Women's tennis set to finish off five-game homestead

Feb. 2, 2010

Arizona vs. New Mexico State
1 pm | Thursday, Feb. 4
LaNelle Robson Tennis Center

Arizona vs. San Diego
11 am | Saturday, Feb. 6
LaNelle Robson Tennis Center

TUCSON--The Arizona women's tennis team looks to improve their three-game win streak this weekend against New Mexico State and No. 60 San Diego. The Wildcats (3-0, 0-0 Pac-10) will take on New Mexico State Thursday at 1pm, and on Saturday they will go up against No. San Diego at 11am. Both matches will be played at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

'New Mexico State is a solid team and we are going to have to be ready to battle.' Said head coach Vicky Maes, 'They play excellent doubles and we have to be willing to be aggressive right from the start. That doubles point awards a team a mental advantage and we certainly want that. However, the way our singles have been going, I feel that we will be able to compete hard no matter how doubles play out.'

About the Aggies: New Mexico State opened their season with a three game homestead and is currently 1-2, 0-0 WAC. On Friday, they lost to UNLV 0-7, but managed to come back Saturday with a 7-0 sweep of Weber State. On Sunday, New Mexico State lost to Pacific 1-6.

About the Toreros: Last weekend, No. 60 San Diego (2-1, 0-0 WCC) split their matches with a 4-0 loss to USC on Friday. On Saturday, the Toreros recovered to defeat LSU 4-1.

Last Time Out: Last weekend, Arizona defeated in-state rival Northern Arizona 6-1. In doubles play, sophomore Natasha Marks and freshman Alexandrina Naydenova upset the No. 35 ranked doubles pair of Orsi Golovics and Malia Whainepio. Sophomore Sarah Landsman and senior Claire Rietsch dropped their doubles match 9-7 to Nicole Perez and Aimee Oki, and in the No. 3 position, senior Ariane Masschelein and Jane Huh clinched the doubles point for the Cats with an 8-5 win over Edit Suhajda and Yumi Hasegawa.

In singles, the Wildcats won five of six matches, including Marks' 6-3, 6-2 win over Golovics in the No. 1 position to clinch the win. Other wins on the day include Rietsch's 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Perez in the No. 5 position and sophomore Debora Castany's 6-3, 6-3 win over Hasegawa in the No. 6 position.

Cats in the rankings: In the Campbell's/ITA women's singles rankings, sophomore Natasha Marks is ranked at No. 46. In the preseason Marks was ranked at No. 29.

In the ITA Regional Singles Rankings, Marks is ranked at No. 4 while sophomore Sarah Landsman is ranked at No. 14. In the ITA Regional Doubles Rankings, Marks and senior Claire Rietsch are ranked at No. 8.

Returning Cats: Arizona has seven players returning to the Wildcat roster this season. Seniors Ariane Masschelein, Claire Rietsch, and Natalia Toporowska, junior Jane Huh, and sophomores Natasha Marks, Sarah Landsman, and Debora Castany.

New Additions: New to the Wildcat roster are freshmen Shannon Cassidy and Elizabeth Hammond, who joined up in the fall, and University of Georgia transfer Alexandrina Naydenova, who joined before spring play. Also joining the Wildcats is Volunteer Assistant Coach Danielle Steinberg, who led the Cats last season in the No. 1 singles position.

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.

Fall Action: In the fall semester, the Wildcats participated in seven events: the Miner Fall Invite, the New Mexico Invitational, the SDSU Fall Classic, the All-American Riviera, ITA Regionals, the Southwest Collegiate Invite, and the CSUN Invitational. At the Miner Fall Invite, Masschelein won out her singles flight, and at the ITA Regionals, No. 4 seed made it to the semifinal round.

Up next: Next week the Wildcats will travel to Texas for their first two road games. On Friday, February 12, the Wildcats will take on Rice University at noon, and on Saturday, February 13, Arizona will go up against Texas Tech at 11am.

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