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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Women’s tennis opens Pac-10 slate

    After getting its season back on track last weekend with two wins in San Diego, the women’s tennis team will begin the biggest part of the season this weekend.

    The Wildcats kick off Pacific 10 Conference play against No. 56 Washington State today at 1:30 p.m. and meet unranked Washington Saturday at noon at Robson Tennis Center.

    Washington State (8-1) enters on athree-match winning streak. The Cougars’ only loss of the year was a 4-3 defeat to No. 75 Nevada Feb. 3.

    “”Washington State has a good team this year,”” said UA head coach Vicky Maes. “”They have the confidence going in because they are 8-1. (But) overall, I think we are the better team.””

    Arizona is 11-1 all-time against the Cougars.

    Coming into town with Washington State is Ekaterina Burduli, a childhood friend of Arizona sophomore captain Danielle Steinberg. The two grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel and began playing tournaments against each other when they were 10 years old.

    The two came to America to pursue different college careers but still hit during the summer.

    Steinberg’s defeated Burduli in their meeting last season and could add another win in the series today, as the two will face off at the No. 1 singles position.

    Burduli is ranked No. 85 and Steinberg is unranked.

    “”We’ve played each other thousands of times; it is always really close,”” Steinberg said. “”But overall I think I have more wins.””

    Closing out matches has been an issue for Arizona (3-3) this season, and the team hopes to remedy it before they begin playing the Pac-10’s more difficult teams.

    “”We definitely know what the problem is,”” said senior Kasia Jakowlew. “”We just need to execute better and close out when we are up.””

    The Wildcats will also focus heavily on their doubles game. Last weekend, Arizona won both of their doubles points and came away with two victories.

    “”The doubles point is going to be an important factor,”” Jakowlew said. “”It gets us boosted up for singles, so if we can get it, it will really help us out.

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