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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Seniors play in last ASU duel

    Senior Kasia Jakowlew serves during Arizonas 6-1 win over Oregon last weekend. Jakowlew and the Wildcats havent beaten tomorrows opponent, ASU, since her freshman year.
    Senior Kasia Jakowlew serves during Arizona’s 6-1 win over Oregon last weekend. Jakowlew and the Wildcats haven’t beaten tomorrow’s opponent, ASU, since her freshman year.

    It’s been three years since the Arizona women’s tennis team last beat ASU.

    In fact, only two members of the Wildcat’s current roster, seniors Kasia Jakowlew and Jessie Rochefort, even know what it feels like to beat the Sun Devils.

    Tomorrow, the senior duo will have one last chance to relive the moment when Arizona (9-12, 3-4 Pacific 10 Conference) travels to Tempe to take on ASU (11-9, 4-3) in the final match of the regular season.

    The last time the Wildcats beat ASU in Tempe, Jakowlew and Rochefort were merely freshmen splitting playing time with the older girls on the team.

    This year, the two return as seniors, on the losing end of the season’s first meeting. Arizona 6-1, with sophomore Danielle Steinberg picking up the Wildcat’s lone victory at No. 1 singles spot.

    While the team will be seeking revenge, Jakowlew said the match will be “”bittersweet.””

    “”The years go by so fast,”” she said. “”It is really hitting me that this is the last time I am going to be out there.””

    For the players who have yet to beat ASU, Arizona’s previous results against the Sun Devils have been frustrating.

    “”It definitely bothers me that we have been unable to beat them,”” Steinberg said. “”Tennis-wise, I feel we are just as good if not better than them.””

    Steinberg also said that ASU’s inflated confidence over the past five meetings could be a reason for Arizona’s inability to win.

    “”Kasia and Jessie are the only ones to beat them, but most of the girls on the team didn’t beat them yet,”” she said. “”So, maybe they think they have more confidence than us or that we have a lack of confidence. But we approach every match as its own – or at least we try to.””

    To snap its five-match losing streak to ASU, Arizona will also have to overcome the Sun Devils’ home-court advantage.

    Jakowlew said the fans in Tempe “”are pretty brutal.””

    “”They always get a lot of people out there, and they get really loud and in your face,”” she said. “”It can be a little distracting, but in the matches we’ve played so far this year, there have been a lot of fans who’ve bugged us.

    “”I think the girls are used to it by now, and we should be able to handle it.””

    The Wildcats have already put themselves in a good position to make the NCAA Tournament, but a win against No. 20 ASU wouldn’t hurt. Arizona will not know its fate until April 30.

    “”We have a good chance (at making the tournament) since we beat Oregon,”” Jakowlew said. “”But if we can beat ASU, our chances will be even higher.””

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