Women's tennis heads to Texas for first road weekend

Feb. 10, 2010

Arizona at RiceNoon |Friday, Feb. 12Houston, Texas

Arizona at Texas Tech11:00 a.m. |Saturday, Feb. 13Houston, Texas

TUCSON--The Arizona women's tennis team will head to Houston, Texas this weekend to take on Rice and No. 73 Texas Tech. The Wildcats will go up against Rice on Friday, February 12 at noon before taking on Texas Tech Saturday, February 13 at 11am.

'We are looking forward to our first road trip.' Said head coach Vicky Maes, 'Rice and Texas Tech are both very deep teams and we know we will have to play well to come up with the wins. Our confidence is high, but every match is a new challenge and we have to take it one game at a time. We hope to start both matches well in the doubles. Last year, we lost the doubles point against both teams so we know we are in for a battle. Either way, we are looking to put a lot of different points on the board and certainly we have done that in singles since the season started.'

About the Owls: Last weekend, Rice University took a trip out west, and fell to both Pepperdine and UCLA. Against Pepperdine, the Owls (3-3, 0-0 CUSA) won the doubles point with wins in the No. 1 and 2 positions, but only won their No. 4 singles match in the 5-2 loss. Against UCLA, the Bruins blanked the Owls, 7-0. Last year, Arizona defeated Rice 4-3.

About the Red Raiders: Last week, Texas Tech dropped their first road match of the season to North Texas 5-2. The Red Raiders (3-1) won one doubles match in the No. 1 position, and won the No. 3 singles match. Last year, Arizona defeated Texas Tech 4-3.

Last Time Out: Last weekend, the Cats improved to 5-0 with a pair of wins over New Mexico State and No. 45 San Diego. Arizona topped New Mexico State 7-0, with freshman Alexandrina Naydenova's win in the No. 4 position over Sylvain clinching the match for the Cats. In the upset over No. 45 San Diego, Naydenova and sophomore Natasha Marks' 9-8 win over Coupez and Demidova clinched the doubles point for Arizona, and giving them a 1-0 advantage as they continued into singles play.

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.

Next Week: Next week the Cats return home to take on San Diego State on Saturday, February 20 at noon. On Sunday, the Wildcats will face Saint Mary's at 11:30 am. Both matches will take place at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

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