Cats to finish off season against Portland State and ASU

April 15, 2009

Match Dates: Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18, 2009

Times: Both matches to start at 1 p.m.

Locations: Tucson and Tempe, Ariz.

Match Data: No. 68 Arizona (10-9, 1-6 Pac 10) looks to finish off the dual match season with their final home game against Portland State (4-16, 0-4 BSC) before heading north to Tempe to take on conference rival Arizona State (10-8, 3-7 Pac 10). The last time the rivals faced off, the match was rained out with Arizona up 1-0.

'We expect to play a great match against Portland State.' Said head coach Vicky Maes, 'It's Danielle's last home match and it will be an emotional goodbye to her. She has been so great for the program and we are sad her career here is coming to an end. We want to celebrate by playing a good match, especially heading into our dual with ASU on Saturday.'

Senior Danielle Steinberg, was announced as a finalist for the Ruby CATS award Monday evening, an award that is given to the top female senior based on their performance this season.

Other winners from the Arizona women's tennis squad include freshman Sarah Landsman who won the Freshman of the Year Award.

Last time out: Last week, Arizona hosted USC and UCLA. Against USC, the Wildcats battled extremely windy conditions, but were unable to overcome their opponents in singles play, losing 5-2.

Mother Nature forced Arizona's match against UCLA to be postponed until Sunday morning when the rain cleared. Arizona lost 4-2 as the doubles point was not played for.

Cats in the rankings: In the Campbell's/ITA rankings, senior Danielle Steinberg remains moved up two spots to No. 92. Freshman Natasha Marks returned to the rankings at No. 109, and freshman Sarah Landsman is now ranked at No. 111.

In doubles, junior Claire Rietsch and freshman Natasha Marks moved up in the ranks from No. 76 to 75, and Danielle Steinberg and Sarah Landsman are ranked at No. 63.

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: Next up for the Wildcats is the Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif. Play begins April 23.

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