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Women's Tennis Gears up for Big Weekend
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 06/22/2004
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This Weekend: The No. 26 Wildcats (6-3, 1-3 in Pac-10) look to snap a two-match losing streak when they play host to the top two teams in the country, the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal (13-0, 4-0 in Pac-10) and the No. 2 California Golden Bears (6-2, 3-2 in Pac-10) this weekend.

Arizona plays host to the Golden Bears on Friday losers of two in a row. California has dropped both matches to Stanford in a-home and-home series, accounting for its only losses on the year. The squad is lead by senior Amy Jensen who paces the team in wins (16) and a No. 9 ranking. Right behind Jensen in victories is junior Anita Kurimay (15) who earned a No. 37 ranking. Senior Claire Curran moved into the last edition of the Wingspan.com singles rankings at No. 90. The Golden Bears hold down two of the top five doubles spots. Curran and Jensen earned a No. 1 ranking by capturing the Indoor Doubles Championship with a victory over sophomore Lindsay Blau and junior Michelle Gough in the final match, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2. Senior Karoline Borgersen and junior Anita Kurimay hold down the No. 4 spot.

 
 

Stanford comes in with a 31- match winning streak dating back to last year. The run started with a 7-2 victory over UA up in the Bay Area. Stanford is led by the No. 2 player in the country, freshman Laura Granville, who boasts a team-leading 28-2 record. Granville stepped into the No.1 singles spot on the team while sophomore standout Marissa Irvin was out with an injury. Irvin has reeled off nine straight wins since returning to the lineup a month ago. Sohomore Keiko Tokuda (No. 22), senior Teryn Ashley (No. 56), sophomore Gabriela Lastra (No. 63), and senior Jennifer Heiser (No. 72) round out the list of ranked Stanford players. The doubles team of Ashley and Granville lead Stanford with a 5-1 record earning them a No. 7 ranking. Granville is also ranked with Tokuda in the doubles polls at No. 9. The duo fell to Arizona's pair of Blau and Gough in the semifinals of the Indoor Championships, 6-3, 7-6 (2).

Forty-first ranked Marquette (7-3, 1-0) comes to Tucson for the Wildcats' final non-conference home match of the year. Marquette is riding a three-match winning streak including a victory over UTEP, 6-3. Arizona defeated UTEP, 7-2, earlier in the 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: For the fourth time this season, Arizona State did not drop a set in singles competition leading them to a 9-0 victory over Arizona Saturday at the Robson Player Facility.

In singles play, sophomore Lindsay Blau and junior Michelle Gough each had three match winning streaks snapped. Blau fell to 40th-ranked Karin Palme, 6-3, 6-1. Eighty-seventh ranked Gough fell to 14th-ranked Allison Bradshaw, 6-1, 6-1.

In doubles action, the 29th-ranked duo of Bradshaw and Celena McCoury upset 15th-ranked Gough and Blau, 8-2

Last Year: The Wildcats were swept by California and Stanford. California downed Arizona, 9-0, in Berkeley and 5-1 in Tucson. Stanford notched 7-2 and 6-0 victories over UA last year.

Coach's Corner: "Stanford is one of the best teams in college tennis. It will be a great experience for our girls to compete against the top talent in the country.

"Arizona State is a very deep team and the key was that we didn't respond well to adversity. It was a good lesson for us and how we need to respond to adversity.

"The key this weekend will be how well we respond to adverse situations. My focus in practice this week is to stress no negative responses in adverse situations."

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: After the loss on Saturday to Oregon, the Wildcats slipped in the polls to 26th in the Feb. 23 edition of the WingspanBank.com rankings and were 19th in the Feb.14 edition of the Bob Larson Coaches Poll. The first singles and doubles rankings of the season were released Feb. 16, and junior Michelle Gough earned a No. 87 ranking with a 12-7 overall record. Gough and doubles partner sophomore Lindsay Blau received a No. 15 ranking. The fourth team rankings of the year along with singles and doubles will be released March 1. 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 Coaches: Kevin Epley and Vicky Maes round out the coaching staff for the Wildcats this season. 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, a four-time tennis All-American, returns to her alma mater as a volunteer assistant. Maes 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.

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