No. 55 Arizona to face No. 10 Cal and No. 12 Stanford

March 24, 2010

No. 55 Arizona vs. No. 10 California1:30 p.m. |Friday, March 26LaNelle Robson Tennis Center

No. 55 Arizona vs. No. 12 StanfordNoon |Saturday, March 27LaNelle Robson Tennis Center

TUCSON--The Arizona women's tennis team will host Bay Area schools Cal and Stanford this weekend at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. The Wildcats (10-4, 1-2 Pac-10) will host No. 10 California on Friday, March 26 at 1:30 pm. Saturday Arizona will host No. 12 Stanford at noon.

'The team has had a nice break so we expect to be fresh this weekend.' Said head coach Vicky Maes, 'Practice has been productive yet relaxed. At this point in the season, we are just trying to keep everyone healthy and focused. Obviously, it will be quite a challenge to play these two top-ranked teams, but we have done well at home and I have confidence that we will battle hard.'

About the Bears: On Tuesday, California (12-3) won their third match in a row, defeating No. 51 Pepperdine 7-0. The Bears came out to an early 1-0 lead, clinching the doubles point with wins on courts 1 and 2. On court 1, the No. 6 ranked duo of Anderson and Juricova took down Pepperdine's Bhargava and Zalameda 8-5, and on court two, Davis and Siwozs defeated Colffer and Walters 8-5. In singles, No. 2 ranked Jana Juricova went on to defeat No. 81 Arianna Colffer 6-1, 6-3 on court one. Cal sophomore Stephany Chang clinched the match for the Bears on court 5 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Pepperdine's Andrea Oates.

About the Cardinal: After two weeks off, Stanford (10-1) came out strong and posted a 6-1 win over Cal Poly. The Cardinal clinched the doubles point in the No. 2 spot, with Mallory Burdette and Stacy Tan defeating Cal Poly's Lee and Wong 9-8 (7). Their only doubles loss was at No. 1, as the No. 2 ranked pair of Barte and Burdette lost to Blalock and Matzenauer 8-5. In singles, Veronica Li defeated Jocelyn Davis 6-1, 6-2 to secure the win for Stanford. In singles, the Cardinal won 5-6 matches. Stanford will take on Pepperdine today and Arizona State on Friday, March 26 before they face the Wildcats.

Last Time Out: Last weekend, Arizona ended a three match loss streak with wins over Memphis and Oregon. Against Memphis, the Wildcats started out strong with wins on all three doubles courts. Sophomore Natasha Marks and freshman Alexandrina Naydenova were first to finish with an 8-1 win over the Tiger duo of Murdock and Ondeck. The doubles point was clinched by seniors Natalia Toporowska and Claire Rietsch in the No. 2 position. The pair defeated Brown and Argues-Garcia 8-3.

In singles, the Wildcats continued to dominate, winning five of six. Rietsch's 6-2, 6-2 win on court five over Argues-Garcia clinched the match for Arizona. Other singles wins include Toporowska's 6-3, 6-0, 6-1 win over Kelly Gray on court six, and Landsman's 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 win over Courtney Collins on court two.

Saturday, Arizona continued Pac-10 play against Oregon, and defeated the Ducks 5-2. The match started off with a battle for the coveted doubles point. After a loss on court two, Marks and Naydenova defeated Smatova and du Toit 8-5 to keep the Cats in the running. All eyes turned to court three, where senior Ariane Masschelein and sophomore Sarah Landsman clashed with Skowrnski and Cor. The Cats and Ducks traded points until the score was tied at 8-8. Masschelein and Landsman initially fell behind in the tiebreaker, but came back to win it, 7-4, and clinched the doubles point 9-8.

In singles, Masschelein ended her career as a Wildcat with a 7-6(4), 6-1 win on court four, and Toporowska clinched the match with a 6-2, 7-5 win on court six.

Cats in the Rankings: In the Campbell's/ITA tennis rankings, Arizona moved up from No. 61 to No. 55 in the March 23 list. In singles, Natasha Marks is ranked at No. 93.

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: Arizona heads out to Los Angeles, Calif. next week to take on Cal State Northridge and Loyola Marymount. The Cats will face the Matadors on Friday, April 2 at 1pm. On Saturday Arizona will take on the Lions at noon.

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