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Arizona to take on No. 9 USC and No. 11 UCLA
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 04/08/2009
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April 8, 2009

Match Dates: Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11, 2009

Times: 1:30 p.m. and Noon

Location: Tucson, Ariz.

Match Data: No. 61 Arizona (10-7, 1-4 Pac 10) returns to the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center this weekend with hopes to recover from a rough weekend in the Bay Area. On Friday, April 10, the Wildcats will take on No. 9 USC (17-2, 6-1 Pac 10) at 1:30 p.m. before taking on No. 11 UCLA (15-7, 3-2 Pac 10) on Saturday, April 11 at noon.

"We have a great opportunity to challenge ourselves against two of the best teams in the country at home." Said head Coach Vicky Maes. "What I'm looking for is a much better performance than last week. I don't really feel like we showed up to compete, and that was disappointing. This weekend, we need to play our hearts out, and believe that, any given day, we can beat a team like this. But, it cannot be done without a complete team effort."

Last time out: The Wildcats were shut out 7-0 in both matches last weekend against No. 10 Stanford and No. 8 California. These are the first two matches of the season where the Wildcats have been shut out, compared to four times last season.

Cats in the rankings: In the Campbell's/ITA rankings, senior Danielle Steinberg remains the only individually-ranked Wildcat at No. 94. In doubles, junior Claire Rietsch and freshman Natasha Marks remain the only ranked doubles pair at No. 76.

Head Coach Vicky Maes: Vicky Maes enters her ninth year as the head women's tennis coach. One of the greatest players in Arizona women's tennis history, Maes has been at the University of Arizona since 1994. She got her start as a student-athlete, then continued on as a coordinator for the model Life Skills Program and has served as the head coach of the women's tennis team since October 2000. As a student-athlete, Maes was the squad's No. 1 singles and doubles player throughout her entire career. She was named the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year in 1996, as well as being tabbed a four-time first team All-Pac-10 selection. A native of Belgium, Maes has brought great success in her first eight seasons at the helm of the program. Maes led the Wildcats to team and/or individual postseason competition each year, won the 2003 Pac-10 Championships for the first time since 1994, and produced several first team All-Americans and All-Pac-10 players.

Returning Cats: Five players are returning to the Wildcats roster, including senior Danielle Steinberg, juniors Ariane Masschelein, Claire Rietsch, and Natalia Toporoska, and sophomore Jane Huh.

Welcoming the newcomers: The Wildcats welcome three new players to its roster: Debora Castany, Natasha Marks, and Sarah Landsman. In the fall season, Castany won her first two collegiate tournaments as a Wildcat.

The Wildcats also welcome to the team assistant coach Ryan Stotland. In his playing days, Stotland was a college standout at the University of New Mexico. He went from a walk on position to the number one player on the team. Under his leadership, the Lobos captured two conference titles. Individually, Stotland earned the highest accolades in history at UNM, becoming the highest ranked individual at number two in the NCAA in doubles. He was also a finalist at the Icy/Hot All American Championships.

Fall Action: The Wildcats participated in five tournaments during the fall semester, the New Mexico Invitational, the Cal Invitational, the Riveria All-American Main Draw & Qual, the San Diego State Fall Classic, and the ITA Regionals. At the New Mexico Invitational, freshman Debora Castany won her collegiate title, while fellow freshman Sarah Landsman and junior Ariane Masschelein won titles in the San Diego State Fall Classic

Up Next: Next week, the Wildcats finish off the season with a final home match against Portland State on Friday, April 17 at 1:00 p.m. before heading up north to take on conference and in-state rivals Arizona State on Saturday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m.

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