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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Women’s tennis stays undefeated, men’s coach looks to build a powerhouse in the desert

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Ryane Murray
Arizona players Trent Botha (left) and Andres Reyes (right) celebrate their success as doubles partners during the match againt Saint Mary’s.

The seventy-degree weather wasn’t the only perfect thing about the weekend in Tucson, as both the men and women’s tennis teams closed out the weekend with convincing wins that saw them put together a combined 5-0 record for the weekend homestand at the LoRelle Robson Tennis Facility.

The Women

The women’s team faced off against a feisty Utah State squad that threw everything it could at the Wildcats. 

“I really felt like we got pushed in every single match, it didn’t matter what the score looked like; every match we played this weekend could have gone either way,” said Arizona womens tennis head coach Vicky Maes.

Arizona’s womens team fell in an early hole on Sunday as they dropped the doubles point to Utah State, but the Wildcats stormed back in the singles portion thanks to a mix of veteran leadership, and youthful energy.

Arizona’s top four tennis players dominated the singles portion of the day which, ultimately, sealed the Wildcat victory. The team comeback was started by junior Camila Wesbrooks, who set the tone by performing a comeback of her own, fighting back from an 0-3 hole in the first set, to winning the next 12 of 13 games to win her match against Hannah Jones 6-3, and 6-1. 

 “I didn’t go out hitting the way I wanted to hit, and I was nervous and so I wasn’t swinging through my shots, but then my coach told me ‘Camila, let loose, and go for it, hit to her backhand, that’s where she breaks down’, so I did, and I kept my cool and got it together, even though it wasnt the prettiest tennis, it worked, and I did what I had to do,” Wesbrooks said.

The women’s team won the match 5-2, as they start their season 3-0 and looking forward to another homestand next weekend against the University of San Diego, and in-state-little-brother Grand Canyon University, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Men

For the men’s team, things went much smoother than anticipated, as the Wildcat men rattled through the Gaels of Saint Mary’s one after another, winning the match 7-0, with only one match going into the third frame. 

They were led by junior transfer Jonas Maier, who battled back in forth with St. Mary’s Damon Kesaris in not only the singles portion but also facing him in doubles. Maier set the tone energy-wise and focus-wise for his teammates, who fed off his hustles and grit.

Men’s head coach Clancy Shields, who coached Maier at his previous coaching position with Utah State, had nothing but praise for the team captain.

“It really reminds me of what Coach Sean Miller said about Dusan Ristic last night, just a guy who really works hard, not the most talented player, but works his tail off, and he’s on the #1 court winning for us. Its exciting when guys work hard, they are coachable, and they compete and good things happen to them. I thought that was real cool of Dusan yesterday, and Jonas today, and good things happen to those who work hard,” Shields said.

The dominant team win had coach Shields in great spirits, as he saw many encouraging things, and he gave some insight into his outlook on his program.

“We just got a lot to work on, but I think the biggest thing is the belief, I think we have just lost so much for so long, and just getting guys to believe that we are going to win. We are the University of Arizona, and that means something, and having them going out there represent that…We should be a tennis powerhouse here, its all about just getting it into their minds and doing it.”

Shields looks to take his team that is brimming with a newfound confidence and swagger on the road against the University of Indiana, which will take place Sunday, Feb. 4 in Bloomington. 

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