Women's Tennis Begins Pac-10 Play

Feb. 13, 2003

EUGENE - The No. 51 Oregon women's tennis team will start its Pac-10 season this weekend with two matches on the road. The Ducks (7-1, 0-0) play No. 16 Arizona Friday at 12:30 p.m., followed by an 11:00 a.m. Saturday match against No. 8 Arizona State.

The Ducks have won seven matches in a row following a season-opening loss on the road to Colorado. Included in the streak are wins against ranked opponents like Illinois, Sacramento State and UC Irvine.

Doubles play has been one of the Ducks' strong points so far, with Oregon winning the doubles point in every match but one. Overall, Oregon is 20-4 this season in doubles, led by Monika Gieczys and Julie Merle at No. 2, who are undefeated on the season.

Sophomore Daria Panova, ranked No. 28 nationally, has an individual 10-match winning streak. Panova won the Pac-10 Indoor singles championship in January by winning all four of her matches at the tournament and has since won all six dual matches she has played.

Arizona is led by three singles players ranked in the top 70, as well as a top-30 doubles team. Maja Mlakar at No. 31 is Arizona's top-ranked player, and she plays with Debbie Larocque in doubles play to form the No. 25-ranked tandem in the nation.

The Sun Devils also feature three ranked players, including No. 21 Adria Engel. Arizona State also has two ranked doubles team, providing a stiff challenge for the Ducks.

Oregon will return home the next weekend to face the Washington schools at the Student Tennis Center.

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