Wildcats to take on Texas Tech and Rice

Feb. 11, 2009

Match Dates: Friday Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009

Time: 2 p.m. CT and 10 a.m. CT

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Match Data: Arizona (3-0, 0-0 Pac 10) will travel to Lubbock, Texas this weekend to take on Texas Tech University (2-2, 0-0 Big 12) on Friday, February 13 at 2 p.m. On Saturday, the Cats will take on Rice University (6-1, 0-0 CUSA) at 10 a.m.

'We are looking forward to our first road trip.' Said head coach Vicky Maes, 'We had an excellent showing last weekend and feel that we are ready to take on any team right now. Last year, we struggled against Texas Tech at home, winning 4-3, so this will be a chance for us to do better. Rice is a good team as well so we have to be ready to play solid on both days.'

Cats in the rankings: In the ITA collegiate tennis rankings, senior Danielle Steinberg is ranked No. 91, and joining her in the ranks is freshman newcomer Sarah Landsman at No. 96.

Last time out: Last weekend, the Wildcats defeated Cal State Northridge 7-0. Freshman Natasha Marks defeated opponent Nigora Sirijddinova 6-0, 6-0 in singles, while senior Danielle Steinberg and sophomore Jane Huh, who was participating in her first dual match of the spring season, defeated Whitney Pulach and Amira Massi 8-1 in doubles.

On Sunday, the Wildcats' match against conference rival Arizona State was rained out shortly after Arizona won the doubles point. Junior Claire Rietsch and Natasha Marks defeated Kelcy Mckenna and Micaela Hein 8-6, and Danielle Steinberg and freshman Sarah Landsman defeated Nadia Abdala and Laila Abdala 8-4. Because of the weather conditions, the remaineder of the match was cancelled and will not be rescheduled.

Head Coach Vicky Maes: Vicky Maes enters her ninth year as the head women's tennis coach. One of the greatest players in Arizona women's tennis history, Maes has been at the University of Arizona since 1994. She got her start as a student-athlete, then continued on as a coordinator for the model Life Skills Program and has served as the head coach of the women's tennis team since October 2000. As a student-athlete, Maes was the squad's No. 1 singles and doubles player throughout her entire career. She was named the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year in 1996, as well as being tabbed a four-time first team All-Pac-10 selection. A native of Belgium, Maes has brought great success in her first eight seasons at the helm of the program. Maes led the Wildcats to team and/or individual postseason competition each year, won the 2003 Pac-10 Championships for the first time since 1994, and produced several first team All-Americans and All-Pac-10 players.

Returning Cats: Five players are returning to the Wildcats roster, including senior Danielle Steinberg, juniors Ariane Masschelein, Claire Rietsch, and Natalia Toporoska, and sophomore Jane Huh.

Welcoming the newcomers: The Wildcats welcome three new players to its roster: Debora Castany, Natasha Marks, and Sarah Landsman. In the fall season, Castany won her first two collegiate tournaments as a Wildcat.

The Wildcats also welcome to the team assistant coach Ryan Stotland. In his playing days, Stotland was a college standout at the University of New Mexico. He went from a walk on position to the number one player on the team. Under his leadership, the Lobos captured two conference titles. Individually, Stotland earned the highest accolades in history at UNM, becoming the highest ranked individual at number two in the NCAA in doubles. He was also a finalist at the Icy/Hot All American Championships.

Fall Action: The Wildcats participated in five tournaments during the fall semester, the New Mexico Invitational, the Cal Invitational, the Riveria All-American Main Draw & Qual, the San Diego State Fall Classic, and the ITA Regionals. At the New Mexico Invitational, freshman Debora Castany won her collegiate title, while fellow freshman Sarah Landsman and junior Ariane Masschelein won titles in the San Diego State Fall Classic

Up Next: Arizona will continue their five game road trip in San Diego next weekend, where they will take on San Diego State University and the University of San Diego on Friday, February 20 at 2 p.m. PT, and Saturday, February 21 at noon PT.

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