Scouting the Sun Devils: Arizona State comes into Saturday's match with a bit of momentum on its side having reeled off six consecutive victories. The Sun Devils lone defeat of the season was a 4-3 loss to UCLA in its season opener. In four of its six victories this season, ASU has won all six singles and three doubles contests without dropping a set. Last year, the Sun Devils swept the series from the Wildcats (9-0, 8-1). Since 1985, Arizona State holds a 21-13 advantage over Arizona. ASU has won the past five meetings against the Wildcats dating back to April 18, 1998. UA's last victory over its in-state rival was Feb. 28, 1998 in Tempe, 5-4.
Singles Pos. Player Pos.* Record 1. Michelle Gough 4-1 15-11 2. Debbie Larocque 4-1 17-5 3. Sophie Regnier 3-0 7-8 4. Laresa Marino 2-1 9-6 5. Perrine Pernin 3-0 9-10 6. Brooke Taylor 2-1 8-9 Doubles Pos. Players Pos.* Record 1. Gough/Regnier 3-0 6-1 2. Marino/Larocque 2-1 4-4 3. Pernin/Taylor 3-1 3-1 * Record at Position
Cats in the Polls: After winning three straight matches, the Wildcats moved up a spot to No. 23 in the Feb. 14 edition of the WingspanBank.com polls. UA senior Michelle Gough climbed back into the singles rankings at No. 47. A win over then ninth-ranked Jewel Peterson of Southern California, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, and a 15-11 record highlights her resume. Arizona is also ranked fifth in its region heading into the spring campaign. In addition, three UA players find themselves in the singles poll: senior Michelle Gough (No. 3), freshman Debbie Larocque (No. 19) and junior Laresa Marino (No. 24).
On the doubles side, Larocque and Marino are ranked No. 12 in the poll.
Region VIII Top 5
2. Arizona State
3. Southern California
Time Change: The start time for the Arizona's match against Tulane on Tues., Feb. 27, has been moved up a half hour to 12:30 p.m. MST.
New Mexico (Feb. 10): Arizona improved to 12-0 against the Lobos since 1985 with a 6-1 victory at the Robson Tennis Center. The Wildcats earned singles victories at the top five positions. In doubles, UA captured the point winning two of the three contests.
Oregon (Feb. 9): The Wildcats earned their first conference win of the season defeating the Ducks, 6-1. UA swept the three doubles matches to capture the doubles point. In singles action, Arizona was victorious in five of the six matches. Wildcat senior Michelle Gough, juniors Brooke Taylor and Sophie Regnier, and freshmen Perrine Pernin and Debbie Larocque were triumphant in their singles contests.
Northern Arizona (Feb. 4): Arizona recorded its first win of the season defeating NAU, 7-0, in the Wildcats' home opener. UA did not drop a set in its six singles matches and swept the three doubles contests to earn the doubles point. Arizona junior Brooke Taylor snapped a five match losing streak with a victory over NAU's Michelle Mohr. Wildcat senior Michelle Gough got back in the win column after dropping her last three matches defeating Northern Arizona's Yvonne DeWaal, 6-2, 6-2.
NCAA Indoor Championships (Feb. 1-4): Arizona senior Michelle Gough was unable to get past the first round of the Indoor Championships in Dallas. Gough dropped her opening round match to Florida's Jessica Lenhoff, 6-2, 6-4.
at Southern California (Jan. 26): Wildcat senior Michelle Gough upset ninth-ranked Jewel Peterson, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, in a 5-2 loss to the 12th-ranked Women of Troy. UA freshman Debbie Larocque secured Wildcats' second point with a three set victory over USC's Anita Loyola. The Trojans won all three doubles matches to secure the doubles point.
at UCLA (Jan. 28): Arizona freshman Perrine Pernin defeated UCLA's Zana Zlebnik, 6-1, 6-4, accounting for Arizona's lone point in a 6-1 defeat at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. In the five other singles matches, the Bruins did not drop a set. On the doubles side, UCLA swept all three matches earning the doubles point.
Pac-10 Indoor Championships (Jan. 12-14): Arizona junior Sophie Regnier rebounded from an opening round loss in the flight two bracket to earn a spot in the consolation finals. Regnier recorded victories over Washington State's Anna Dybicz and Arizona State's Celena McCoury to advance to the final match. Stanford's Lauren Barnikow defeated Regnier, 6-3, 6-3, to win the flight two back draw.
In other singles action, freshman Debbie Larocque saw her five match winning streak come to an end dropping her flight two quarterfinal round match to Oregon's Janice Nyland, 7-5, 6-3. Larocque outlasted Stanford's Lauren Barnikow in her opening round contest, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-1.
On the doubles side, Regnier and teammate, freshman Perrine Pernin, cruised into the semifinals of the flight two bracket. The duo enjoyed a first round bye and topped UCLA's Chelsea Godbey and Mariko Fritz-Krockow in the quarterfinals, 8-1. In their semifinal round match, Pernin and Regnier narrowly fell short of gaining a spot in the finals falling to California's Sekita Grant and Raquel Kops-Jones, 9-7.
ITA Region VIII Tournament (Nov. 9-13): Arizona's doubles team of senior Michelle Gough and junior Lindsay Blau fell a match short from repeating as champions. The third-ranked duo reeled off four wins before falling to the No. 1 ranked team in the country, Ipek Senoglu and Paola Palencia of Pepperdine, 8-4.
On the singles side, Gough recorded five victories on the weekend to earn a berth in the championship match and a spot at the Indoor Championships, Feb. 2-4, in Dallas. Gough was defeated by the third seeded Jewel Peterson of Southern California, 6-4, 6-3.
Junior Brooke Taylor and freshman Perrine Pernin each advanced out of the 32-player qualifying draw to the 64-player main draw. Taylor continued her hot play winning a three set match over UC Irvine's Darian Chappell, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Blau won her first two matches in the main draw, advancing to the quarterfinals. Victories over UC Santa Barbara's Cindy Ammann, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Southern California's Melissa Esmero, 6-2, 6-3, propelled her to the round of 16 where USC's Peterson got the better of Blau, defeating her in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
Arizona senior Joanna Buczkowska was the only Wildcat who did not compete in the tournament. Buczkowska was forced to withdraw due to a sore wrist that had hampered her for most of the fall season.
Wathen/Hancock Bulldog Classic (Oct. 27-29): Arizona's doubles team of senior Michelle Gough and junior Sophie Regnier earned three victories to earn a spot in the finals. The duo fell just short of capturing the tournament title dropping its final match to Fresno State's Kim Niggemeyer and Simone Jardim, 8-5. In other doubles play, junior Laresa Marino and freshman Debbie Larocque logged a pair of victories to advance to the semifinals. The duo then lost to Gough and Regnier, 8-4. On the singles side, Gough made noise running off two victories to move on to the semifinals. Gough dropped a straight sets match to Niggmeyer, 6-1, 6-4. Each Arizona player advanced to at least the second round and all three doubles teams stayed alive through the third round. Overall, the Wildcats recorded a 12-7 mark in singles and 7-3 record in doubles.
Riviera ITA All-American Tournament (Oct. 14-22): Arizona senior Michelle Gough, junior Lindsay Blau and freshman Debbie Larocque competed at the Riviera ITA All-American Tournament in Los Angeles.
In singles play, Gough dropped her opening round qualifying draw match to North Carolina's Julie Rotundi, 6-2, 7-5.
Blau also earned a spot in the qualifying draw and swept her first two matches over Stanford's Lauren Barnikow and California's Christina Fusano. Ohio State's Kristi Dascoli defeated Blau in the third round, 6-1, 6-0.
Despite the loss, Blau advanced to the main draw after Wake Forest's Bea Bielik withdrew from the tournament. Southern California's Jewel Peterson outlasted Blau in the opening round match, 7-5, 6-3.
Larocque began the tournament in the pre-qualifying draw and with three victories over Texas El-Paso's Elizabeth Stone, Northwestern's Shannon Duffy and Boise State's Renate Stoop advanced to the qualifying draw. She had her season long five-match winning streak snapped in the first round falling to Ole Miss' Alesia Ignatieva, 6-2, 6-4.
On the doubles side, Blau and Gough tallied a 1-1 record on the weekend, winning their main draw opening round match over South Carolina's duo of Jennifer Radman and Katarina Markovski, 6-3, 6-1. The pair then dropped a tighthly contested quarterfinal match to Texas' Vladka Uhlirova and Janet Walker, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Larocque teamed up with freshman Sophie Regnier in qualifying draw action and dropped their first match to Texas-El Paso's Jana Perkova and Ana Brnas, 6-2, 6-2. For the tournament, the squad logged a 7-4 singles mark and a 1-2 doubles record.
Thunderbirds Invitational (Oct. 6-8): Junior Laresa Marino advanced to the semifinals of the consolation singles bracket in Tempe, Ariz., Oct. 7. Marino recorded a 2-2 mark, moving her overall record on the fall season to 5-3, a team best. Wildcat senior Michelle Gough, earned a spot in the quarterfinals of the main draw. For the weekend, she posted a 2-1 singles record. Gough and Marino represented the Cats in doubles and split two matches, winning the opening round match over California's duo of Christina Fusano and Nicole Havlicek, 8-4, and then dropped their quarterfinal match to Texas' Rebekah Forney and Ziva Grasic, 4-8.
Clay Court Championships (Sept. 18-24): Arizona Junior Lindsay Blau withdrew from the ITA T.Rowe Price National Intercollegiate Clay Court Championships, which took place Sept. 21-24, after suffering from excessive swelling in her right knee. Blau earned a berth in the main draw after enjoying a successful 2000 spring campaign. Thirty-two players rounded out the tournament field, eight of which were in the preseason top 25.
William & Mary Invitational (Sept. 15-17): Junior Laresa Marino's play highlighted what was otherwise a tough weekend for the Wildcats at the William & Mary Invitational.
Marino recorded a 3-1 mark and advanced to the championship match of her singles flight. Marino was outlasted by North Carolina's Caroline Hill, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Arizona faced some of the toughest compettition in the country. Six of the 10 teams were ranked in the top 50 at the end of last season.
Overall, Arizona logged a 13-12 singles record and went winless in four doubles matches for the weekend.
Head Coach: Brad Dancer enters his second season as head coach at Arizona with a dual match record of 10-12 (.455). Dancer played No. 1 singles and doubles at Michigan State and graduated with a degree in business in 1993. In his time at MSU, Dancer was a four-time Academic All-Big Ten member and was selected to the All-Big Ten team his senior year. Dancer's professional coaching highlights include serving as an assistant for the 1996 Fed Cup team. This past summer, he coached the Delaware Smash to the World Team Tennis title match against the Sacramento Capitals.
Last Season: In Dancer's first year at the helm, the team won 10 matches and earned a top-25 ranking in the final poll of the season. The squad posted a 10-12 overall mark and a 3-5 record in the Pac-10, earning a tie for sixth in the conference. A 5-4 victory over sixth-ranked UCLA to start conference play highlighted a solid season for the Cats. For its efforts, Arizona earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the regional finals.