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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


W-Tennis set to finish five-game home stand

Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

It’s always nice to be home. The women’s tennis team knows this and isn’t taking it for granted. The team spent the first five games of their season at LaNelle Robson Tennis Center on campus and has already knocked out three straight wins. With two more potential victories in the upcoming days, playing at UA shows what the home court can do for the team.

“”Playing at home is certainly a nice advantage, especially in the first few matches, as we tend to start out a bit rusty,”” said head coach Vicky Maes. “”You try to keep the environment as comfortable as possible so that the team can be successful and gain confidence.””

This weekend, the 3-0 Wildcats will face off against New Mexico State (1-2) on Thursday and San Diego (2-1), who is ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association at No. 60 in the country, on Saturday.

Both matches will prove to be challenging, although for different reasons. Maes is wary of New Mexico State’s doubles teams, but they need to also keep an eye on senior Sophia Marks, who ITA has ranked at No. 110 in the country for singles. If the name sounds familiar, there’s a reason. Sophia is the older sister of UA’s Natasha Marks, a sophomore, ranked in her own right at No. 46 by the ITA.

“”The key will be to play solid doubles first, starting out aggressive and closing out opportunities,”” said Maes. “”In singles, everyone is playing better and better every match, so we just have to stay the course and battle hard.””

On Saturday at the Robson Tennis Center, San Diego will be the first ranked team the Wildcats have seen all season, and it will provide the first test of the year for Maes and her team to see if they have what it takes to be ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

San Diego has already been tested this season, however. In the ITA Kick-Off Tournament last weekend they upset No. 28 Louisiana State University 4-1 but lost 4-0 to No. 9 USC.

“”USD just came of a great win last weekend so we expect them to come out confident,”” Maes continued. “”We lost to USD last year so we are certainly looking to avenge that match.””

Last year, the Wildcats lost a 5-2 decision against San Diego.

Maes also said knocking off a ranked team would give her team a lot of added confidence. A key to building confidence will be taking matches one at a time, which will, in the end, help the team reach its goals.

The main goal — to become a ranked team — will be put to the test in this weekend’s home stand against San Diego. Regardless of the result, though, the women have numerous opportunities to make their mark in the rest of the season.

Whether they’re at home or on the road, the Wildcats will have to be ready.

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