By Brett Fera
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday Mar. 4, 2002
Arizona State delivered a tough blow to the UA men's tennis team as it swept the Wildcats 7-0 on Friday at the Robson Tennis Center.
After opening the season undefeated, UA suffered its fourth straight loss, dropping its record to 6-4 on the season. The loss to ASU was the Wildcats' third straight defeat against a Pacific 10 Conference opponent, after losing to Southern California and UCLA last weekend at home.
UA senior Steven Capriati, Arizona's No. 1 seeded player, was almost able to close out the day with at least one victory for the Wildcats, but eventually fell to ASU's Matt Klinger after two tie-breakers, 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-7 (5).
The Wildcats No. 2 player, sophomore Whi Kim, also played well for the Wildcats, but came up empty handed when he fell to Pim Van Mele, 7-6 (8), 7-5. It looked as Kim was on top of his game, but Van Mele gained the victory by forcing him to spend most of the match roaming back-and-forth behind the baseline.
The day would not get any better for the home team as ASU's Clinton Letcher defeated UA junior Tom Lloyd, 7-5, 6-2, while sophomore Carl Hagman, senior Bruno Arapovic, and freshman Colin O'Grady were each handed losses despite forcing close matches that could have gone either way.
"It's very disappointing. I know that I personally didn't play well, I could have won my match," Lloyd said. "They just wanted it more today. It's hard to be okay with being swept by ASU on our home turf."
Lloyd said he looks forward to the next time ASU and UA go head to head in Tempe in April.
"We have a better team here than we showed today," Lloyd explained. "That's why we get to play them twice. Next time up there we will definitely bring our best game."
The Wildcats will try to put Friday's defeat behind them as they face the Lions of Loyola Marymount University today at home.
"We need to put it behind us and move on," Lloyd said. "The score (on Friday) didn't show what we really are capable of, and we are out to prove ourselves now."
The match against LMU today kicks off at 1:30 p.m. at the Robson Tennis Center.