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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Vidaller, Stubbe leading tennis into season’s closing weeks

Tim W. Glass
Tim W. Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Leadership roles are usually reserved for the veterans on any team, but sophomore Kim Stubbe demonstrated a knack for leading the women’s tennis team from her first day as a Wildcat.

“She came in as a freshman, but acted as a senior,” head coach Vicky Maes said. “Kim will gradually take over leadership of the team. She is very comfortable expressing what needs to be said and with the seniors leaving this year, she will step more into that role.”

Stubbe knew if she stayed in Belgium for college she would give up tennis for higher education, but after speaking with a friend that attended Iowa, her eyes opened to a new possibility.

“The minute I was introduced to the American college scene I was sold,” Stubbe said. “I could play tennis and study and that is exactly what I wanted to do.”

Although it was intimidating to leave everything familiar behind, especially speaking very little English, Stubbe found comfort that Maes spoke Dutch as well. Stubbe is double majoring in psychology and French, but finds her life revolves around her team.

“The eight girls on the team became my family,” Stubbe said. “I had to rely on them. I am more comfortable now in every aspect of my life, which also has boosted my confidence.”

With a singles record of 10-6, it is hard to believe that Stubbe struggled with injuries this season. A sprained ankle left her out for two weeks of the season causing her to miss the first week of Pac-12 play. A series of cramps also caused her to retire from a few of her matches.

“I would just come to practice to be around the team,” Stubbe said. “Even though I physically couldn’t contribute, at least I could be there to motivate and support them.”

Stubbe’s fondest memory of the season comes from the USC match when she teamed up with fellow sophomore Susan McRann to win against a top-ranked duo.

“My parents came to the match and I was really nervous,” Stubbe said. “But as the match went on, I just knew we could do this. Getting that win when my parents were there was very special.”

Stubbe and McRann are 10-3 in doubles for the season.

“We complement each other,” McRann said. “She gets my confidence up and in turn that fires me up.”

McRann relies on Stubbe’s energy even in singles play because the two usually play next to each other. This weekend, the team plays at home on Friday against Colorado and Saturday against Utah.

“We all have to step up,” Stubbe said. “Even though Colorado is not ranked doesn’t mean the match will be easy. Winning the doubles point will always give us a huge step forward and can keep us from coming up flat.”

Vidaller, men’s tennis take to Pacific Northwest

From the beginning of the season, sophomore Andre Vidaller suffered from a sore back. By the fifth week of the men’s tennis season, Vidaller went down in excruciating pain during a singles match against Denver’s Enej Bonin.

His hamstring injury kept him out for two weeks, but Vidaller attended every practice and match to support his team. Vidaller’s love for motivating his teammates led him to the active role of being team captain this semester.

“My job is to set a good example on and off the court,” Vidaller said. “To keep the guys motivated, we work out every single day no matter what the weather conditions are. We have goals and we work on those every week. I’m the vocal leader of the team, and that is another way that I like to motivate the team to get them pumped.”

The men’s tennis team travels to Oregon on Friday and Washington on Sunday to continue Pac-12 play.

“Andre will do everything possible to win for our team,” head coach Tad Berkowitz said. “He is a great team player as well as the leader of our team. He is a great example for the team in all aspects of being a student-athlete. He works hard on the courts, classroom, and also spends a great deal of time with community service.”

Vidaller’s record for the season is 4-11, but the majority of his losses were only by two points or taken into three sets.

The men’s tennis team will take on the Oregon Ducks today in Eugene, Ore. The team will then travel to Seattle, Wash., to play the Washington Huskies on Sunday.

“Hopefully we can all play good at the same time because we usually struggle with that,” Vidaller said. “We want two wins this weekend and the team is committed to getting it done.”

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