By Steve Fanucchi
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The UA men's tennis team will be back in action for the first time in a week when it hosts Washington today at 1:30 p.m. and Illinois tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Robson Tennis Center.
After the brief one-week layoff from dual match play, the Wildcats will be ready when they take their fresh legs and powerful games to the courts in two nonconference dual matches in as many days.
"It was nice in a way to have some time off, but in other ways, we want to get the UCLA match behind us and move on," assistant coach Tom Hagedorn said, referring to the UA's Feb. 11 loss to the Bruins. "The key thing is to not get burned out this early in the season. We need to stay sharp and we are eager to get back onto the courts."
The Wildcats (2-2 overall, 0-2 in the Pacific 10 Conference), who are curently ranked No. 33 in the national rankings, will have their work cut out for them again against the 46th-ranked Huskies.
Arizona is to return to the court with a healthy lineup that is the same one it used in its first four dual matches.
Leading the way for the Wildcats will be Jan Anderson, who is currently ranked No. 7 in the national singles rankings. Playing in the No. 1 position for the UA, Anderson has a record of 3-1 with an overall record of 21-9.
Another early surprise for the Wildcats is James Rey, who plays in the No. 6 position for the Wildcats. Rey is also 3-1 in dual match play.
"He is experienced and is playing the No. 6 spot like he should," Hagedorn said of Rey.
Another key for the Wildcats is Sten Sumberg, who has an overall record of 4-3. Sumberg had his knee scoped earlier in the season but has returned to play at 100 percent. Freshman Roland Kupka, who has battled in every match he has played in, will play in the No. 4 spot and take an overall record of 6-6 to the courts while trying to get his record over .500 for the first time.
The biggest threat the Huskies will bring to Tucson will be Ornello Arlati, who is ranked 19th in the region VIII rankings.
The Wildcats are struggling in doubles matches, but they continue to build their young season on confidence.
"Although we are playing not as well as we would in doubles, our confidence in doubles is very high and we feel we are playing fine," Hagedorn said.
Saturday, unranked Illinois will come to town with an overall record of 4-1 (0-1 in the Big Ten Conference). The team's biggest win of the season came against No. 49 Florida International.
"As far as Illinois is concerned they are a mystery to us," Hagedorn said. "We never see any of those guys, so we do not know what we are in for."
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