Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Talkin' with Tash
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 24, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 24, 2012

Senior Women's Tennis Player Natasha Marks -

Hey Wildcats!

Last weekend was the first double-header of our season where we took on No. 61 North Texas and No. 46 Cal poly. It was exciting because we have never played both these teams and it’s always a challenge playing a team you don't know and playing new players. During the week, practice had gone really well and we were all looking forward to competing.

It was Friday and our match was to follow the men's tennis team who also had a double-header. Our first match was against North Texas who had been playing well recently against some tough teams so we knew that this match wasn’t going to be easy.

The atmosphere was crazy as all 10 courts were taken up with six teams trying to warm up and play matches. After we hustled Denver men's tennis off the back courts, we started our warm up. When the boys finished, we started to play doubles on the first three courts.

As I looked down the scoreboards we were winning on all three courts and soon came off with the doubles point. Heading back into the team room, Coach Vicky was very positive about doubles and the improvements that we had made. It was a solid team effort in doubles on all three courts with our No. 3s finishing first!!!

SIngles started and my opponent from North Texas was actually another English girl that I knew from juniors that had spent most of her time training in Spain. It’s always weird playing people from your own country!

I didn’t really start out well going down 5-1 with my notorious slow starts. I finally got into the match and dug in and went up 6-5, but headed into a tiebreak. After winning the tie break I found my game and took the second set more comfortably.

I looked over at the other girls’ courts to see we were winning on most and ended up taking a great 6-1 team win! In our post match talk, Coach Vicky was really proud of how we came together and won this match as a team, especially with all three doubles teams earning victories. The way in which we played should give us a lot of confidence going into next weekend.

Saturday came around, and it was time to take on Cal poly, who had a new coach that I recognized from Washington. While we were warming up, we found out that they only had five girls because of injuries, so they were going to have to forfeit a doubles team and the No. 6 singles position.

The team still came out strong and competed hard, especially in No. 1 doubles, but we won the doubles point and went back on for singles play.

All singles matches were tough and came down to senior Deb Castany and “Mighty Mouse” (Lacey Smyth) for the last rubbers. Lacey edged her opponent and won the third set in a 10-point tiebreak. I was particularly proud of sophomore Susan “Irish” McRann, who defeated some personal demons of her own to come from behind and win in her own great flare! Good job, Susie!

Overall it was a great TEAM win for the tennis cats and we have made some huge improvements in doubles. I really feel that we can win that point against anyone we play.

Our next competition is on the road in Alabama for in the Blue-Gray Classic, which is a tournament of highly-ranked schools. This is a great opportunity for us to get a win over a top-25 team and move into a higher ranking.

Thanks again for everyone that came out to the Robson Center all weekend. We really love having you there and really appreciate your support! And a special shout out to the Arizona men’s and women’s diving teams, who we have recruited as out No. 1 fans!



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