This Week for the Wildcats: No. 49 Arizona (5-5, 0-1) will host in-state rival No. 28 Arizona State (3-3, 1-0) and No. 69 Minnesota (5-4, 0-1) this week. The Sun Devils will come to town Wednesday, March 9 at 1 p.m., while the Wildcats will take on the Golden Gophers Sunday, March 13 at 11 a.m..
Last Time Out: UA had one of its toughest weekends of the year, losing to No. 1 Stanford, 6-1, and to No. 15 California, 4-2. Against Stanford, the Cats took the doubles point from the Cardinal, but failed to win a singles match. No. 33 Dianne Hollands nearly upset two-time NCAA singles champion Amber Liu, but that was the closest Arizona came to winning a singles match. The match against California began on Saturday with UA winning the doubles point again, but before singles play could get started, the rains came in. When play resumed Sunday, Hollands won her singles match, but she was the only Cat to do so. Senior Kelly Perry’s match was not completed, due to yet another rain shower.
Against Arizona State: History gives a slight edge to the Sun Devils, who have won 17 of their 26 meetings against UA. The Wildcats, however, have won the last three dual matches between the two teams, including a 4-3 win in Tucson to close out the regular season in 2004.
Scouting the Sun Devils: When ASU has won this year, the Sun Devils win big. In each of ASU’s four wins, its opponent has not scored a single team point. The Sun Devils have lost to three teams ranked No. 16 or better, including Stanford and California. Like Arizona, ASU’s lineup features one ranked singles player. No. 96 Kady Pooler.
Against Minnesota: Arizona last faced the Gophers 15 years ago, with UA winning the only meeting between the two programs, 7-2.
Scouting the Golden Gophers: Minnesota has won and lost matches in all sorts of ways this year, blowing opponents out, being blown out, losing close matches, as well as winning close matches. Additionally, Minnesota has won back-to-back matches just once this year. In their last match, the Gophers defeated Drake. No. 80 Nischela Reddy is Minnesota’s only ranked player.
Old Ties: UA senior Kelly Perry competed for Minnesota her freshman year (2001-02) before transferring to Arizona following the season.
The Doubles Point: Arizona is 5-3 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 21-7 in singles dual match play this year. Non-seniors are a combined 11-20.
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 conclude its homestand by hosting No. 10 UCLA and No. 13 Southern California, on March 25 and 26, respectively.