The Cougars come to Arizona winners of two straight including a 5-4 victory over Oregon. WSU is ranked at 63rd in the latest WingspanBank.com poll.
Arizona topped Washington State, 6-3, last year in Pullman and is a perfect 6-0 in all-time against the Cougars.
Winners of nine of their last 10, the Huskies come to Tucson Saturday after a Friday match with Arizona State. UW boasts the top-ranked player in the country, junior Kristina Kraszweski. Kraszewski and freshman Darija Klaic form the 43rd-ranked doubles team in the country.
Last year, Arizona defeated Washington, 5-4, in Seattle. The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 16-0.
The Wildcats are 6-8 against ranked opponents this year.
The Lineup: Name Yr. Hometown Uzma Kahn Fr. Hyderabad, India Lindsay Blau So. Ossining, New York Michelle Gough Jr. Johannesburg, South Africa Vanessa Abel Sr. Tucson, Arizona Laresa Marino So. San Diego, California Joanna Buczkowska Jr. Zakopane, Poland Brooke Taylor So. Newport Beach, California Siri Fomsgaard Fr. Copenhagen, Denmark
Last Weekend: The Wildcats wrapped up their non-conference schedule when they traveled to take on the Texas Longhorns. UA dropped the contest to the 16th-ranked Longhorns, 5-2. Arizona accounted for its two points with singles wins by junior Joanna Buczkowska and sophomore Lindsay Blau. Buczkowska knocked off 87th-ranked Kaysie Smashey, 2-6,7-5,7-6, while Blau upset 29th-ranked Janet Walker, 7-5,6-2. In doubles play, Arizona's fourth-ranked duo of Blau and junior Michelle Gough fell to UT's 18th-ranked doubles team of Walker and Vladka Uhlirova, 8-4.
On the Texas match:
"I thought that we played really well against Texas. I was pleased with our effort and I felt that we were competitive in all of our matches. The three week lay off we had (between matches) really helped the team get healthy and rededicate themselves for the stretch drive of the season.
"Lindsay (Blau) picked up a huge win for herself over a top 30 player in Janet Walker. I believe that she has the skills to continue to improve and establish herself as one of the top players in collegiate tennis.
"Joanna (Buczkowska) also notched a solid win for herself defeating a ranked opponent as well (Kaysi Smashey). Jo has the capability to win a lot more matches than then her record indicates but she needs to learn to control her emotions on the court."
On upcoming matches against Washington and Washington State: "We are looking forward to this weekend's matches. Washington and Washington State are two formidable opponents and it is imperative for us to have a good weekend. Right now, the team is taking it one match at a time because every match in conference play is tough."
On doubles play of Lindsay Blau and Michelle Gough: "Now that they are one of the top doubles teams in the country, teams are going to be hungry to play them. Lindsay and Michelle need to play focused tennis every match, because every duo they face will be at the top of their game."
Last Season: Arizona finished the season with an overall record of 8-14 placing them sixth in the Pac-10 Conference. The Wildcats advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated by top-ranked Florida. Cats in the Polls: The Wildcats slipped from 16th to 20th in the country in the March 29 edition of the WingspanBank.com rankings. The ranking was the highest for the Wildcats all season. UA jumped back into the Bob Larsen Coaches Poll at No. 24. The fourth individual singles and doubles rankings of the season were released March 29, and junior Michelle Gough earned a No. 91 ranking for a 13-13 record that includes a victory against then third-ranked Kaaryna Valkyova of San Diego , 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Gough and doubles partner sophomore Lindsay Blau dropped a spot to No. 4 with their 23-8 record. The Region VIII fall doubles title and runner-up at the Indoor Championships highlight their year. Gough and Blau are 3-2 against top 25 opponents this year. Uzma Khan fell to the 86th spot for her 16-11 record after rising to No. 49. An upset win over then top-ranked Zuzana Lesenarova in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, highlights her season to date. The 10th team rankings of the year will be released April 5. The fifth installment of the singles and doubles rankings will be available April 12. For a complete list of rankings, visit the ITA website at www.ITAtennis.com
Head Coach: Brad Dancer is in his first year as head coach at Arizona replacing Stephanie London. Dancer played No. 1 singles and doubles at Michigan State, graduating with a degree in business in 1993. In his time at Michigan State, 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.
Assistant Coach: Kevin Epley comes to Arizona after serving as an assistant last year at Alabama. In addition to his duties at Arizona, Epley is involved in coaching at the professional tennis level including serving as an assistant for the Fed Cup team under head coach Billie Jean King.
Maes joins C.A.T.S. staff: Volunteer Assistant Vicky Maes stepped down as volunteer assistant tennis coach this past week. The move was prompted by her hiring in the C.A.T.S. office. Maes, a four-time tennis All-American, graduated from Arizona in 98 but not before becoming the most decorated player in the program's history. Maes was a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year, a GTE All-American, and was selected to the Pac-10 All-Decade team.