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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


W-tennis looking to build momentum

Matches at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association West Regionals in San Diego, Calif., are set to kick-off today, with eight Arizona women’s tennis players in competition.

Representing the Wildcats will be seniors Claire Rietsch and Ariane Masschelein; junior Jane Huh; sophomores Debora Castany, Sarah Landsman and Natasha marks; and freshmen Shannon Cassidy and Elizabeth Hammond.

The regionals will be the first action Arizona has seen since its successful showing at a pair of southern California tournaments earlier this month. Head coach Vicky Maes took advantage of the break to gear her team up for the important event.

“”Practice has been productive and the team’s spirit is high,”” Maes said. “”We worked on a lot of different things in practice, things (the team) knows they need to add to their games, yet it’s a big hurdle to actually do that in a match.””

Assistant coach Ryan Stotland stressed the importance of each player taking something away from these matches to help develop their play. 

“”If they win the tournament, that would definitely be great … We want them to win,”” he explained. “”But that’s not the most important thing right now — improving the games of individual players is.””

Maes added, “”Basically, we want the girls to go out and explore their games a bit.””

The tournament will feature a main singles draw with a field of 128, along with a doubles draw of 64, both of which will have Wildcats in competition. Marks, Landsman and Masschelein will be seeded players in the singles bracket.

The regionals are a good chance for the Arizona team to match up against talented players from good programs, some of which they will see down the road in Pacific 10 Conference play, including USC, UCLA and ASU. 

“”We play in one of the toughest regions in the country,”” Stotland said.

With limited match-play left in the fall, these individual-oriented tournaments present the team with great opportunities to build momentum toward the spring, when team play begins.

“”The bottom line is that we need to keep everyone relaxed,”” Maes said. “”And that each player understands and accepts that winning this early in the year is not nearly as important as working on the different dimensions of their games.””

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