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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Tennis squads start Pac-10 slates against SoCal schools

    Arizonas Peter Zimmer returns a serve during Saturdays match against Arizona State. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)
    Arizona’s Peter Zimmer returns a serve during Saturday’s match against Arizona State. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)

    The No. 47 Arizona men’s tennis team enters Pacific 10 Conference play this weekend with great assurance after defeating rival No. 55 ASU last weekend.

    The upcoming conference matches won’t be as easy as the win against the Sun Devils for the Wildcats (9-5, 0-0) when they host two California schools this weekend. Action starts today at 1:30 p.m. against No. 51 Southern California (7-8, 0-0) and continues tomorrow at 1 p.m. against defending national champion No. 8 UCLA (11-4, 0-0) at the Robson Tennis Center.

    “”We beat (ASU) 6-1 and have had a really good week of practice,”” said Arizona assistant coach Cory Hubbard.

    This will be the second time the Wildcats and Trojans have faced each other this season, but it will be the first match to count toward their conference record. In the previous match, Arizona barely lost 3-4, and the Wildcats are hoping to battle it out this weekend for the win.

    “”I think we had a really close match when we played them last time,”” Hubbard said. “”We were actually up 3-2 with two matches in third sets, so we know it will come down to a few points.

    We hope playing at home with a pretty big crowd could be the difference.””

    The competition won’t get any easier tomorrow, when Arizona competes against UCLA. However, the Wildcats aren’t letting that intimidate them going into the match, especially holding the home-court advantage.

    “”We play here every day and our courts are quite a bit different. … It will be quite an adjustment for them,”” said redshirt freshman Peter Zimmer.

    Senior captain Roger Matalonga enters the weekend as the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week after taking last week off for eligibility reasons.

    “”If me and (senior) Jeff (Groslimond) can just battle in (No.) 1 and (No.) 2, it feels like the team is getting there,”” Matalonga said.

    Said Hubbard: “”Our main goal is to compete hard, keep our composure, keep our focus and play with a lot of energy and a lot of heart, and if we play with those things, the results will take care of themselves.””

    Women hope to upset

    California schools on road

    After losing a heartbreaker to No. 13 ASU last weekend, the No. 30 Arizona women’s tennis team hopes to change that outcome on its trip to California this weekend.

    The task ahead for the Wildcats (10-6, 1-0 Pacific 10 Conference) will be a challenge, as they begin their Golden State trek today with No. 3 Southern California (11-2, 1-0) at 1:30 p.m. The competition will ease up a little bit tomorrow when Arizona faces No. 16 UCLA (10-2, 1-0) tomorrow at noon.

    Since the start of the season, nine of the team’s 16 matches have been on the road.

    “”It’s coming to the grinding part of the season and the hardest part,”” said sophomore Juliette Mavroleon. “”We just have to stick together and grind it out for the next weeks.””

    Previously in the season, Arizona faced the Trojans at home but lost 6-1 in a match not counted in the conference standings.

    Even though the traveling can be tedious, the women aren’t letting it get the best of them. They are able to hang out and spend time together, which is important, said freshman captain Danielle Steinberg.

    “”We are excited, and it will be a challenge because (USC and UCLA) are both good teams,”” Steinberg said.

    In singles, it will be a battle of ranked players. Arizona has seen strong play from Steinberg, who currently ranks No. 54.

    Another new addition to the Wildcats who is having a great season is Mavroleon, who transferred to Arizona this year and ranks No. 112. She boasts the squad’s best singles record for the team at 12-3.

    “”I’m not paying attention to it,”” Mavroleon said. “”I just want to focus on my next two matches.””

    The Trojans will have their strongest players ready as well. USC has No. 7 Amanda Fink, a freshman, as well as sophomore No. 48 Lindsey Nelson and two other individually ranked players.

    The singles competition will remain a fight against the Bruins, as UCLA carries five individually ranked players, including No. 17 Laura Gordon, a senior.

    Even though Arizona wasn’t too successful against both teams earlier in the season, the Wildcats know that this is a new weekend that can have a different outcome.

    “”We are confident that we can give them a run for their money,”” Mavroleon said. “”We just want to put pressure on them.””

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