By From staff and wire reports
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 29, 2004
UA men's tennis freshman Francois Vandermerwe will travel across the country this weekend for the Crimson Tide Fall Championships fresh off a consolation singles runner-up finish at the Wilson/ITA Fall West Regional Championships last week.
Vandermerwe will be joined by fellow freshman Luka Cerenko and junior Tim Mullane today through Sunday on Alabama's campus in Tuscaloosa.
In last week's consolation finals, Vandermerwe fell to freshman teammate Bruno Alcala 6-0, 6-2.
The field will consist of 18 teams from schools all over the country, including Notre Dame, Miami, Georgia Tech, Colorado, Pepperdine and host Alabama.
It will include seven players featured in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's preseason rankings, headlined by 31st-ranked Derrick Spice of Wake Forest, Southern Mississippi's David Canudas, ranked 45th, and Miami's duo of 76th-ranked Josh Cohen and 78th-ranked Eric Hechtman.
The tournament contains three brackets of singles and doubles. There will be back draws in each one so every player at the tournament will be guaranteed three matches.
Cerenko will hold the second seed in the men's singles Flight C bracket. He has already earned a first-round bye and will await the winner of the matchup between John Shults of Wake Forest and Southern Mississippi's Dylan Mezey.
He will also team with Virginia's Marko Miklo in the Flight B doubles bracket. They will battle Alabama Birmingham's Anton Mavrin and Kristen Mitrovski.
Therefore, Cerenko and Vandermerwe will not team up in doubles action this week, although they played UCLA's West Regional champions Alberto Francis and Krzysztof Kwinta tough last week in an 8-3 second-round loss.
Vandermerwe and Mullane will team up to face fourth-seeded Jordan DeLass and Zach Rath of Georgia Tech, also in Flight B.
Vandermerwe draws host Alabama's fifth-seeded Billy Mertz in the first round of the Flight B singles draw. Mullane gets Jimmy Bass of Notre Dame in the first round of Flight C.
While assistant coach Tad Berkowitz will not be on campus to celebrate Homecoming this weekend, this will be a homecoming of sorts for him. The tournament will mark the first time he takes a team to Alabama after serving as an assistant at the school before coming to Arizona.
Men's tennis doubles duo makes ITA title field
After a second-place finish at the Wilson/ITA Fall West Regional Championships, the UA doubles squad of junior Roger Matalonga and senior Colin O'Grady has qualified for the 2004 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships Nov. 4-7 hosted by the University of Michigan.
The fifth-ranked national doubles team earned an at-large berth to the 16-team field by virtue of finishing second at the West Regional and their strong national ranking.
Matalonga also made the 32-player singles field as an alternate on the strength of his 29th national ranking. He will likely be the last player to make the field unless anyone else drops out since he stood first on the alternate list Wednesday.
The National Indoor Championships will be the second of three national championships this season, with the first being the Icy Hot/ITA Men's All-American Championship, where the doubles team reached the round of 16.