This Week for the Wildcats: The No. 40 Arizona women’s tennis team will wrap up regular season play on the road against in-state rival Arizona State, ranked 20th. The Wildcats and Sun Devils will face off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 21.
Last week: The Wildcats ended their five-match losing streak over the weekend taking down visiting No. 36 Oregon, 6-1. The Ducks were shorthanded with only five players able to take the courts, giving Arizona automatic wins in the No. 3 doubles spot and the No. 6 singles position. Kasia Jakowlew and Jessie Rochefort paired up in their final home appearance to secure the doubles point with their win on court two. In singles, the Wildcats got wins in the first four spots to get the victory. The win improved Arizona to 9-12 on the season and 3-4 in the Pac-10.
Against Arizona State: This is the 49th all-time meeting between the Sun Devils and Wildcats. Arizona State leads the series 31-17. The Sun Devils won the two teams’ match up earlier this season, 6-1, in Tucson.
Scouting the Sun Devils: Arizona State is 11-9, 4-3 in the Pac-10 so far this season. It is currently on a three-match losing streak. The Sun Devils have had mixed results since their last meeting with the Wildcats, going 2-3. They have won against UCLA and Oregon while dropping matches to California, Stanford and USC. Arizona State is led by freshman Nadia Abdala, ranked No. 32 in singles. Junior Sabrina Capannolo, No. 76, is also ranked in singles. The Sun Devils also have one pair ranked in doubles at No. 11, Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke. Head coach Sheila McInerney enters her 23rd season at Arizona State. The team returns seven players and adds two freshmen.
Giant Killers: Sophomore Danielle Steinberg and junior Juliette Mavroleon both had huge upsets in consecutive match ups against first Southern California and then UCLA. Steinberg, ranked 91st at the time, defeated USC’s 10th-ranked Lindsey Nelson in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6(4). The next day against UCLA, Steinberg was able to avenge a loss earlier in the season to No. 22 Riza Zalameda. Steinberg again got the upset in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. Against USC, an unranked Mavroleon took down 12th-ranked Sarah Fansler in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3. Mavroleon kept the momentum rolling the next day as she handidly defeated UCLA’s 49th-ranked Tracy Lin, 6-2, 6-4.
Pac-10 POW: Sophomore Danielle Steinberg was named the Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week for Apr. 2-8. Steinberg posted back-to-back upsets over two of the Pac-10's top players. Steinberg beat USC’s tenth-ranked Lindsey Nelson and UCLA’s 22nd-ranked Riza Zalameda, both in straight sets. It was the first award for Steinberg and the first ever Player of the Week honor for the Wildcats in women’s tennis.
Double Trouble: Arizona has won the doubles point in 10 of its 21 matches so far this season. The Wildcats are 9-1 when winning the point and 0-11 when their opponents take the point.
Ranked Rivals: The Wildcats have played their last 18 of 19 matches against ranked opponents since opening the season against unranked Northern Arizona.
Wildcats in the Rankings: The Wildcats jumped four spots in poll to No. 40 this week. Danielle Steinberg took a giant leap in the poll this week to No. 40. Her current three-match winning streak moved her up 51 spots from No. 91. Juliette Mavroleon’s own three-match winning streak propelled her into the rankings at No. 77.
Fall Action: Arizona found most of its success in doubles during the fall season. Kasia Jakowlew earned a 7-2 record in doubles while paired with Camelia Todorova (3-1) and Natalia Toporowska (4-1). Juliette Mavroleon and Danielle Steinberg went 3-0 in doubles action. Steinberg had the most success in singles play during the fall finishing at 5-3.
Pac-10 Elite: Arizona has face tough competition since entering the Pac-10 season. Eight of the nine conference teams are ranked in the ITA poll including five in the top 25. Stanford leads the way at No. 1. Southern California and California are close behind at No. 8 and No. 9, respectively. UCLA (No. 12) and Arizona State (No. 20) round out the top 25, while No. 38 Oregon, No. 40 Arizona and No. 45 Washington State are all also ranked. Three singles players and one doubles pair from the Pac-10 are in the top 10 of their respective polls. California’s Susie Babos is ranked No. 5, while Stanford’s Theresa Logar and Southern California’s Lindsey Nelson are No. 9 and No. 10, respectively. Another seven players from the conference rank in the top 25. Babos and teammate Zsuzsanna Fodor are No. 2 in doubles.
Next Week: Arizona will compete individually in the Pac-10 Championships held in Ojai, Calif. The tournament begins on Thursday, April 26, and runs until Sunday, April 29.