pacing the void

By Kristen Davis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 18, 1997

Arizona men host Arizona St.

UA junior Mike Mackay won't be leaning over the bathtub rinsing the peroxide from his newly colored hair tonight like he usually does around this time of the year.

The Dennis Rodman of collegiate tennis, who is known for his non-traditional hair colors, said there "is no possible way," that he could play tomorrow afternoon when the Wildcats host ASU becaise he injured his back earlier this week.

Mackay, who was a walk-on at Arizona State his freshman seaon, will however be around Robson Tennis Center to give his support against Arizona State, the program he left after just one season of play.

"I doubt I'll (dye) it because I won't be playing," Mackay said.

As for the rest of the team, tomorrow is its last chance to end a 10-match losing streak.

The last time the in-state rivals met, the Sun Devils (10-9 overall, 2-7 in the Pacific 10 Conference Southern Division) beat Arizona, 6-1.

"We just have to play better. They're going to be hard and we'll have another new experience of living with another new lineup," said UA head coach Bill Wright of the team's season-long trouble with injuries. "I don't know who we're going to use on Saturday."

The Wildcats (5-13, 0-9) dropped the three doubles sets in the teams' most recent meeting on April 2. Mackay was the only UA player to win a singles match.

"I like kids that like to play and like to battle, and he did a great job of that and he always does," said ASU head coach Lou Belken about Mackay's victory. "Our hats are off to him for what he did out there."

Mackay said that although he decided to transfer to Arizona, he respects Belken's program.

"It just wasn't the right system for me," said Mackay, who is now a UA scholarship athlete. "There's no disrespect toward coach Belken or the program."

One thing for certain, the teams' four seniors are going to be emotional in tomorrow's final rivalry.

"We're going to be pumped up more than ever - I guarantee it. Even after (Wednesday's 4-3 loss to UTEP) there were a lot of sparks in the team room. Everyone was saying that we can't keep doing this," said Boris Polo, one of three UA seniors.

Belken said he is looking forward to seeing Mackay again for one reason especially.

"I just want to know what hair color he's going to have for this weekend," he said.

Mackay said if he decides to dye his hair, his former coach will have to wait because he never tells anyone what shade his hair will be until the day before a match.

Mackay, who currently has the mundane blonde look, was sporting an aqua-blue style last month.

It's impossible to predict what shade his hair will be tomorrow, but it is certain Mackay wouldn't dare strut into the tennis center styling in a maroon hairdo.

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