This Week for the Wildcats: The Arizona women’s tennis team (9-13, 3-5) hits the road again this weekend for the Pacific-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif., from April 26-29. Juliette Mavroleon, Katie Orletsky, Danielle Steinberg and Natalia Toporowska will represent Arizona in singles. Mavroleon and Steinberg along with Orletsky and Toporowska will compete in doubles.
Last week: The Wildcats ended the season dropping six of their last seven. Arizona fell to Arizona State 6-1 in its season closer. Danielle Steinberg continued to build momentum going into the Pac-10 tournament with her win at the No. 1 spot. Steinberg took down Sabrina Capannolo in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2.
Pac-10 Championships: The Pac-10’s nine teams compete in Ojai, Calif., this Thursday-Sunday, April 26-29, to decide the league’s singles and doubles champions. The 32-player singles draw shall consist of three players from each of the nine schools that sponsor women's tennis, with five additional competitors selected by a committee of coaches, based upon the participant’s record. The 16-team doubles draw will have one doubles team from each school and seven additional teams selected by the committee, based upon the participant’s record.
Ojai History: The Pac-10 championships will again be the featured event at this year’s 107th Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, which attracts 1600 of the best college, junior and open players from the Western states. The annual event, started by William Thacher in 1896, has been played at the same site, and interrupted only five times. If this tournament, run entirely by volunteer effort on public and privately owned courts, seems an unlikely place to see championship quality players, consider who has appeared here: Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, Michael Chang, Rick Leach, Tracy Austin, Billy Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors and the Bryan twins. These tennis greats are among more than 85 former players at The Ojai who have gone on to win one or more Grand Slam events as professional tennis players, all of whom are listed on Libbey Park’s “Wall of Fame.” Championship medals are awarded both in singles and doubles and the winner’s names are inscribed on permanent trophies displayed each year at the tournament. Last year’s singles winner was California’s Suzi Fodor, while Stanford’s Alice Barnes and Anne Yelsey won the doubles title.
Giant Killers: Sophomore Danielle Steinberg and junior Juliette Mavroleon both had huge upsets in consecutive match ups against first Southern California and then UCLA. Steinberg, ranked 91st at the time, defeated USC’s 10th-ranked Lindsey Nelson in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6(4). The next day against UCLA, Steinberg was able to avenge a loss earlier in the season to No. 22 Riza Zalameda. Steinberg again got the upset in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. Against USC, an unranked Mavroleon took down 12th-ranked Sarah Fansler in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3. Mavroleon kept the momentum rolling the next day as she handedly defeated UCLA’s 49th-ranked Tracy Lin, 6-2, 6-4.
Pac-10 POW: Sophomore Danielle Steinberg was named the Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week for Apr. 2-8. Steinberg posted back-to-back upsets over two of the Pac-10's top players. Steinberg beat USC’s tenth-ranked Lindsey Nelson and UCLA’s 22nd-ranked Riza Zalameda, both in straight sets. It was the first award for Steinberg and the first ever Player of the Week honor for the Wildcats in women’s tennis.
Double Trouble: Arizona has won the doubles point in 10 of its 22 matches so far this season. The Wildcats are 9-1 when winning the point and 0-12 when their opponents take the point.
Ranked Rivals: The Wildcats have played their last 19 of 20 matches against ranked opponents since opening the season against unranked Northern Arizona.
Wildcats in the Rankings: The Wildcats fell one spot in poll to No. 41 this week. Despite extending her winning streak to four straight, Danielle Steinberg dropped two spots to No. 42. Juliette Mavroleon fell one spot to No. 77.
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 has face tough competition since entering 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. 1. Southern California and California are close behind at No. 8 and No. 10, respectively. UCLA (No. 11) and Arizona State (No. 19) round out the top 25, while No. 40 Oregon, No. 42 Arizona and No. 50 Washington State are all also ranked. Three singles players and one doubles pair 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 Sarah Fansler are No. 9 and No. 10, respectively. Another seven players from the conference rank in the top 25. Babos and teammate Zsuzsanna Fodor are No. 3 in doubles.
Next Week: Arizona will wait to hear if they have been selected for the 2007 NCAA tournament. The 2007 NCAA Division I women’s selection announcements will take place on Wednesday, May 2 on ESPNEWS. The announcement will begin at approximately 8:30 p.m. Eastern time.