Four days after Arizona men’s tennis beat Washington to win the Pac-12 regular-season title, the Huskies returned, eliminating the Wildcats from the Pac-12 Championships.
Arizona fell to UW 4-2 Thursday afternoon in the Pac-12 Championships quarterfinals, putting an abrupt end to the UA’s perfect record in conference play. No. 15 Arizona entered the match 20-5 and 7-0 in the Pac-12, having just beaten the Huskies 4-1 Sunday in Seattle.
The loss doesn’t diminish what Arizona accomplished in the regular season, but it does spell trouble for the UA’s hopes of hosting the NCAA Championships next month.
Washington (17-10, 2-6 Pac-12) got off to a quick start by winning the doubles point.
Arizona’s Colton Smith gave the Wildcats an early singles point on court No. 3 with a 6-0, 6-0 win. UW responded with a singles point on court No. 1, as the Huskies’ Clement Chideck topped Arizona’s Gustaf Strom 1-6, 3-6.
Arizona earned a second singles point on court No. 4 behind a 6-2, 7-6 victory by Herman Hoeyeraal. UW answered with a win on court No. 2, where Jack Davis edged Arizona’s Jonas Ziverts 6-7, 4-6.
The Huskies clinched the match on court No. 5, where Cesar Bouchelaghem beat the UA’s Carlos Hassey 3-6, 6-7.
With the loss, Arizona can only hope that its regular season resume is enough to earn it a top 16 for the NCAA Championships, which would allow Tucson to host the first and second rounds.
Coach Clancy Shields’ squad is looking to improve on last season’s program-best Sweet 16 appearance.