No. 50 Arizona heads to Pac-10 Championships

April 21, 2010

2010 Pac-10 Conference Individual Tennis ChampionshipsThursday, April 22 to Sunday, April 25Ojai, Calif.

TUCSON--The No. 50 Arizona women's tennis team heads to Ojai, California this weekend to participate in the 2010 Pac-10 Conference Individual Tennis Championships. Play is set to begin on Thursday, April 22 and runs through Sunday, April 25.

'Ojai is a great event for our team, as everyone will get opportunities for significant individual wins.' Said head coach Vicky Maes, 'There will never be any easy matches considering the strength of the Pac-10. We hope to close out the regular season playing as well as we did all year.'

Last Time Out: Arizona took a win and a lost in their final weekend of the regular season. In the 4-3 win over No. 54 Sacramento State, the Cats were down early, losing the doubles point, but rallied to win four of six in singles. Sophomore Natasha Marks' No. 1 spot win over Tatsiana Kapshai at 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 clinched the win for Arizona.

The Wildcats then hosted conference rival Arizona State on Saturday. In the 5-2 loss to the Sun Devils, Arizona's wins came from seniors Claire Rietsch and Natalia Toporowska, who were playing their final matches at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. Rietsch defeated Nadia Abdala 6-3, 6-4 in the No. 3 spot, and Toporowska took down Hannah James 6-3, 7-5 at No. 5.

Cats in the Rankings: In the Campbell's/ITA tennis rankings, Arizona moved up from 55 to 50 in the April 20 list. In singles, Natasha Marks moved up to No. 106.

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.

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