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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Tennis enters last weekend before conference play

    The No. 52 Arizona women’s tennis team will be taking on one of its own when it takes on No. 46 San Diego State Friday and No. 58 San Diego Saturday.

    San Diego head coach Sherri Stephens is an Arizona alumna, having played for the team in the late 1970s.

    Stephens also started off her coaching career as an Arizona assistant coach before starting her current position in 1984.

    “”(The loss) puts more urgency on us to excel on the court.””
    – Peter Zimmer, tennis sophomore

    While Stephens and current Wildcats head coach Vicky Maes never played each other on the court, Maes said they have coached against one another many times and are also close friends.

    “”There’s always a lot of good-natured trash-talking going on when we play each other,”” Maes said. “”But I have a lot of respect for her program. She’s done a good job. She’s always good to compete against.””

    Maes has the upper hand in the friendly rivalry so far, as Arizona has never lost to the Toreros, including a 7-0 sweep the last time the two teams met in 2005.

    Despite the match being against friends, this weekend is a very important one for the Wildcats (1-3).

    After sufferingthree straight losses, Arizona could gain some useful momentum heading into Pacific 10 Conference play with a pair of victories.

    The Wildcats begin Pac-10 play Feb. 16 against Washington State.

    A win this weekend would “”definitely boost our confidence,”” said junior Camelia Todorova.

    “”We have a great team,”” she said. “”We’re just in a bit of a hole right now.””

    Men learn from losses

    Last season, the men’s tennis team rode a six-game winning streak heading into conference play.

    This season, the team is on a three-game skid with two matches to go.

    The No. 72 Wildcats (1-3) have a chance to escape their slump when they take on No. 75 Santa Clara (3-3) Saturday at 1 p.m. and No. 46 Louisiana Lafayette (2-2) Sunday at 9 a.m. at Robson Tennis Center.

    Arizona is coming off two rough losses last weekend in New Mexico, one of which was a 6-1 thrashing by then-No. 73 New Mexico.

    One of the lone bright spots from the weekend was the play of Claudio Christen, ranked No. 86 nationally as an individual. The junior picked up two wins at the No. 1 singles position, including an upset over Nebraska’s No. 78 Adrian Szatmary, 6-3, 6-3.

    “”I was really proud of Claudio,”” said UA head coach Tad Berkowitz. “”It’s a new position for him coming into the No. 1 spot, and coming away with two straight-set wins was a good accomplishment for him.””

    After Arizona went 1-1 over the season-opening weekend, followed by a week off, sophomore Peter Zimmer said the Wildcats hope the Lobos loss was just what they needed to get their season turned around.

    “”I think (the loss) puts more urgency on us to excel on the court,”” Zimmer said. “”It’s just a reminder that we can’t let ourselves get too passive. The main thing is we need to shake it off and remember our potential.””

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