Women's Tennis opens fall schedule this weekend

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Sept. 18, 2001

The Tourney Field: Competitors representing 14 Division I squads will be participating in the ninth annual William & Mary Invitational. Four of the teams involved were a part of the 64-team NCAA tournament field last year - Illinois, Old Dominion, Virginia Commonwealth and Wake Forest. Of those, Wake Forest advanced the furthest, earning a spot in the Sweet 16 before falling to eventual national champion Stanford, 4-0. The following are the teams that will competing at the tournament - Arizona, Boston College, Illinois, Marshall, Maryland, Old Dominion, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Richmond, Temple, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and William and Mary. Potentially 11 ranked singles players and five ranked doubles teams could be partaking in this weekend's event. The list includes two players in the top five of the singles poll - Wake Forest's Bea Bielik (No. 1) and Old Dominion's Nataly Chana (No. 4). On the doubles side, Bielik and teammate Janet Bergman lead the tourney field coming in at No. 2 in the preseason doubles poll.

Cats in the Polls: Sophomore Debbie Larocque and senior Laresa Marino earned spots in the ITA preseason rankings released Sept. 13. Larocque is No. 85 in the singles poll after posting a 23-16 record last season. Larocque and Marino moved up 38 places from last year's final doubles ranking of 41 to 13 in the preseason vote. The duo wrapped up the 2000-01 campaign with a 12-14 mark as the No. 2 doubles team for the Wildcats. Larocque and Marino are the projected No. 1 pair for the upcoming season.

Head Coach: Brad Dancer enters his third season as head coach at Arizona. In his first two years, Dancer has amassed a 16-26 record. Over his first two campaigns at UA Dancer has coached the team into the top 25 and advanced to the second round of the 2000 NCAA tournament. Under his watch, Michelle Gough and Lindsay Blau earned 2000 Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year honors. Off the court, three players have boasted academic all-conference honors. Dancer graduated with a business degree from Michigan State in 1993. At MSU, he competed at the No. 1 singles and doubles positions earning all-Big 10 honors his senior year and was a four-time academic all-conference member.

Last Season: The Wildcats will be looking to rebound after a 6-14 season ended their 13 year run in the NCAA Tournament. Freshman Debbie Larocque led the squad in singles victories with 23. On the doubles side, Michelle Gough and Sophie Regnier won 14 matches earning a spot in the NCAA tournament. The duo advanced to the round of 16.

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