Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Arizona to Open Dual Match Play against UC Davis, then NAU
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 20, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Last Time Out: The No. 42 Wildcats began the spring season in Seattle, Wash., for the Pac-10 Indoor Championships last weekend, playing in three singles and two doubles draws.  Senior Kelly Perry and junior Stephanie Balzert won the Flight II Doubles bracket, defeating two pairs from Washington and one from Oregon.  Sophomore Kasia Jakowlew claimed the Flight III singles title by defeating Washington’s Monika Kolbovic in the first round before winning three consecutive matches against Oregon players.  Of Jakowlew’s four victories en route to the championship, three of the matches went three sets, with Jakowlew having to come from behind after losing the first.


Opening Up: Arizona has won 10 of its last 11 dual match openers.   The last season-opening loss came at UCLA in 2001.  The Wildcats are 15-0 when opening the season at home.


Against UC Davis: Friday’s match against the Aggies will be the first in the program’s history for the Wildcats.  Arizona is 7-1 when facing UC schools that are not in the Pac-10 Conference, but is 16-63 against those in the Pac-10.


Scouting the Aggies: Despite no players ranked in national or regional rankings, UC Davis went 11-8 in the 2004 season, and Head Coach Bill Maze boasts a career record of 123-73 (.628) in his 10 years at Davis.  In contrast to Arizona, whose eight players were each born in a different nation, all 12 UC Davis players hail from California.


Against NAU: Arizona holds an 11-0 advantage when facing its in-state counterpart.  The Wildcats last faced the Lumberjacks in the 2004 season-opener, defeating NAU 7-0.


Scouting the Lumberjacks: NAU went 10-14 in Coach Albin Polonyi’s first season with the school.  The Lumberjacks finished second in the Big Sky Conference with a 6-2 record.


National Rankings: Senior Dianne Hollands begins the season ranked No. 23, while senior Maja Mlakar opens at No. 63. In doubles, Hollands and Mlakar rank No. 17. Of the top 40 singles players, 10 hail from Pac-10 schools. In addition, eight of the top 60 doubles pairs represent the Pac-10.


Western Region Rankings: Hollands ranks No. 3 in the Western Region, while Mlakar is ranked No. 9. Junior Stephanie Balzert is tied for the No. 30 spot in the regional rankings.


Fall Action: After finishing the 2004 season ranked No. 39 as a team, Arizona entered the fall with high expectations. Hollands was ranked No. 7 nationally, and the pair of Hollands and Mlakar earned the billing of No. 1. Hollands finshed the fall with a singles record of 7-7, while Mlakar went 6-3. Balzert led the team with 10 wins. Freshman Camelia Todorova wrapped up her first taste of college tennis with a 8-7 record. In doubles play, Hollands and Mlakar went 6-5.

Next Week: Arizona’s third and fourth matches of the season will come at home next week against Texas-El Paso and No. 39 Sacramento State on Jan. 27 and Jan. 29, respectively.




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