UA Tennis heads to Utah

Feb. 24, 2010

No. 50 Arizona at No. 68 Brigham Young

11:00 a.m. |Friday, Feb. 26

Provo, UT

No. 50 Arizona at No. 71 Utah

Noon |Saturday, Feb. 27

Salt Lake City, UT

TUCSON--The No. 50 Arizona women's tennis team will head to Utah this weekend to take on No. 68 Brigham Young and No. 71 Utah. On Friday, February 26, the Wildcats will go up against BYU at 11 a.m. and on Saturday Arizona will take on Utah at noon.

'Going into Salt Lake City will be a good test for us.' Said head coach Vicky Maes, 'We will need to adjust to the altitude and the indoors quickly. We are definitely favored in these matches in terms of ranking, but we are not taking them for granted. Everyone on this team knows that we will have to show a team effort both days to pull off the wins. Our confidence is high, yet we still have a lot of areas to improve, and each match gives us an opportunity to do better than the previous one.'

About the Cougars: Last weekend, Brigham Young University (3-4, 0-0 MWC) topped Denver 6-1, led by No. 77 McCall Jones in the No. 1 position for singles. Jones defeated Denver's Ute Schnoy 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. Jones and partner Megan Price, ranked at No. 27, also led the way for a Cougar sweep in doubles with their 8-3 in the No. 1 position.

About the Utes: Last Sunday Utah (3-5, 0-0 MWC) blanked Denver 7-0. The match was clinched when Missy Harris, in the No. 5 spot came out on top over Lorinda Boothman in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. In doubles, the Utes were led by Erin Monson and Andrea Maughan, who defeated Julia Bauregger and Sophia Bergner 8-2 to clinch the doubles point.

Last Time Out: Last weekend, the Wildcats hosted a 4-2 upset over then No. 43 Saint Mary's, one day after severe weather cut short the Cats' match against No. 65 San Diego State.

Against San Diego State, Arizona managed to clinch the doubles point with wins in the No. 1 and No. 2 positions before rain caused the match to end early. The No. 42 ranked duo of sophomore Natasha Marks and freshman Alexandrina Naydenova topped Roxanne and Sierra Ellison 9-7 after senior Claire Rietsch and sophomore Sarah Landsman took down Julia Trunk and Julia Wais 8-4.

Sunday, the Wildcats returned to the courts to take on their highest ranked opponent so far, Saint Mary's. Marks, ranked at No. 88 in singles, led the Cats with a win in the No. 1 position 6-2, 6-1 over Alex Poorta. Other Wildcat wins include Landsman's No. 2 spot win over Catherine Isip 6-3, 6-7, 6-2, and Naydenova's win over Anna Chikhikvishvili 6-1, 6-3. Senior Ariane Masschelein also topped Alisa Spitzer 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 in the No. 5 position.

Cats in the Rankings: In the Campbell's/ITA women's tennis rankings, Arizona is ranked for the third week in a row at No. 50. In singles, sophomore Natasha Marks is ranked at No. 88, and in doubles, Marks and freshman Alexandrina Naydenova are ranked at No. 42.

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, Arizona will head out to No. 18 Washington to kick off Pac-10 play on Friday, March 5 at Washington at noon. On Saturday, the Cats will go up against Washington State, also at noon.

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