This Week for the Wildcats: No. 49 Arizona (6-8, 0-3) takes the road in search of its first Pac-10 victory this weekend. The pair of matches include No. 17 California (11-3, 2-0) on Friday, April 1, and No. 1 Stanford (14-0, 3-0) on Saturday, April 2.
Last Time Out: Last weekend, Arizona concluded its seven-match homestand with a pair of losses to then-ranked No. 12 UCLA and No. 5 Southern California.
Against California: The last time these two teams squared off, the match took two days to complete due to rain in the Tucson area. On the first day of play, UA won the doubles point before the skies opened up. On the second day of play, Cal took four of the five singles matches completed, winning, 4-2.
The Wildcats have had slightly more success against the Golden Bears than they do against their Bay Area counterparts, going 9-30 all-time against Cal. UA last defeated California in 2003, when the Golden Bears came to Tucson.
Scouting the Golden Bears: Cal is currently riding a seven-match win streak, which began in Tempe just before the Bears visited Tucson. All three of Cal’s losses came in consecutive fashion, and all three victors are currently ranked in the top 20.
The Golden Bears are led by No. 4 Suzi Babos. The freshman defeated several Wildcats in fall play, and is the only ranked player on the squad.
Against Stanford: When the Cardinal came calling at Robson Tennis Center in early March, the match began much like it did against Cal. UA won the doubles point, which, at the time, was just the second occasion Stanford had lost it the whole season. The Wildcats were unable to capitalize on the doubles win, as they proceeded to drop all six singles matches. UA senior Dianne Hollands nearly knocked off two-time defending NCAA Champion Amber Liu, as Hollands led 6-3, 3-0, before losing the next six games and the final set.
Of the more than 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.
Scouting the Cardinal: There is no round about way to put it, Stanford’s lineup is solid. The defending national champions feature six singles players ranked in the top 45 nationally, while another ranked player rides the bench. Stanford is no slouch in doubles either, as the Cardinal have two pairs ranked ahead of UA’s No. 37 Dianne Hollands and Maja Mlakar.
The Doubles Point: Although Arizona is not winning the doubles point as consistently as it once was, doubles remains a good indicator of which team will win the match. The Wildcats are 6-3 when winning the doubles point, but drop to 0-5 when opponents capture the best of three doubles series. Incidentally, UA won the doubles point against both Stanford and California in prior meetings this year, but ended up losing both matches.
Senior Leaders: Seniors Dianne Hollands, Maja Mlakar and Kelly Perry are a combined 28-12 in singles dual match play this year. Non-seniors are a combined 16-27.
Comeback Kid: Of sophomore Kasia Jakowlew’s 11 victories this year, five of the wins have come when she lost the first set, but came back to win the next two.
Nearing the Century Mark: Dianne Hollands needs five more singles victories to have won 100 singles matches in her four-year career. She began the year with 74 wins and has 21 victories this season entering this week.
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 return home for the final time this year, as the Cats will host Washington and Washington State. The No. 19 Huskies will face Arizona Friday, April 8, while the No. 63 Cougars will play the following day at noon.