Arizona men’s tennis couldn’t have scripted a better start to the NCAA Championship.
The No. 14 seed defeating Oklahoma State 4-0 Saturday afternoon to advance to the NCAA Round of 16 in Orlando, Fla.
Hosting the NCAAs for the first time in program history, Arizona took advantage of playing in front of a large crowd at LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. The UA previously defeated Boise State 4-0 in the opening round Friday to face Oklahoma State.
The Wildcats raced out to an early 1-0 lead Saturday by sweeping doubles competition. Herman Hoeyeraal and Colton Smith were first to finish with a 6-2 win, followed by Eric Padgham and Gustaf Strom with a 6-3 victory.
Smith, the No. 55 ranked player nationally, gave the Wildcats their second point with a 6-1, 6-3 win on the top singles court over Oklahoma State’s No. 104 Tyler Zink. Jonas Ziverts, ranked No. 40, followed suit with a 6-1, 6-3 defeat of the Cowboys’ No. 94 Isaac Becroft.
Hoeyeraal clinched the match for Arizona with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 win on court No. 4.
And with that the ‘Cats secured their spot in the SWEET 16— Arizona Men's Tennis (@ArizonaMTennis) May 6, 2023
Hoeyeraal def. Ferguson 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 pic.twitter.com/7EAMsJruNa
Arizona concludes its home season with a perfect 13-0 record. The UA is a dominant 60-3 at home over the past five years.
The Wildcats will next face the winner of No. 3 seed Ohio State vs. Louisville, which play Sunday. The UA’s Round of 16 match will take place May 12 or 13.
This is the second time in three years that Arizona has advanced to the Round of 16 under coach Clancy Shields. In 2020-21, the Wildcats fell to No. 3 seed Tennessee in the third round 4-3.