By Steve Fanucchi
Arizona Daily WIldcat
The UA men's tennis team will host intrastate rival Arizona State in its season finale tomorrow at Robson Tennis Center at 1:30 p.m.
The Sun Devils beat the WIldcats 15 days ago in Tempe 5-2.
ASU has the No. 1-ranked singles player in Sargis Sargsian, who defeated the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's 35th-ranked singles player Jan Anderson (of the UA) 6-2, 6-3. Anderson is 5-5 in dual matches, but has an 24-15 overall record and has struggled since his return from the Davis Cup in Norway.
The Wildcats (7-14 overall, 0-9 in the Pacific 10 Southern Conference) will be looking for their first conference win of the season in the last dual match of the year.
The Wildcats had a four-match win streak against the Sun Devils dating back to the 1993 season until their loss this year.
The Sun Devils (11-8 overall, 2-7 in the Pac-10 South) are the 16th-ranked team, but have a sub-par record and are right in front of the Wildcats. Additionally, their two Pac-10 wins have come at the expense of the Wildcats and UCLA.
The Sun Devils will also have the attack of 82nd-ranked Paul Reber, who played Chris Jenkins last match and lost 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
This is a very important match for some of the Wildcat tennis players, especially Anderson, who is basically in a must-win situation if he wants to get to the regional singles championship.
"If I could beat the No. 1 player then that would be so good for me going into the tournament," Anderson said.
If their is any luck going at all then it pushes toward Sargsian who has beat Anderson three consecutive times.
"He is very good, but I know that I can play with anyone I want," Anderson said.
And with all of this fire-power, Murray is confident that the Wildcats can claim the top spot in the state.
"It is one of the better meets in terms of performances because our kids really get psyched up for the competition," Murray said. "Going in, I think our men will be favored and the Arizona State women will be the team to beat on their side, with the 100 and 200 events emerging as the deciding factor."
Ä Arlie Rahn
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Arizona and Arizona State have lingered on the opposite ends of the spectrum in the softball world for the past several years.
The Wildcats have garnered three national championships while the Sun Devils have advanced only as far as the NCAA regionals.
So when the two intrastate rivals meet, the result has been inevitable recently.
The Sun Devils' last triumph over the Wildcats was April 23, 1991. But ASU does own a 70-51 series record against the Wildcats.
The No. 2 Wildcats (45-4) have the upper hand this season when they take on the Sun Devils (27-18) in a doubleheader at Hillenbrand Stadium tonight at 6. The teams then travel up I-10 for a doubleheader tomorrow at Sun Devil Club Stadium in Tempe at 6 p.m.
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The fourth-ranked Arizona women's tennis team has one last demon to purge as it takes on Arizona State at 1 p.m. tomorrow in Tempe in the season finale.
"This team knows what it needs to do," UA coach Becky Bell said. "We won all of the close matches at home so I expect it to be very tough up there. We're hoping to go into the tournament on a positive note."
The Wildcats (16-5 overall, 5-4 in the Pacific 10 Conference South) have been haunted by two solid defeats last week in the Bay Area. They fell to then-seventh-ranked Stanford 7-2 and to No. 10 Cal 6-0. Arizona had hoped to get back on track Wednesday against 39th-ranked New Mexico, but the game was rained out.
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