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Wildcat Wrap: Arizona men’s tennis earns top seed at Pac-12 Championships

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Editor’s note: With so many sports going on this winter and 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.

Arizona men’s tennis already has a Pac-12 regular-season title to its name, but the Wildcats are after much more this postseason.

Arizona (20-5, 7-0 Pac-12) is the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Championships, which begin Wednesday afternoon in Ojai, California. The UA will face the winner of No. 8 seed Washington vs. No. 9 Oregon Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT. Arizona swept the Huskies and Ducks to finish undefeated in the Pac-12 regular season.

Arizona would face either No. 4 Utah or No. 5 UCLA in the semifinals. If the Wildcats were to advance to the finals, they’d likely face No. 2 USC or No. 3. Stanford.

Arizona enters the Pac-12 Championships as the No. 15 ranked team in the country according to the ITA Collegiate National Tennis Team Rankings. The UA is two spots behind No. 13 USC and one spot ahead of No. 16 Stanford.

In order to assure a top-16 seed and host the first two rounds of next month's NCAA Tournament, Arizona might need to reach the Pac-12 Championships final. Under coach Clancy Shields, the Wildcats reached their first-ever Sweet-16 appearance a year ago.

“Our goal is to win the (Pac-12 Championship) as well,” said senior Carlos Hassey in an interview posted to the team’s Twitter account. “We want to stay undefeated in that sense and try to host here in Tucson.”

Women’s tennis

Women’s tennis’ season concluded Wednesday with a 4-1 loss to Utah in the first round of the Pac-12 Championships.

Arizona’s lone point came via Kayla Wilkins on court No. 2.

The Wildcats finished the season 16-11 and 3-7 in conference play. That's a small improvement from a season ago when Arizona went 13-12 and 2-8 in the Pac-12.

The future looks brighter for coach Ryan Stotland’s program, as Arizona brings in the top in-state recruit next season in five-star prospect Tanvi Narendran.

Women’s golf

Freshman Carolina Melgrati led Arizona to a fifth-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships, shooting a 1-over to tie for third individually.

Arizona shot 20-over as a team across the three-day event, well behind champion Oregon at 6-over. The Wildcats did finish above rival ASU, netting the UA another point in the Territorial Cup standings.

Arizona now awaits to hear where it will play in the NCAA Championships which begin the second week of May.

Beach volleyball

No. 17 beach volleyball went 3-1 last weekend at the Arizona Invitational, scoring 5-0 sweeps over Southern Miss and Cal State Bakersfield as well as the program’s first-ever win over No. 11 Long Beach State. Arizona fell to Grand Canyon to close out the tournament.

The highlight of the weekend was undoubtedly the Wildcats’ 3-2 victory over the Beach. Hope Shannon and Annie Kost delivered the match-clinching point with an 18-21, 21-13, 15-12 win on court No. 5.

“This was a really important weekend for us for a number of reasons; and given all of the circumstances entering it it’s hard not to like the overall outcome,” Arizona coach Steve Walker said according to Arizona Athletics. “This group showed real character and grit when we needed it most vs. a Long Beach team that’s having a terrific season. Not the exact ending we wanted on the weekend, but a success nonetheless. We have every reason to show up ready to practice this week, get better and play next week with the utmost enthusiasm as the season enters its final chapter.”

Arizona (18-9, 3-3 Pac-12) concludes its regular season Friday with a road double header against Cal Poly and Utah.

Gymnastics

Sirena Linton was named a WCGA second team All-American after reaching the NCAA Championship on balance bean.

Linton scored a 9.9125 in the first session to finish in a tie for seventh place.

Check out Kim Doss’ profile on Linton if you haven't yet.