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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Women’s tennis hosts San Diego, men travel to New Mexico State

Rebecca Marie Sasnett
Rebecca Marie Sasnett/ The Daily Wildcat Freshman Lauren Marker plays in the singles Wildcat Invitationals Friday, Oct. 11, 2013.

Arizona women’s tennis (8-1) hosts No. 74 San Diego (2-4) on Saturday at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

“We’re excited to be back at home,” head coach Vicky Maes said. “We always have close battles with USD, so we expect that they will come out ready to compete hard.”

The Wildcats are coming off their first loss of the season, against Texas Tech 6-1 last weekend, but then battled back the next day against Georgia State to win 5-2.

“The loss against Texas Tech was disappointing,” Maes said. “I do not feel we played at our level. But we came out the next day against a solid Georgia State and showed mental toughness coming back from behind to win that match 5-2.”

San Diego is coming off two losses against Washington State and Gonzaga last weekend. The team is led by coach Sherri Stephens, who is in her 29th year as head coach.

Leading the Wildcats are senior Lacey Smyth and freshman Lauren Marker. Smyth is coming off a huge victory against No. 115 Kenna Kilgo and Marker has been a standout player for Arizona.

“Lauren Marker has been quite impressive,” Maes said. “She is very coachable and willing to work at improving in those areas that will make her a better college player.”

The men’s team will travel to Las Cruces, NM to take on New Mexico State (6-3) on Sunday.

“They are a talented team and have some good players,” head coach Tad Berkowitz said. “It’s always been more challenging, just like any sport, playing on the road. We like where the team is and where their heads are at right now.”

Sophomore Naoki Takeda has been leading that momentum and has been a difference maker for the team.

“Naoki has been huge for us,” Berkowitz said. “His experience last year and his enthusiasm on the court is definitely contagious with the rest of the guys and he has the best record on the team right now.”

Last weekend, Arizona defeated Idaho 7-0, but then were defeated by Nevada 5-2. Senior Mario Urquidi and freshman Matt Dunn were the only ones to win their matches against Nevada.

“I think it is a good opportunity for us to bounce back from the loss against Nevada and get some more guys some more experience and some more matches,” Urquidi said.

NMSU is coming off two wins against Idaho and Kansas City.

“New Mexico State has a talented group, but I like our chances,” Berkowitz said.

—Follow Matt Wall @mwall20

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