This Weekend: Arizona travels to Ojai, Calif. for the 100th Annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament this weekend, April 27-30. The Wildcats will be squaring off against its eight conference foes in singles and doubles action. Four UA players earned berths in the singles main draw of the tournament, senior Vanessa Abel, junior Michelle Gough, sophomore Lindsay Blau, and freshman Uzma Khan. The duos of Gough/ Blau and Abel/Khan earned spots in the doubles main draw.
For complete tournament results visit the Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament web site at www.ojaitourney.com.
The Wildcats are 8-11 against ranked opponents this year.
The Lineup: Name Yr. Hometown Lindsay Blau So. Ossining, New York Vanessa Abel Sr. Tucson, Arizona Uzma Kahn Fr. Hyderabad, India Michelle Gough Jr. Johannesburg, South Africa Laresa Marino So. San Diego, California Joanna Buczkowska Jr. Zakopane, Poland Siri Fomsgaard Fr. Copenhagen, Denmark Brooke Taylor So. Newport Beach, California
Last Weekend: The Wildcats finished their regular season falling to in-state Arizona State, 8-1, last Saturday. With the win, the Sun Devils have captured the last five matches against Arizona dating back to the 1998 campaign. UA logged its lone point in the contest at the No. 5 singles spot where sophomore Laresa Marino topped ASU's Mhairi Brown, 6-3, 6-0.
Movin' on up: UA compiled a 9-11 record this season improving on last year's 8-14 mark. Its 3-5 conference record earned them a sixth place finish. Three singles and two doubles teams have been ranked throughout the season. The Wildcats were ranked in the top 25, 10 out of the 13 weeks this season.
Last Season: Arizona finished the season with an overall record of 8-14 placing them sixth in the Pac-10 Conference. The Wildcats advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated by top-ranked Florida. Cats in the Polls: The Wildcats slipped one spot to 21st in the country in the April 26 edition of the WingspanBank.com and Bob Larson Coaches' polls. The sixth individual singles and doubles rankings of the season were released April 26. Sophomore Lindsay Blau vaulted 20 spots to 53rd after enjoying a three-match win streak that culminated in a win over Washingotn's No. 1-ranked Kristina Kraszewski, 6-3, 6-3. Blau and doubles partner junior Michelle Gough moved up a place to ninth with a 24-11 mark. The Region VIII fall doubles title and runner-up at the Indoor Championships highlight their year. Gough and Blau are 4-3 against top 25 opponents this year. Uzma Khan jumped five spots to a tie for 83rd with Texas-El Paso's Tanja Magoc. An upset win over then top-ranked Zuzana Lesenarova in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, highlights her season to date. Junior Michelle Gough dropped out of the polls for the first time this season. Gough's enjoyed her highest ranking of the year in the March 15 rankings when she was 59th after upsetting then third-ranked Kataryna Valkyova of San Diego , 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 15th team rankings of the year will be released May 3. The seventh installment of the singles and doubles rankings will be available. For a complete list of rankings, visit the ITA website at www.ITAtennis.com
Head Coach: Brad Dancer is in his first year as head coach at Arizona replacing Stephanie London. Dancer played No. 1 singles and doubles at Michigan State, graduating with a degree in business in 1993. In his time at Michigan State, 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.
Assistant Coach: Kevin Epley comes to Arizona after serving as an assistant last year at Alabama. In addition to his duties at Arizona, Epley is involved in coaching at the professional tennis level including serving as an assistant for the Fed Cup team under head coach Billie Jean King.
Maes joins C.A.T.S. staff: Volunteer Assistant Vicky Maes stepped down as volunteer assistant tennis coach this past week. The move was prompted by her hiring in the C.A.T.S. office. Maes, a four-time tennis All-American, graduated from Arizona in 98 but not before becoming the most decorated player in the program's history. Maes was a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year, a GTE All-American, and was selected to the Pac-10 All-Decade team.