Red Raiders Travel to Arizona for Pair of Matches
Feb. 18, 2009
LUBBOCK, Texas - Following its first win of the season, the No. 26-ranked Texas Tech men's tennis team travels to Tucson, Ariz., to face No. 40 Arizona at 2 p.m. Fri., Feb. 20, and No. 50 San Diego at 11 a.m. the following day at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.
The Red Raiders have historically struggled against both programs, holding a 2-6 overall record against San Diego, while never previously defeating Arizona in school history, dropping all four matches.
After falling in their first two matches to then-ranked No. 16 LSU and No. 30 Notre Dame during the ITA National Indoor Kick-Off Weekend, the Red Raiders rebounded last weekend at the University of Denver, topping the Pioneers, 4-3, to improve to 1-2 on the season.
A key component to Tech's victory over Denver was winning the doubles point. Even with the No. 7-ranked duo of Raony Carvalho and Christian Rojmar losing, the Red Raiders other two tandems of Sinisa Markovic and Michael Breler and David Gonzalez and Gonzalo Escobar defeated the other two Pioneer duos to score Tech's first doubles victory of the season.
In singles, the Red Raiders split with the Pioneers last weekend as Carvalho, Milos Kustudija and David Gonzalez all had victories. Carvalho's win at the No. 1 position was the freshman's first in duals as a collegiate player. Kustudija is the only Tech player with multiple singles victories this spring.
Tech will host its first home match at the McLeod Tennis Center next weekend as TCU comes to Lubbock for a 1 p.m. match on Feb. 28.
Scouting the Opponents
No. 50 San Diego enters the weekend at 3-3 overall, having played a ranked opponent in each of its matches. The Toreros' three losses have all come against schools within the top 20 in the Feb. 10 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll with two coming from No. 6 USC and the other at the hands of No. 20 Pepperdine. Tom Wolff (No. 70) and Charl Wolmarans (No. 92) lead USD as both were ranked in the ITA's preseason singles poll. The Toreros finished the 2008 campaign at 12-11, missing the NCAA Championship. USD is coached by Tom Hagedorn, who is returning to the courts this year after missing last season due to a battle with leukemia.
No. 40 Arizona is 6-1 already on the season with its only loss coming to No. 7 Florida. The Wildcats enter the weekend riding a four-match winning streak, having defeated three ranked opponents - No. 42 North Carolina State, No. 34 South Florida and No. 55 Saint Mary's - during that stretch. Individually, Jay Goldman leads the Wildcats in singles play as he is ranked No. 88 in the nation, while the doubles duo of Francois VanderMerwe and Pat Metham enter the season at No. 18. The Wildcats finished 11-12 last season, falling to Arizona State in the opening round of the Pac-10 Tournament. Arizona is lead by head coach Tad Berkowitz, who is 34-38 during his four seasons with the Wildcats.
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