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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Women’s tennis team starts slow in Pac-10 Conference

    For a team that has struggled for weeks to be successful in their doubles game, the Arizona women’s tennis team has cause for celebration.

    Against No. 45 Oregon on Friday, senior Danielle Steinberg and freshman Sarah Landsman, who have been a dynamic doubles pairing all season, won their doubles match.

    Junior Ariane Masschelein and sophomore Jane Huh have struggled, but managed to win their first doubles match against the Ducks.

    Arizona was able to secure the doubles point for the first time since its match against Cal State-Northridge on Feb. 7.

    “”This is definitely the best doubles setup feel we have,”” said UA head coach Vicky Maes. “”For us to win the doubles point, we have to be tough. We can’t just wing it. We have to pay attention, close out opportunities, play tough all the way through. This lineup works for now.””

    However, it came at the expense of the singles game, as Steinberg, freshman Natasha Marks, Huh, and freshman Debora Castany all fell to their singles opponents.

    Only Landsman and Masschelein were victorious, Landsman defeating the Ducks’ Ana Cecilia Olivos 6-4, 0-6, 7-5, and Masschelein besting Madelie Janse van Rensburg 6-7, 6-3, 6-0.

    “”It just didn’t feel like we played with a lot of focus or were mentally tough in the singles,”” Maes said. “”It was great for us to win the doubles point and we had really good energy. To finally pull it off at that point, I thought, ‘Okay, it’s a great start, we’re going to translate that energy into our singles.’

    “”Every match went three sets so obviously it could have gone either way,”” she added. “”I didn’t feel like either of the four matches that we lost anyone really stepped up. … Every opportunity passed us by and before you know it, we lose a match.””

    This match was particularly significant for the Wildcats because it marked the start of Pacific 10 Conference play.

    “”To be honest, I think our freshmen didn’t really get that sense of urgency that they needed to have,”” Maes said. “”I think that maybe hurt us this weekend, that they didn’t understand the magnitude of it. I think it really sank in after the match. I don’t question the talent that we have on this team.

    “”I feel like the mental toughness that we talked about all week was missing,”” she added. “”Not the talent, not our ability, but definitely our head.””

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