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Wildcat Wrap: Arizona men’s tennis grows winning streak to 12 with road sweep

Alejandro Reguant
Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics

Editor’s note: With so many sports going on this spring, we are re-introducing the Wildcat Wrap, a weekly recap that will focus on the Arizona programs that we do not have the time to cover on a regular basis but are certainly worthy of recognition.

No. 18 Arizona men’s tennis continued its red hot start to the season with a pair of road victories over UC Santa Barbara and San Diego, improving the team’s record to 14-1. The Wildcats have now won 12 straight matches.

Arizona began the Southern California road trip with a comfortable 5-2 victory over UCSB last Friday. After securing the doubles point, Arizona’s No. 1, 3 and 4 seeds all won their games in straight sets to clinch the match.

Arizona’s Gustaf Strom, the No. 105 ranked player nationally, upset UCSB’s No. 27 Joseph Guillen in the No. 1 seed game by a score of 7-5, 6-3.

The Wildcats faced much tougher resistance Sunday in their match against San Diego. Despite easy wins from Nick Lagaev and Filip Malbasic, they dropped the doubles point and two singles points, which handed the Toreros a 3-2 lead with two games in progress.

Alejandro Reguant dominated in the third set of his No. 4 seed game, earning a 6-1, 6-7, 6-1 victory. In the all-decisive No. 2 seed game, Strom came through in the clutch with a 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2) win.

“Another tough road win against a very good team on their home courts,” head coach Clancy Shields told “We will use this win to propel us forward, and be mindful of the areas that made this match difficult. I’m proud to coach in a match like this, both teams left every ounce out there, and we were fortunate to come out on top.”

Arizona returns home for a Sunday match against Virginia Commonwealth before embarking next week on a Big 12 road trip where the Wildcats will face Baylor, Texas and Oklahoma.

Women’s tennis

Women’s tennis began Pac-12 play with a 4-3 home loss to Oregon Sunday. The Wildcats lost the doubles point and split singles. Jelena Lukic, Gitte Heynemans and Khim Iglupas all earned singles points.

Arizona’s biggest win came off the court, as head coach Ryan Stotland secured the commitment of five-star recruit Parker Fry. A native of Rolling Hills, California, Fry will join Arizona in the fall of 2021. She is ranked No. 56 nationally according to Tennis Recruiting.

Fry joins a loaded 2021 class that includes Midori Castillo, the No. 20 prospect, and two other top-100 players.

Cross country

Victor Ortiz-Rivera earned a sixth-place finish at the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships, good enough to qualify for the NCAA Championships this coming Monday.

Ortiz-Rivera ran a personal record 22:59.8 in the men’s 8k race, giving Arizona its only top-35 finish on the men’s side.

Keelah Barger ran a 20:01.1 in the women’s 6k race which placed her at 15th.

Both the men’s and women’s teams finished eighth overall in the team event.

Beach volleyball

Beach volleyball swept the Cactus Classic in convincing fashion, shutting out all three opponents at the Tucson event.

The Wildcats topped Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M Corpus Christi in a Saturday double-header, both by scores of 5-0. Arizona then beat Boise State 5-0 on Sunday.

“I, along with our entire staff, are just so happy for our players to have this opportunity to get out and compete in the sport they have so much passion for,” head coach Steve Walker told Arizona Athletics. “And to do it at home, in front of family, made it even better. This is as competitive and coachable a group as I’ve ever had at UofA and we’re taking things one day at a time, with an attitude of gratitude. We look forward to getting back at it next week.”

Arizona is now 5-0 entering a Friday road matchup at UC Davis.

Track and field

Though track and field didn’t compete this past week, four athletes were the recipients of NCAA Indoor Championships berths. The event takes place Friday in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Samantha Noennig, a former transfer from Arizona State, will compete in the shot put contest, where she will be seen as the favorite. Noennig owns the top shot put mark in the country at 18.25m (59-10.5). At ASU, she won the 2019 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor shot put championships.

Last week the junior was named USTFCCCA West Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year for her shot put efforts.

Jordan Geist will compete in the men’s shot put contest for the third time in his career. He placed fifth overall in 2018 and 2019. His best mark this season was 20.37m (66-10), which earned him the eighth best qualifying mark.

Also on the men’s side, Israel Oloyede will compete in the weight throw contest, where he has a realistic chance of winning. His mark of 23.18m (76-0.75) is the second top score in the country this season.

Lillian Lowe will participate in the women’s high jump after earning a 1.83m (6-0) mark. She previously finished seventh at the 2019 Indoor Championships high jump contest.

Women’s golf

Women’s golf placed fifth at the two-day Arizona Wildcat Invitational held at Sewailo Golf Club. Three golfers finished tied for 21st or better in the individual contest.

After tying event champion Texas in Monday’s opening round with a 13-under, the Wildcats faltered as conditions worsened later in the day. They settled for a 12-over over the first two rounds, effectively putting the team out of contention.

Arizona shot a two-over on Tuesday, which was the fourth-best score of the day. The Wildcats finished the event with a 14-over, 42 shots behind first-place Texas.

Over three rounds, Yu Sang Hou led the team with a 1-over, tied for 16th. Vivian Hou and Therese Warner each tied for 21st with a 3-over.