up against Martina Kostalova and Rebecca Faltusz of Hawaii and lost, 8-3. Junior Laura Oldham and sophomore Inge Hendrikx defeated Sarah Gealer and Kelsey Daguio of Hawaii, 8-7.
In singles, Mc Rann won against UC Irvine’s Schweyer, 6-4, 7-6. Sarah Gong of UC Irvine beat Oldham 6-4, 6-1.
Smyth defeated UC Irvine’s Marivick Mamiit, 6-0, 6-0. James topped Goettsching of UC Irvine, 6-3, 6-2. Hawaii’s Kostalova won 6-1, 6-1 against Hendrikx. Marker lost to Xenia Suworowa of Hawaii, 6-3, 6-1, and Hawaii’s Faltusz defeated Cassity 6-3, 7-6.
Women’s tennis will return for the spring season on Jan. 25, taking on NAU in Tucson.
— Follow Brittney Smith @BrittSmith14