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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona women’s tennis victorious over UNLV and Loyola Marymount

The Arizona women’s tennis team traveled to Las Vegas, Nev., this weekend to play UNLV and Loyola Marymount and came back to Arizona with two victories. Arizona defeated UNLV 6-1 and LMU 5-2. No. 68-ranked Arizona had trouble building up its momentum from the start, and doubles still appear to be something it has to work on. Arizona coach Vicky Maes did not want the team to start a match with sloppy play, since it is important to win the point for the doubles.

“Last weekend, we came out tentatively on the first day, and that was costly,” Maes said. “This weekend, I didn’t want to have a sloppy start.”

The team came out strong against UNLV on Friday where it won the doubles point, but it fell short in doubles to LMU on Saturday.

The team had to put up a fight with court speed wind and altitude, which forced it to make adjustments.

No. 115-ranked sophomore Lauren Marker used the conditions to her advantage to win a point in singles for her team.

“In this case, the wind was pretty bad when we played LMU Saturday,” Marker said. “But, we couldn’t let the wind get the best of us — and we had to keep in mind that our opponents had to play in the wind, too ­— and I think we did a really good job of not letting it get into our heads.”

Even though Marker earned a point for her team in singles, there are still some things she said she wants to work on during practice to improve her game.

“I have been working on implementing coming into the net more often in matches,” Marker said. “It’s not an area that is too strong for me, but I’m working on it, and it does allow me to look for opportunities to finish the point at the net instead of resetting the point from the baseline.”

She has also been working on her first serve in order to get it to the offense right away so she can get a few extra free points.

Marker said she keeps a strong mentality and focuses on the team, because she sees her teammates playing for her the same way that she is playing for them.

“Staying focused is always a tough part about tennis,” Marker said, “but I think it’s a lot easier to stay focused during team matches versus individual fall matches, because you have your six other teammates and three coaches out there that you are competing for, too. Seeing my teammates fighting hard to win their matches next to me is really what helps me stay focused to win mine for them.”

The weekend ended in the Wildcats’ favor as they were able to pick up two victories on a challenging road trip. The team still has a lot to improve on for the rest of the season and will start Thursday against NAU at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center at 2 p.m.

“We are pretty young, and every match offers us the opportunity to mature a little more,” Maes said. “But, it is a long process, and we have a lot of tennis left to play.”

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Follow Stevie Katz on Twitter.

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