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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Landsman has women’s tennis primed for upset against top-5 L.A. schools

Landsman has womens tennis primed for upset against top-5 L.A. schools

Leading a team is not just about having good communication and being organized, but also about creating trusting bonds with fellow teammates. Senior Sarah Landsman, co-captain of the women’s tennis team, finds a way to balance those.

“She is one of our most consistent players,” head coach Vicky Maes said. “When you look back over the last four years, she’s been able to go on to have the strongest winning record through and through for us.”

Landsman stands at 11-4 overall in singles play in her last year at the UA, and the Wildcats take on No. 4 USC today and No. 1 UCLA on Saturday in Los Angeles.

“She is reliable and a tough competitor,” Maes said. “She is probably the fastest person on the team. She retrieves more balls than anybody I’ve ever seen and she drives people crazy.”

Landsman’s doubles partner, freshman Hailey Johnson, admires Landsman not just as a teammate but also as an individual.

“She is definitely a leader,” Johnson said. “Anytime I don’t know what to do I just have to ask her or just look to see what she is doing, which has been helpful since the beginning. Since my recruit trip I always kind of looked up to her. She is genuinely nice and trusting.”

Landsman came from New York with two goals in mind. The first was to obtain a degree in psychology and the second was to play in one of the top conferences in the country for women’s tennis.

She plans to spend an additional year in school to focus on her career dreams.

“I’m definitely going to have a lot of focus on school because I’m going to be taking a lot of hard classes,” Landsman said. “But I am planning on getting involved to draw up more hype about the tennis team. I talked to people in the media office about potentially doing an internship at McKale.”

Even though Landsman didn’t start playing tennis until she was 14 years old, she said she’ll miss the close competition matches that she has been under pressure to clinch.

Landsman credits the Wildcats’ success to “good recruits coming in and adding depth to the team.”
Arizona is still ranked No. 28 in the country, but will put that rank to the test against two top teams on the road.

“Our team can definitely get at least one win on the road,” Landsman said. “Seeing from last weekend how the team kept up with Stanford and Cal score-wise, I think that we have a really good chance of taking out one of the two teams.”

Thompson leads men’s tennis into weekend at home

Sophomore Kieren Thompson earned the nickname “Killer” by assistant coach Tom Lloyd. The name comes from his natural instinct to go after his opponents until the very last point of the match, making Thompson an asset to the Arizona men’s tennis team, which hosts No. 5 UCLA today and No. 1 USC on Saturday.

Prior to coming to Arizona, Thompson attempted a professional career in tennis. Doubles play was his strength, but he quickly realized the pro circuit was not the right fit for him.

Besides the ideal weather, Thompson’s interest in a quality education brought him to Arizona.
“I was looking to go into business school,” he said. “I heard that the U of A had a pretty good program at the Eller College of Business.”

As a freshman, Thompson finished 7-8 in singles. Currently, his record for the season is 5-7.

“Kieren is a feisty competitor that will do anything he can to win a tennis match,” head coach Tad Berkowitz said. “He brings a high level of intensity to the courts every day that without a doubt influences our team in a positive way.”

Off the court, Thompson does his fair share of activities. His favorite pastimes include playing video games with fellow teammate Mario Urquidi, barbecuing, and listening to both electronic and rap music.

But Thompson would much rather do those after a win.

“We need to jump on the opportunities to win those crucial points,” he said. “We just need to play the ball regardless of the score.”

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