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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    W-tennis squeaks out two wins in close matches

    W-tennis squeaks out two wins in close matches

    For the Arizona women’s tennis team, the past weekend was all about tough finishes.

    Friday’s 4-3 win against Texas Tech was not decided until the final singles match, as victory vacillated between the two teams. It was an inauspicious start for the Wildcats; the duos of Natasha Marks and Claire Rietsch and Ariane Masschelein and Jane Huh fell to their Red Raider opponents. Only Arizona’s Danielle Steinberg and Sarah Landsman were able to secure a doubles win, although the point ultimately ended up going to Texas Tech.

    “”We really didn’t step it up in the doubles department,”” Steinberg said. “”We’re going to start playing Pac-10 schools soon and that’s definitely not going to be enough.””

    Added assistant coach Ryan Stotland: “”Doubles is definitely an area we have to focus on this week.””

    In the singles matches, Steinberg secured a tense and hard-fought win that came down to a third and deciding set. Steinberg prevailed in the first set, 6-1, but lost to her opponent, Samantha Van der Drift in the second by a score of 6-2. Steinberg, however, was able to come away with the win as she beat Van der Drift 7-6 and final set.

    “”I think the reason I got into this mess in the first place was I won the first set pretty easily. She came back, changed her strategy. … I started thinking what if I lose this match, what are we going to do,”” Steinberg said. “”At that point, I just tried to stay composed and see what she did. … I’m pretty sure I had a small heart attack.””

    The true test of composure for the day was that of freshman Debora Castany, whose defeat of Kerryn Potgieter was the match that gave Arizona the win.

    Saturday’s match against Rice was not painless either. Once again, the final singles match would decide the overall winner and once again it was an Arizona freshman who managed to maintain composure and grab the win. This time the match came down to the singles performance of Sarah Landsman.

    “”I think we kind of came into the matches thinking it would be easier,”” Steinberg said. “”They were tough teams, and they were grinding it.””

    Arizona coaches and players conceded that the weekend may have illuminated areas in need of improvement for the players, but there were several positive aspects to it.

    “”It’s good to get out a victory,”” Stotland said. “”We didn’t play our best tennis but we found our way to win. I’ll never count out our girls, because they showed they had a lot of heart this weekend. Those could easily have been a loss. I’m very proud of them, but as a team, we can get a lot better still.””

    Arizona is on the road again next weekend, this time to take on San Diego.

    “”It could have gone either way,”” Stotland said of the weekend. “”It definitely does something when everybody’s fighting hard.””

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