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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

COMIC: Rat’s Nest #3
Olivia MoreyFebruary 28, 2024
 

“M&W; Tennis split travels, weekend”

While the men’s tennis team was on the road in Tuscaloosa, Ala., facing its first test of the season with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Indoor tournament, the Wildcat women hosted NAU this weekend.

While the ITA No. 23 Arizona men (2-1) lost to Alabama on Saturday 4-0 and beat Auburn 4-0, the women (3-0) continued their winning streak to start the season with a 6-1 match win.

“”I’m glad we won,”” said women’s head coach Vicky Maes. “”I think it was a really tough match for us, and I don’t think we played as well as I expected us to play.””

The women started out the day with doubles, with their No. 1 doubles team of sophomore Natasha Marks and freshman Alexandrina Naydenova dominating the ITA No. 35-ranked doubles team of Malia Wahinepio and Orsi Golovics 8-2. The Wildcat’s No. 3 team of senior Ariane Masschelein and junior Jane Huh won as well with an 8-5 victory.

Up 7-2 in the match with just one more game to win, the team of sophomore Sarah Landsman and senior Claire Rietsch ended up dropping their match, as the NAU doubles pair of Nicole Perez and Aimee Oki won seven straight games to make it 9-7 in favor of the NAU.

“”We went to the team room and talked about it, just to let them know that those things happen,”” Maes said. “”And then I called them out to step up in singles and they responded.””

Landsman, the No. 2 singles player cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 victory, while Rietsch, in the No. 5 spot, never lost a game on the way to a 6-0, 6-0 win.

In the No. 1 position for the Wildcats, Marks, the ITA’s No. 46-ranked singles player, returned from an ankle injury to win 6-3, 6-2. The only lost point for the Wildcats on Saturday came on the No. 4 court, where Naydenova lost 7-5, 6-2, 8-10.

“”Today’s match was a good learning experience because (the team) could see that no matter what team you play, you cannot have mental dips,”” Maes said. “”We cannot make the mistake of beating ourselves. We have high expectations, which is great, but … you have to learn to battle.””

Men’s tennis falls to Crimson Tide

The men started the weekend against the No. 25 Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Indoor Championships, but dropped their match 4-0. Three singles matches went unfinished, as Alabama had already clenched the win.

“”When the match was stopped, we were winning on three courts so we had our opportunities,”” said men’s head coach Tad Berkowitz. “”We had a few match points for the doubles point too. It was a close match and they played well. Our guys fought hard and did the best we could.””

The No. 3 doubles team of Andres Carrasco and Andres Arango was the only win the Wildcats earned, but because the entire team did not win at least two of the three doubles matches, Arizona lost the one point possible from doubles.

While Alabama went on to beat the No. 18 Duke Blue Devils on Sunday and win the regional, the Wildcats played in the consolation game against No. 22 Auburn, where they were victorious 4-0.

“”It was a big challenge to turn it around the next day,”” Berkowitz said. “”Our guys came out today with (a) tremendous amount of energy and played with great emotion and fought their tails off, and I was really proud of them for that. They showed a lot of character.””

In that match, the Wildcats won the doubles point by winning two of the three matches in the No. 2 and No. 3 positions, getting the third match suspended because they already clinched the doubles point.

In singles, No. 4 Borja Malo defeated Andreas Mies 6-4, 6-2, No. 5 Geoff Embry defeated Alexander Sajonz 6-2, 6-2, and No. 6 Pat Metham beat Nick Maurillo 6-2, 6-2. Because of these three wins and the previous double point that was earned, the other matches in the 1-3 positions were not finished, as Arizona had clinched that match victory.

Next weekend, the men are off from matches, while the women play Feb. 4 against New Mexico State and Feb. 6 against ITA No. 60 San Diego. Both matches will take place at LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.

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