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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    W-Tennis anticipates rivals

    UA junior
    UA junior

    With ASU looming on Sunday, it would be easy to forget that Arizona women’s tennis team has two other matches this weekend.

    On Saturday, the Wildcats first take on Cal-State Northridge at home at 10 a.m., a match that assistant coach Ryan Stotland cautions the players not to overlook.

    “”We want to concentrate on Saturday and then focus on ASU,”” he said. “”We are ready for ASU … the girls are a little more excited for this match.””

    Cal-State Northridge is 0-1 on their season, having been taken down last weekend 7-0 by Cal-Poly in its home opener.

    Since the spring season began, Arizona has been eager to settle its long-standing rivalry with Arizona State. UA head coach Vicky Maes mentioned them a week before the team’s home opener against UC-Davis as a match of focus.

    When asked about potential rivalries on the season, junior Claire Rietsch and senior Danielle Steinberg answered in unison, “”ASU.””

    “”We haven’t beaten them yet, and this is my fourth year,”” Steinberg said. She added that ASU tends to bring a good number of fans from Tempe, and that it is particularly important to draw UA supporters.

    Adding incentive to an already fuel-charged weekend is the fact that ASU is ranked 19th in the nation. Still, the Wildcats seem comfortable with the underdog role.

    “”I think our players match up very well in every spot and we feel like we have a good chance,”” Stotland said. “”At the same time they’re playing to hold their spot, while we’ve got nothing to lose.””

    The Sun Devils are 3-1 on the season, led by Kelcy McKenna – the Pacific 10 Conference Player of the Week this week. The Wildcats counter that with the dynamic duo of Steinberg, who is ranked No. 91 nationally, and Sarah Landsman, who is ranked No. 96.

    Both matches will take place at home at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

    “”We are not doing anything different,”” Stotland said of this week’s practice. “”We’re not changing anything … we’re going to take this match like any other.””

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