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Disappointing weekend for men's tennis team

By David Stevenson
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
May 1, 2000
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Arizona players fail to move past second round

Not much good came out of the Pacific 10 Conference Championships for the UA men's tennis team during the weekend in Ojai, Calif.

With all seven singles players and all four doubles teams failing to get past the second round, the highlights were few and far between, but the Wildcats were able to come away with a few impressive victories.

The biggest upset of the tournament came when junior Alex Aybar and senior Jean-Noel LaCoste defeated No. 1 Geoff Abrams and Alex Kim of Stanford, 8-4.

"We came out smokin'," Aybar said. "We were playing well from the back and returning hard."

Aybar was a late addition into the lineup, filling in for injured sophomore Michel Stopa.

However, the duo fell to Southern California's Parker Collins and Andre Park, 9-8(5), in the next round.

Also in top flight, UA sophomore Brian Jackson and senior Alex Brown were eliminated by Washington's Andy Posava and Nick Quatrochi, 8-3, in the first round.

Finishing doubles play in the lower flight, Jackson and sophomore Jari Niskala lost, 8-3, to Oregon's Jason Menke and Cedric Yanhaver, while Aybar and sophomore Caleb Marquardt lost, 8-5, to Washington's Jeff Eicker and Dillion Ruby. Both losses came in the first round.

The singles players didn't fare better either, as they went 4-7 in both flight divisions, with only four players reaching round two.

Aybar led the singles play for Arizona, as he defeated California's Ben Miles, 7-6, 6-1, but came up short against Oregon's Thomas Schneitar, 5-6, 6-4, 3-6, in the second round.

"I don't think it was lack of playing, he could have been in better condition," UA head coach Bill Wright said.

LaCoste and Brown were also defeated in the first round, as well as Stopa, who had to retire in the second set of his first round match because of a bad back.

However, in the lower flight, three out of four UA participants reached the second round.

Freshman Tom Lloyd pulled off a 6-1, 6-4 first round victory before losing in the second round, 3-6, 6-2, 5-7, to Stanford's Carter Morris.

Wright was pleased with Lloyd's solid performance, especially in the match versus Morris.

"It was a great match," he said. "He definitely had one of his best serves and shots."

Niskala also reached the second round, as he defeated Oregon's Yanhaver 6-3, 6-4.

Beginning the match, Niskala spotted and exploited Yanhaver's backhand weakness.

"I kept on bombing shots to his backhand and broke him down from the baseline," Niskala said.

Unable to build on the win, though, Niskala was stopped by Stanford's David Martin in the following round. Leading 3-2 in the first match, Martin made a crucial play that turned the match in his favor.

"He hit a good volley," Niskala said. "It really gave him confidence and he cruised through the first set."

Rounding out singles play, Marquardt defeated fellow teammate Jackson, 6-3, 6-4, but was downed by Stanford's Ali Ansari, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, in the second round of play.

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