Nov. 6, 2001
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The Tourney Field: Arizona, Indiana, Texas A&M and tournament host Notre Dame will participate in this weekend's compettition... The event will be held on campus at the Eck Tennis Pavilion... Of the field, only Arizona did not earn a berth in last year's NCAA Tournament... The Fighting Irish advanced the furthest of the three schools playing into the Sweet 16... All four schools were ranked in last season's final poll- Notre Dame (10), Texas A&M (19), Indiana (40) and Arizona (54)... Five singles and four ranked doubles teams are slated to be in action this weekend... ND's Becky Varnum (48) and Nina Vaughan (61), Texas A&M's Olivia Karlikova (69) and Jessica Roland (71) and UA sophomore Debbie Larocque (85) round out the singles list... Arizona's senior Laresa Marino and Larocque lead the doubles group at No. 13 followed by Notre Dame's Varnum and Lindsay Green (23), Texas A&M's Roland and Marjorie Terburgh (40) and Ashley Hedberg and Martina Nedorostova (43).
Cats in the Polls: Sophomore Debbie Larocque and senior Laresa Marino earned spots in the ITA preseason rankings released Sept. 13. Larocque is No. 85 in the singles poll after posting a 23-16 record last season. Larocque and Marino moved up 38 places from last year's final doubles ranking of 41 to 13 in the preseason vote. The duo wrapped up the 2000-01 campaign with a 12-14 mark as the No. 2 doubles team for the Wildcats. Larocque and Marino are the projected No. 1 pair for the upcoming season.
Region VIII Tournament (Oct. 25-29): Wildcat freshman Danielle Stadelmann recorded four singles victories to pace Arizona. Stadelmann earned a spot in the main draw by defeating UC-Santa Barbara's Shiho Fukushima, 6-4, 6-2, in the second round of the of the qualifying draw. She was then bounced from the main draw falling to UC Irvine's Jonni Seymour, 6-1, 6-2, but bounced backed to win her next three matches in the consolation bracket before being tripped up in the semfinals by Arizona State's Megan Yeats, 6-0, 6-4. UA freshman Maja Mlakar was the lone Wildcat to notch a main draw victory besting Long Beach State's Anastasia Dvornikova, 6-2, 7-5.
On the doubles side, all three duos - sophomores Debbie Larocque and Perrine Pernin, Mlakar and junior Daniela Torres, and senior Laresa Marino and freshman Marie-Pier Puoliot - all notched opening round main draw victories before dropping their second round contests.
ITA All-American Tournament (Oct. 6-14): Arizona sophomore Debbie Larocque notched an opening round qualifying draw victory over Kansas State's Petra Sedlmajerova, 6-3, 6-1, before falling in the second round to North Carolina's Julie Rotundi, 6-2, 6-2. UA sophomores Maja Mlakar and Perine Pernin were defeated in their prequalifying singles first round contests. Mlakar lost to Alice Pirsu of Pennsylvania, 6-4, 6-3, and Nevada's Biljana Trpeska outlasted Pernin, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. On the doubles side, the No. 13-ranked pair of Larocque and senior Laresa Marino were upset by Texas' Lindsay Blau and Vladka Ulhirova, 8-5 in the first round of the qualifying bracket. Mlakar and Pernin topped Purdue's Gretched Haynor and Melissa Iqbal in the opening round of the prequalifying bracket, 8-1. The duo wasn't able to move past the second round, losing to South Alabama's Josien Boverhof and Dominika Nemcovicova, 8-1.
William and Mary Invitational (Sept. 21-23): Arizona sophomores Debbie Larocque and Perrine Pernin recorded three doubles victories to capture the flight B doubles title. On the singles side, No. 85-ranked Larocque earned a spot in her bracket's finals. Her run included an opening round victory over No. 43-ranked Maren Haus of Wake Forest, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. UA freshman Marie-Pier Pouliot also reeled off three wins to reach her bracket's finals. Pouliot came up a bit short in the championship contest falling to Richmond's Jeannette Cluskey in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. Wildcat freshman Maja Mlakar rebounded from an opening round loss to win her bracket's consolation draw. Overall, the squad compiled a 13-8 singles record and 5-2 doubles mark.
Head Coach: One of the most decorated players in Wildcat history, Vicky Maes returns to the program as the team's head coach.
Maes, 27, has been a coordinator for the past 20 months for the UA athletics department's model program (CATS) to enhance the personal development and community service of student-athletes. Since her graduation from the UA in May 1999 she also has been a tennis instructor on the junior level and spent a year working with the Wildcat program as a volunteer coach.
Maes, a UA honor student with a major in marketing and an international business studies certificate, was a four-time All-American for the Wildcats from 1995-1998 and was the nation's top-ranked player in 1996 and 1997. She was UA's No. 1 singles and doubles player throughout her career and also earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors four times as well as the league Player of the Year honor in 1996.
She was named to the Pac-10 All-Decade team in 1998, won the Arizona Women's Sports Foundation College Athlete of the Year honor in 1996, was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection, a GTE Academic All-America choice in 1996 and a finalist for the NCAA's Great Eight award in 1998. In 1998, Maes received the Ruby Award, recognizing UA's top female student-athlete on and off the court.
Assistant Coach: Simon Thibodeau enters his second season as assistant coach at Arizona. A native of Montreal, Canada, Thibodeau graduated from Sherbrooke University in 1997, with a degree in specialized sports science.
Last Season: The Wildcats look to rebound from last season's 6-14 record that ended their 13 year run in the NCAA Tournament. Freshman Debbie Larocque led the squad in singles victories with 23. On the doubles side, Michelle Gough and Sophie Regnier won 14 matches earning a spot in the NCAA tournament. The duo advanced to the round of 16.