By Steve Fanucchi
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Relieved may be one word that describes the UA menÕs tennis team now that it has just one conference match left Ñ Saturday against Arizona State.
Happy may be the word to express the feelings the Wildcats have when they play non-conference opponents.
Every victory the Wildcats have accumulated this year has come from the less athletic opponent, not the prolific Pac-10 type.
How tough is the Pac-10 actually? Well consider the No.1 ranked Stanford Cardinal that swept the Wildcats. Then consider the fact that every team in the Pac-10 has swept the Wildcats this year and that there are five teams in the Pac-10 ranked in the Rolex Collegiate Tennis Rankings (three in the top 10), excluding the Wildcats who were the 49th-ranked team up until this past week when they dropped out for the first time this year.
Arizona is suffering from their worst record in school history at 6-14 (0-9 Pac-10 south). Take out nine consecutive Pac-10 losses and the Wildcats are at 6-5 against the mediocre opponents.
The UA tennis team will be playing San Diego State today at 1:30 p.m. at Robson Tennis Center in their last non-conference match this year.
It has been six years since the Wildcats have faced the Aztecs in a dual match.
ÒWe do not know anything about them, beside the fact they have two good players,Ó UA coach Bill Wright said.
James Rey will be out of action for the first time this year. Rey suffered from a shoulder injury against Stanford last week.
ÒI need to rest my shoulder so that I can be ready for Saturday,Ó Rey said.
Vuk Tapuskopvic will play the No. 6 spot in place of Rey.
Jan Anderson holds a 24-13 record and is currently placed at the 33rd spot in the ITA rankings. Anderson will probably face Christoph Numbers in the feature match of the day.
The rest of the Wildcat lineup will resemble the lineup in which the UA has been most successful, with Sten Sumberg at No. 2, Chris Jenkins at No. 3, Eddie Schwartz at No. 4, and Jack Enfield at No. 5.
The meeting will mark another tune-up for what will be the last shot for the Wildcats to grab a conference victory.
The Aztecs have two quality players in their lineup. Leading the way will be 50th-ranked Numbers who has an overall record of 33-8 (17-2 dual matches). Ryan Johnston (19-12) will play the No. 2 spot matched up against Sumberg who recently defeated the 12th-ranked ITA singles player, Casey Louie of Cal.
The Aztecs have the 19th-ranked doubles tandem of Numbers and Ryan Johnston. The duo has a 30-5 record in doubles.
The Wildcats and Aztecs will battle for a dual match that is critical if Arizona has any hopes of making the regionals.
After the last non-conference match of the year, Arizona will collide for the last conference match of the year against rival Arizona State Saturday at Robson Tennis Center.
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