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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Women’s tennis wins season opener

    The Arizona women’s tennis team grinded out a 4-3 victory over NAU Saturday to open its spring season, improving the Wildcats to 15-0 in home dual match openers since 1994.

    While the Wildcats have never lost a match to the Lumberjacks, improving to 15-0 with the win, a young Arizona team had to fight throughout the day.

    “”This was not a pretty match by any means,”” said Arizona head coach Vicky Maes. “”I don’t think we played nearly as well as we should be when we start Pac-10 play. But you know, NAU is a great team, they showed up, they’ve been getting better every year we’ve played them and I knew this was going to be a tough match. I kind of liked that we got challenged at every position.””

    With only three returnees on this year’s team and five newcomers, the brunt of the leadership falls on junior Danielle Steinberg, Arizona’s lone upper classman.

    “”I don’t see it as pressure,”” Steinberg said. “”It’s kind of been my job since I got here. I’m older than everyone so I’m kinda like they’re mom I guess, I don’t know. I try to set an example. I embrace that.””

    Steinberg led the way with a strong showing in the No. 1 spot against Lumberjack freshman Kim Van Ginkel, winning 6-4 and 6-1. After putting away a visibly frustrated Van Ginkel in two sets, she spent most of the afternoon cheering on her teammates.

    “”We feel pretty good, but it’s going to be a tough year,”” she said. “”Most of the team is young. We fought really hard, they challenged us, but we got through it.””

    One of the hardest fights of the afternoon was the pivotal match between Wildcat freshman Jane Huh and NAU freshman Orsi Golovics. Playing her first ever college match, Huh came out on the top of the grueling, two and a half hour contest.

    Huh jumped out to an impressive start, taking the first set 6-0, but then let Golovics back in the game, falling 5-7 in the second set with Arizona’s overall outcome still very much in doubt.

    “”I don’t think she really understood with three matches left to go that we hadn’t really closed it out on the win,”” Maes said.

    Huh collected herself to win the third set convincingly, 6-2.

    “”I guess I got kind of nervous that I was actually going to win and I kind of got tentative,”” Huh said. “”In the third I got my head into the game, I was excited and my whole team was cheering me on so I got more energized.””

    Maes said she was impressed by Huh digging in to win the match.

    “”To go down and lose a set and then to have to pick yourself, I think that was really impressive,”” she said.

    Huh was the only newcomer to win a match, as sophomores Ariane Masschelein and Claire Reitsch both lost in three sets.

    “”The other two, the newbies, they lost, but it was third set, really tight, really close. They fought which was the most important thing,”” Steinberg said.

    Men’s tennis

    The Arizona men’s tennis team concluded play Sunday in the National Collegiate Tennis Championships in Palm Springs, Calif., one of the premier individual tennis tournaments in collegiate tennis.

    The Wildcats sent three team members, juniors Pat Metham and Peter Zimmer and freshman Andres Carrasco, to participate in what is sometimes referred to as the “”Wimbledon”” of college tennis.

    “”This tournament was excellent for our guys to be able go up against some good players, said head coach Tad Berkowitz. “”Now they can’t wait to get our dual match schedule under way.””

    Metham and Carrasco both found success in singles play, as Metham – who is new to the team – won his first match for Arizona by knocking off Juan Gomez of San Diego State; 6-2 and 7-6.

    Carrasco followed up Metham’s victory by beating SDSU’s Matan Shitrit 6-1, 3-6 and 6-3.

    Zimmer, on the other hand, wasn’t as lucky, as he faced off against SDSU’s Barty Golas, and fell 6-4, 6-7, and 6-3.

    Despite some early success, the Wildcats could not get any farther than the quarterfinals with Metham and lost after taking the first set, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0, against SDSU’s Achim Ceban.

    Metham also fell in his quarterfinal match against Bruno Rosa of Rice; 6-2, 6-4.

    The Wildcats ran up against SDSU again in doubles play, with Carrasco and Metham being defeated by SDSU’s team of Juan Gomez and Andre Feliz; 8-6.

    In the long run, the tournament could serve as good preparation for Arizona’s schedule down the road as the team will meet both Rice and SDSU next month.

    Arizona kicks off its home schedule this Friday against Gonzaga.

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