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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Tennis eager to start season

After finishing the 2010 season on a promising note, Arizona men’s and women’s tennis teams start their seasons with high expectations for 2011.

The men’s team, fresh off a 18-6 record and the program’s eighth trip to the NCAA tournament, has an influx of talented freshmen that has the team excited for the season to finally begin.

“”We are just itching to get the year going,”” said assistant coach Tom Lloyd.

A highlight last season was when the Wildcats upset UCLA, defeating their Pac-10 rival for the first time in 70 tries. The team lost three seniors from its squad, but with the addition of a top-ten recruiting class, there isn’t much cause for concern.

In addition to four returning seniors, led by Andres Carrasco who is ranked No. 16 in the Southwest Regional rankings, the team has added the highly touted recruit Giacomo Miccini to its roster from Italy.

“”The sky is the limit with this team, its just a matter of putting it all together,”” Lloyd said.

The men’s first match of the season is tomorrow at home against UC Riverside.

Last year, the women’s tennis team showed great improvement. After going just 7-17 in 2009, the Wildcats improved to 13-8 in coach Vicky Maes’ ninth year on the job.

“”(Last year) we showed huge improvement. We’re excited to get started but we want to be cautious,”” said Maes.

The team is ranked No. 49 nationally and three Wildcats, are ranked individually in the top 20. Freshman Lacey Smyth (No. 14), and Kim Stubbe (No. 18) along with junior Natasha Marks (No. 17) will try and lead the Wildcats to the tournament after just missing it last season.

“”We expect to make it to the NCAAs. If we can compete, I am very confident that we can do that,”” Maes said.

The women’s first game is today at noon against NAU.

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