April 28, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington men's tennis wrapped up its 2014 campaign in the Sun Belt Conference Championship semifinals. The Mavericks gained valuable experience with a roster built mainly around underclassmen.
"We had our ups and downs, but I think as a whole I think they did very well. It's a young team and we played a tough schedule like we also do," UT Arlington coach Diego Benitez said. "We don't want to play weaker competition just because we have a younger team, we also want to play the best teams we can. Even though we had some tough losses I think it made the team get stronger. The only way to get better is to pay against good competition and see what it's going to take to be ranked.
"It was tough in the beginning of the season, but we put a few good stretches together and I'm very proud of them. I'm happy with the way they played and I'm happy with the way they prepared to go to the conference championship. We were able to beat Troy twice in two weeks and they were a very good team."
Senior Javier Perez and sophomore Carlos Arbiza ended the season with a nationally ranking of 71st after being ranked as high as 40th. The duo was named to All-SBC Doubles First Team for their performance, while Arbiza was also named to the All-SBC Singles First Team. Arbiza also earned SBC Athlete of the Week on Feb. 26 after a 7-5, 6-4 win over the No. 32 player in the nation.
Arbiza also made his way into the national rankings (No. 125) in singles play after a defeated the No. 32 player in the nation in straight sets7-4, 6-4.
Perez was the only senior on the 2014 team this season after spending two years at Tyler Junior College. The Xalapa, Mexico native won 10 doubles matches this season.
"Javi is one of the best doubles players we've ever had. He has such a great touch and a great sense of the court. He was defiantly a leader and it will be hard to lose him, but he left a lot of knowledge for his team, especially in doubles," Benitez said.
Freshman Daniel Armengol also earned two honors during the Sun Belt Conference Championship banquet. Armengol was named to the All-Conference Singles Second Team, and paired up with sophomore Austin Robles to earn All-Conference Doubles Second Team.
Freshman Francesco Migliano competed in the No. 6 position for the Mavericks, winning seven out of nine matches, including a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 64 Louisiana in the semifinals of the conference championship.
Fellow freshman Mario Muniesa competed prominently at the No. 5 spot for UTA. The Segovia, Spain native went 10-8 throughout the season.
The Mavericks wrapped up the season with a 8-13 overall record including a 1-1 at the Sun Belt Championship.