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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    W-tennis take on tough NAU squad

    The Arizona women’s tennis team hopes to ride the wave of last weekend’s success into Saturday’s match against unranked NAU (0-1).

    The Wildcats (1-0) view the Lumberjacks – a team that succumbed to Arizona State 7-0 on Jan. 24. – as much more of a challenge than their home opener at the Robson Tennis Center, which was a rout of visiting UC-Davis.

    “”We struggle against them,”” said senior Danielle Steinberg. “”Last year we won 4-3, but we know it’s not going to be as easy this match (as UC-Davis).””

    Through Arizona emerged victorious from prior seasons’ meetings with the Lumberjacks, head coach Vicky Maes acknowledged that the gap between the two teams is closing.

    “”We had a tough match with them last year, and I told the girls we can expect the same this year,”” she said. “”They get closer to us every year.””

    In spite of this, the buzzword around Thursday’s practice was “”excited.”” From coaches to players, the anticipation was palpable.

    Assistant coach Ryan Stotland cited the team’s convincing win last weekend, saying, “”We’re excited to play. We’re doing something right, since everyone’s excited … it’ll be another test for the girls.””

    With No. 21 ASU on the horizon, the 11 a.m. match against NAU will be an opportunity to build intensity for that looming rivalry date.

    “”I’m excited about NAU,”” said freshman Natasha Marks. “”We played well last weekend, and they are kind of rivals.””

    In anticipation of Saturday’s match, Maes cited some areas that will be the team’s primary concerns in practice.

    “”The way we have to prepare for this week is we’ve got to work on our doubles a little, tweak a few things here and there, mentally be prepared to play a tough match at home,”” she said. “”We have a long way to go. We had a good start, but it’s a long season. … I definitely expect that this will be a tough match.””

    However, even Maes yielded to the “”e”” word at the end.

    “”This Saturday was such a good showing,”” the head coach added, “”that the attitude and atmosphere in practice will be excited.””

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