The Wildcats head to Stanford on Friday where they will go up against a Cardinal team that boasts a 36-match dual match winning streak that began since Feb. 27, 1999, against Arizona. The span pails in comparison to the program's longest win streak of 76 running from 88 thru 90. Stanford is led by freshman Laura Granville who is a perfect 14-0 on the spring season and is ranked 85th in the world. The Cardinal hold down six singles and four doubles spots in the latest edition of the WingspanBank.com rankings: Laura Granville (No. 2); Marissa Irvin (No. 3); Lauren Kalvaria (No. 7); Keiko Tokuda (No. 40); Teryn Ashley (No. 55); Gabriela Lastra (No. 74); Ashley /Irvin (No. 5); Granville/Tokuda (No. 7); Ashley/Granville (No. 27); and Lastra/Kalvaria (No. 31). UA dropped the first meeting of the season to Stanford, 9-0, in Tucson.
The Golden Bears enter this week with a two-match winning streak. California is led by Amy Jensen who is ranked 17th. Jensen is also apart of the third-ranked doubles team with teammate Claire Curran. Other ranked players include Anita Kurimay (No. 35), Claire Curran (No. 60), and the doubles team of Karoline Borgersen and Kurimay (No. 6).The Wildcats fell to the Golden Bears in their first meeting, 7-2, in Tucson. Cal owns a 31-10 all-time advantage over Arizona.
The Wildcats are 8-8 against ranked opponents this 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: The Wildcats swept the weekend series from the Washington schools defeating Washington and Washington State each by a 7-2 score. Arizona sophomore Lindsay Blau logged two victories at the top singles spot including an upset win over No. 1-ranked Kristina Kraszweski of Washington, 6-3, 6-3. The victory marked the second time this season that UA has knocked off the top-ranked singles player in the country. Junior Michelle Gough's, 6-3, 7-5, triumph over Zuzana Lesenarova at the UA Invitationalon Jan. 22 was the first occasion. Senior Vanessa Abel went undefeated on the weekend at the No. 2 position, also marking the first time she had played at the spot. Abel's weekend was highlighted by a victory over Washington's Ilona Kordonskaya in a three-hour match, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. Doubles play continued to be a strength for the Wildcats as UA captured five of the six matches this weekend. Arizona continued its unblemished mark against Washington and Washington State having gone a combined 24-0 all-time against the two schools.
Coach's Corner: "Last weekend was a big weekend. Several players stepped up, and that is a good sign as the season is winding down.
"Lindsay Blau played phenomenal tennis. She defeated the No.1 player in the country (Kristina Kraszweski) and is starting to play at the level she is capable of playing at.
"Vanessa Abel showed that she is capable of playing at the No. 2 position, winning both of her matches. Vanessa's had a rough Pac-10 season, and it is great to see her regaining her confidence.
"This weekend will be a huge test for us in Stanford and Cal. Playing Stanford will be a great barometer to where this program needs to be. In the first meeting, Cal had some key players out with injuries so it will be interesting to see how we measure up against the Golden Bears when they are at full strength.
"If we continue to improve in the final three matches of the season and build off of last weekend's effort, then I think we will situate ourselves for a solid postseason run."
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: The Wildcats maintained their 20th spot in the country in the April 5 edition of the WingspanBank.com rankings. The ranking was the highest for the Wildcats all season. UA jumped to 17th in the April 11 edition of Bob Larsen Coaches Poll. The fourth individual singles and doubles rankings of the season were released March 29, and junior Michelle Gough earned a No. 91 ranking for a 13-13 record that includes a victory against then third-ranked Kaaryna Valkyova of San Diego , 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Gough and doubles partner sophomore Lindsay Blau dropped a spot to No. 4 with their 23-8 record. The Region VIII fall doubles title and runner-up at the Indoor Championships highlight their year. Gough and Blau are 4-2 against top 25 opponents this year. Uzma Khan fell to the 86th spot for her 16-11 record after rising to No. 49. An upset win over then top-ranked Zuzana Lesenarova in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, highlights her season to date. The 11th team rankings of the year will be released April 12. The fifth installment of the singles and doubles rankings will be available April 12. 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 Coach: Kevin 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 joins C.A.T.S. staff: Volunteer Assistant Vicky Maes stepped down as volunteer assistant tennis coach this past week. The move was prompted by her hiring in the C.A.T.S. office. Maes, a four-time tennis All-American, 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.