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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Men’s and women’s tennis to swing into momentum this weekend

    A precise and aggressive swing that places the ball just inside the freshly painted line on the opponent’s side for match point is what every tennis player dreams of, but the most prominent swing Arizona tennis teams current have is the swing of momentum.

    The men’s team will match up this afternoon against San Francisco at 1 p.m. and tomorrow against Pacific University at 12 p.m.; both will be held at the Tucson Racquet Club.

    The women’s team will be playing at the Robson Tennis Center today, facing off with Texas Tech University at 1:30 p.m., and Sunday against University of San Diego at 10 a.m.

    Both teams have flawless records and the home court advantage over this weekend’s challengers.

    The men’s team won its first three matches last weekend in shutout fashion, 7-0.

    “”The three matches we won gave me motivation to face USF,”” freshman Andres Carrasco said. “”But every match is a different story; we must be very concentrated and not (think about our past).””

    On the women’s side, freshman Jane Huh said that starting off strong will give them a strong start, “”especially in doubles – it gives us a boost.””

    Huh’s greatest challenge will be to get back on the court and play as well as she did in the previous matches. Intense training and overuse has caused her foot to strain.

    “”I can only hit for like 20 minutes,”” Huh said. “”So hopefully I won’t come out rusty (today) or Sunday.””

    Many of the players grasp the mindset of starting each match as a fresh palette, others pocket the momentum and bring it to their next match.

    However, women’s team captain Danielle Steinberg, No. 46 in ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings, sees the matches against the Red Raiders and Toreros as practice.

    “”We see this weekend as another week of preparation before the (Pacific 10 Conference) matches start,”” said Steinberg, who is ranked No. 1 on the team. “”This is actually a pretty good weekend for us to get confidence and get some wins, especially for the new girls- they’re still adjusting to Arizona.””

    It is the first semester for junior Claire Rietsch, as she transferred from Southern Methodist University after injuring her wrist. Though she has been recovering, Rietsch has earned the No. 2 spot on the team. Her goals are straightforward and simple for the weekend.

    “”I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, I didn’t play for a while,”” Rietsch said. “”I just need to play well and win my matches.””

    Easier said than done.

    Carrasco’s main goal for this weekend is to “”keep up the same attitude (he) had in the first three matches.””

    “”I want to give a hundred percent on the tennis court and enjoy – I do not like to think beyond this,”” Carrasco said.

    Falling more on the ‘enjoyable’ side of things, a few of the players have pre-game rituals, or superstitions they perform on game day.

    For example, Huh is superstitious about where she puts her towel and water bottle.

    “”If I don’t do it the same every time, I feel kind of iffy (about my performance),”” Huh said.

    During a match, Metham constantly resets his strings and fiddles with his wristband.

    “”I always bounce the ball twice before I serve,”” Metham added.

    Steinberg wouldn’t consider herself superstitious, but she said that her coaches call her “”a little bit anal with (her) warm up””. To get in the rhythm, she sets time aside for a solo jam session.

    “”Before a match, I need to be alone with my music,”” Steinberg confessed. “”It’s pretty intense stuff- a lot of heavy rock with lots of yelling. I turn it up really loud; my teammates can’t handle it.””

    The wide-eyed Wildcats are hungry for a victory and ready to perform after a week off.

    “”We may be favored on paper but we will certainly not overlook either team,”” Maes said. “”I look for the girls to play with more and more confidence each time they step on the court.””

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