The Arizona men’s tennis team opens their fall tournament season at the Aggie Invitational hosted by New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M.
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The Rich Rodriguez era is in full swing after the Wildcats upset nationally ranked Oklahoma State and shutout South Carolina State 56-0 last Saturday to give Arizona its first 3-0 start since 2010.
Lacey Smyth watched as the tennis ball struck just inside the white line. For a split second, everything went dead silent before an uproar of cheer greeted her.
Ever since head coach Vicky Maes replaced Brad Dancer as the University of Arizona women’s tennis coach 12 years ago, she has constantly produced a solid lineup each season that has helped Arizona transform from a team struggling to stay above a .500 record to a serious contender in the Pac-12 conference. The season before Maes arrived as head coach, the UA suffered through a 10-12 losing season. The Wildcats bounced back to 12-11 in her first year and since Maes was hired in 2000, the Wildcats have compiled a 118-115 overall record.
The Arizona men’s tennis team struggled last season, to say the least. Arizona is looking to some young talent on its roster to aid in its return, in particular freshman Matt Dunn and sophomore Ben Lee.
After last season’s disappointing 5-18 record, the Arizona men’s tennis team is ready to leave last year behind. Led this year by returning players like sophomores Sumeet Shinde and Carlos Bermudez,The Wildcats believe they have the talent necessary to become contenders in a competitive Pac-12 Conference.
The Arizona men’s tennis team struggled in the spring, winning five of 23 games, and zero in the Pac-12. But the Wildcats’ four returning juniors are working hard to move on from last season’s struggles.
Last year, the Arizona men’s team ended its season with a loss against the Washington Huskies in the first round of the Pac-12 Championships in Ojai, Calif. Now, the Wildcats will be using their fall season to begin a bounce back into respectability after going 5-17 and winless in Pac-12 play.