Arizona will be traveling to Williamsburg, Va., for the William and Mary Invitational, Sept. 15-17. The eight-team tournament includes Virginia Commonwealth, Princeton, Minnesota, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Boston College, Pennsylvania and host school, William and Mary. Each singles and doubles participant is guaranteed three matches. The doubles contests will be scored on the eight game pro set system. This is the second consecutive year the Wildcats have competed in the event.
Cats in the Polls:
Arizona's doubles team of senior Michelle Gough and junior Lindsay Blau earned a No. 3 ranking in the preseason Wingspanbank.com poll released Monday. Gough and Blau enjoyed one of the greatest doubles seasons in school history last year. The duo captured three tournament championships, including the Pac-10 doubles title and the ITA Region VIII crown. For their efforts, the pair earned All-Americen honors and a berth in the NCAA Championship. The duo also cracked the preseason polls for the Cats on the singles side. Blau is 46th to open the fall campaign, while Gough enters at No. 64. Last season, Blau highlighted her year with an upset of then top-ranked Kristina Kraszewski and an eventual spot in the NCAA Singles Championship. The versatile Gough upset San Diego's third-ranked Katarina Valkyova at the UA Invitational to cap a year that saw her in the polls for five of the season's eight installments.
Brad Dancer enters his second season as head coach at Arizona. Dancer played No. 1 singles and doubles at Michigan State, graduating with a degree in business in 1993. In his time at MSU, 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. This past summer he coached the Delaware Smash to the World Team Tennis title match against the Sacramento Capitals.
In Dancer's first year at the helm, team won 10 matches and earned a top-25 ranking in the final poll of the season. The team posted a 10-12 overall mark and a 3-5 record in the Pac-10, earning them a tie for sixth in the conference. A 5-4 victory over sixth-ranked UCLA to start conference play highlighted a solid season for the Cats. For its efforts, the squad earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the regional finals.