This Week for the Wildcats: No. 48 Arizona (5-3, 0-1) will continue Pacific-10 competition when No. 1 Stanford (9-0, 4-0) and No. 15 California (4-3, 0-3) come to Tucson on March 4 and 5, respectively.
Last Time Out: UA opened Pac-10 play against Oregon last week, losing the home match 4-3. For the second time in their eight matches, the Wildcats lost the doubles point, which proved to be the difference in the match. The Nos. 2-4 singles positions won their matches, but Arizona failed to clinch the match with wins anywhere else in the lineup.
Against Stanford: Of the over 75 teams that Arizona has faced in the program’s history, no opponent has given the Wildcats as much trouble as Stanford. UA’s sole victory over the Cardinal came in 1987, when Arizona edged Stanford 5-4. The last time Stanford came to Robson Tennis Center, the Wildcats lost 6-1.
Scouting the Cardinal: When it comes to knowing one’s opponent, Arizona has an edge because Assistant Coach Brian Ramirez was a member of the 2004 Stanford coaching staff. No other team has the depth that Stanford does, as the Cardinal feature six players ranked in the top 30 nationally, along with two ranked doubles pairs.
Only one of its nine opponents this year is not currently a top 50 team. Additionally, only three times have the Cardinal surrendered more than a point to their opponents. Two of the opponents who managed to scrap two points out of the match are No. 12 Southern California and No. 19 Harvard.
In contrast to Arizona, Stanford has just one international player, while UA has only one American-born athlete.
Against California: The Wildcats have had slightly more success against the Golden Bears than they do against their Bay Area counterparts, going 9-29 all-time against Cal. UA last defeated California in 2003, when the Golden Bears came to Tucson. In the teams’ most recent meeting, Arizona lost at Berkeley, 5-2. In that match, senior Dianne Hollands had Arizona’s only non-retiree win.
Scouting the Golden Bears: Cal began the season 4-0, before losing its first three Pac-10 matches. All three losses have come at the hands of top 15-ranked teams. Thus far, UA and Cal have not played any common opponents.
The Golden Bears are led by No. 7 Suzi Babos. The freshman defeated several Wildcats in fall play, and is the only ranked player on the squad.
The Doubles Point: Arizona is 5-1 when winning the doubles point and 0-2 when opponents capture the best of three doubles series.
Senior Leaders: Seniors Dianne Hollands, Maja Mlakar and Kelly Perry are a combined 20-4 in singles dual match play this year. Non-seniors are a combined 11-13.
Wildcats in the Rankings: Dianne Hollands is now ranked No. 33 nationally, while Maja Mlakar dropped from the rankings, despite her 14-6 record.
Individual rankings are next scheduled to be released March 8.
Fall Action: After finishing the 2004 season ranked No. 39 as a team, Arizona entered the fall with high expectations. Dianne Hollands was ranked No. 7 nationally, and the pair of Hollands and Maja Mlakar earned the billing of No. 1. Hollands finshed the fall with a singles record of 7-7, while Mlakar went 6-3. Junior Stephanie Balzert led the team with 10 wins. Freshman Camelia Todorova wrapped up her first taste of college tennis with an 8-7 record. In doubles play, Hollands and Mlakar went 6-5.
Next Week: Arizona will continue its longest homestand of the season when Arizona State and Minnesota come to town on March 12 and 13, respectively.