This Week for the Wildcats: The No. 32 Arizona women’s tennis team will host No. 73 Cornell and No. 22 Arizona State at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. The Wildcats (7-7, 2-0) will face the Big Red at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22. Arizona will take on the Sun Devils at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 24.
Last week: The Wildcats were swept twice over the weekend in California. Arizona got one win in doubles against UCLA but was not able to pull out a second to get the point. In singles, Danielle Steinberg was close to an upset win over No. 24 Riza Zalameda before falling in the third set. Against Southern California, the Wildcats struggled in doubles and singles. The Women of Troy did not lose a single set on their way to a 7-0 win.
Against Cornell: This is the first all-time meeting between the Big Red and Wildcats.
Scouting the Big Red: Cornell is undefeated on the season, going 6-0. The Big Red has won all six against unranked opponents. Cornell entered the rankings this week for the first time all season. The Big Red has not been ranked since March 21, 2001 when the team was No. 71. Cornell is led by senior Kasia Preneta, who plays primarily in the No. 1 spot. The Big Red do not feature any ranked players in doubles or singles. Head coach Laura Glitz returns for her third year at Cornell. The team returns nine players and adds one freshman.
Against Arizona State: This is the 48th all-time meeting between the Sun Devils and Wildcats. Arizona State leads the series 30-17. The Sun Devils swept the Wildcats last year, taking the most recent meeting in a 5-2 decision. Arizona’s last win came in 2004 when the Wildcats were able to complete a season sweep.
Scouting the Sun Devils: Arizona State is 7-6, 2-0 in the Pac-10 so far this season. It is currently on a three-match losing streak. The Sun Devils are only 1-4 on the road. Their one win away from home came against North Carolina, who was ranked No. 4 at the time. Arizona State is led by freshman Nadia Abdala, ranked No. 29 in singles. Junior Sabrina Capannolo, No. 63, and Roxanne Clarke, No. 94, are also ranked in singles. The Sun Devils also have one pair ranked in doubles at No. 9, Kady Pooler and Clarke. Head coach Sheila McInerney enters her 23rd season at Arizona State. The team returns seven players and adds two freshmen.
Double Trouble: Arizona has won the doubles point in eight of its 14 matches so far this season. The Wildcats are 7-1 when winning the point and 0-6 when their opponents take the point.
Ranked Rivals: The Wildcats have played their last 12 of 13 matches against ranked opponents since opening the season against unranked Northern Arizona. A total of six of Arizona’s seven remaining opponents are ranked in the ITA poll.
Wildcats in the Rankings: The Wildcats fell four spots in the poll this week to No. 36. Danielle Steinberg moved up three spots in the individual rankings to No. 107. With their first losses this season, the Wildcat pair of Juliette Mavroleon and Katie Orletsky fell out of the rankings.
Fall Action: Arizona found most of its success in doubles during the fall season. Kasia Jakowlew earned a 7-2 record in doubles while paired with Camelia Todorova (3-1) and Natalia Toporowska (4-1). Juliette Mavroleon and Danielle Steinberg went 3-0 in doubles action. Steinberg had the most success in singles play during the fall finishing at 5-3.
Pac-10 Elite: Arizona will face stiff competition when it begins the Pac-10 season. Eight of the nine conference teams are ranked in the ITA poll including five in the top 25. Stanford leads the way at No. 3. California and Southern California are close behind at No. 5 and No. 8, respectively. Oregon (11) and Arizona State (No. 21) round out the top 25, while No. 27 Arizona State, No. 36 Arizona and No. 42 Washington State are all also ranked. Three singles players and two doubles pairs from the Pac-10 are in the top 10 of their respective polls. California’s Susie Babos is ranked No. 4, while Southern California’s Lindsey Nelson and Stanford’s Celia Durkin are No. 8 and No. 10, respectively. Babos and teammate Zsuzsanna Fodor are No. 3 in doubles and Arizona State’s Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke pair up at No. 9.
Next Week: Arizona will head to northern California to face Stanford and California in Pac-10 play. The Wildcats will face the Cardinal at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 30, and will take on the Golden Bears at noon on Saturday, March 31.