After going undefeated in Pac-12 play and winning the program's first-ever Pac-12 Championship, the Arizona men's tennis team took to California to take part in the conference tournament.
Arizona defeated the University of Washington to clinch the regular season championship last Sunday and four days later they faced off again in the quarterfinals. Head coach Clancy Shields talked earlier in the week about how tough it is to beat the same team twice – not only in the same season, but in this case the same week – and that was the case for the Wildcats after falling 4-2 to the Huskies.
Washington took the doubles point as Herman Hoeyeraal/Jonas Ziverts and Carlos Hassey/Gustaf Strom each fell 2-6. Filip Malbasic and Colton Smith were leading 4-3 when the Wildcats lost the doubles point.
Smith got Arizona on the board in singles play in dominating fashion, winning his match 6-0, 6-0 to tie the match score at 1-1.
Washington went on to take a convincing 3-1 lead after Gustaf Strom fell 1-6, 3-6 and Jonas Ziverts fell 6-7, 4-6.
Hoeyeraal cut the deficit to 3-2 when he won his match 6-2, 7-6. It all came down to senior Carlos Hassey and junior Nick Lagaev at this point. They each lost their first set and Lagaev forced a deciding set after taking the second set 6-3.
Hassey was up a break 5-4 and serving for the second set when his serve was broken to bring the set score to 5-5. They each then held serve to bring the second set into a tiebreaker.
Hassey picked up an early mini break to take a 1-0 lead before losing the next three points. Attempting to battle back, he went on to lose 7-4 in the tiebreak which clinched the match win for Washington.
Up next for the regular season Pac-12 champions is the NCAA Tournament as the Wildcats look to build off their Sweet 16 appearance last year.
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