No. 56 Arizona to resume Pac-10 play

April 7, 2010

No. 56 Arizona at No. 8 UCLA1:30 p.m. |Friday, April 9Los Angeles, Calif.

No. 56 Arizona at No. 17 USCNoon |Saturday, April 10Los Angeles, Calif.

TUCSON--The No. 56 Arizona women's tennis team will return to the Pac-10 conference schedule this week at UCLA on Friday, April 9 at 1:30pm. The Wildcats will then take on USC on Saturday, April 10 at noon.

About the Bruins: Last week, UCLA (16-3, 3-1 Pac-10) suffered their first doubles sweep in the 5-2 loss to Stanford. The Bruins then went on to lose four of six singles matches. At No. 2, Noelle Hickey defeated Lindsay Burdette 6-3, 6-3, and at No. 3, Andrea Remynse defeated Stacey Tan 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) for UCLA's only points on the day. The Bruins' match against California, scheduled for Sunday, April 4, was cancelled due to rain.

About the Trojans: USC (11-7, 3-1 Pac-10) had an extended stay up in the Bay Area last weekend, as their first match against Stanford was initially postponed by rain. The match resumed Sunday, but rain was a factor once again, the match interrupted at a 3-3 tie. On Saturday, USC fell to California 5-2. The Trojan's two points came from freshmen Danielle Lao and Valeria Pulido. The Trojans will host Arizona State on Friday, April 9 before hosting the Wildcats.

Last Time Out: Last week, Arizona took a break from conference play, and notched a pair of wins over Cal State Northridge and Loyola Marymount.

In the 5-2 win over the Matadors, the Wildcats(12-6, 1-4 Pac-10) started off by clinching the doubles point with a pair of wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, and then went on to win four of six singles. No. 105 ranked sophomore Natasha Marks led the way for the Wildcats at the No. 1 spot, defeating CSUN's Brooke Doane 6-2, 6-1. At No. 2, sophomore Sarah Landsman, ranked at No. 84, defeated Nina Jaworowski 2-6, 6-2, 10-8. Senior Claire Rietsch also notched a win for the Cats at No. 3, defeating Whitney Paluch 6-4, 6-0. Arizona also took a win at No. 5, with sophomore Debora Castany defeating Anna Yang 6-3, 6-3.

At Loyola Marymount, Arizona started off strong with a doubles sweep. Landsman and junior Jane Huh notched a 8-1 win over Jasmin Heckel and Shuana Morgan at No. 1, at No. 2, Rietsch, and fellow senior Natalia Toporowska, defeated Melissa Valenzuela and Bliss Nixon 8-4. At No. 3, Marks and Castany also took an 8-4 win over Elisaveta Pironkova and Jane Pringle. Arizona then went on to win five of six singles matches to seal the 6-1 win.

Cats in the Rankings: In the Campbell's/ITA tennis rankings, Arizona dropped from No. 53 to No. 56 in the April 6 list. In singles, Sarah Landsman returned to the tennis rankings at No. 84, and Natasha Marks is ranked at No. 105.

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 up, the Wildcats return to their final two matches of the season. On Friday, April 16, Arizona will host Sacramento State at 1:30 pm. On Saturday, April 17, the Cats will go into their final match of the regular season against conference rival Arizona State. The match is set to start at 1pm. Both matches will be held at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

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