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The Daily Wildcat

Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona all aces

The Arizona women’s tennis team went into the weekend on fire and the country started to take notice, rewarding the Wildcats with an unprecedented 15 spot climb in the ITA National Rankings to No. 26.

The Wildcats have never really been in the national spotlight, and the new ranking brought attention to the women, so the question going into the weekend was whether or not they were up to the challenge of living up to these new expectations.

As it turns out, this newfound spotlight didn’t affect them in the slightest.

The Wildcats (12-2) cruised to back-to-back 6-1 victories over Pacific 10 Conference opponents Oregon and Washington State. A key part of the team’s success has been junior Natasha Marks, who jumped back into the national rankings at No. 99 in singles, along with being ranked at No. 67 in the doubles rankings with partner Sarah Landsman.

This weekend, Marks won all four of the matches she participated in and has been the driving force in the team’s recent success.

“”She can do it all,”” said assistant coach Ryan Stotland. “”She has all the ability in the world. When she comes and plays the way she is capable of, she is scary for the other girls to play.””

But Arizona’s success hasn’t solely been a product of Marks’ spectacular play of late.

“”Overall, the girls have been playing better,”” said head coach Vicky Maes. “”We’ve won the doubles point more often in the last few weeks. We’re still very strong at all positions. Although, we are struggling a little bit at (position) six, but (freshman) Susan Mc Rann has started to play a lot better at (position) five, which gives the top four players a little more relief. Overall, we feel like we can win at every single spot in the lineup.””

On the men’s side, the Wildcats bounced back from its recent struggles and beat Sacramento State, 4-3, and New Mexico State, 6-1.

With the two victories, the No. 42 ranked Wildcats improved to 8-5 overall and an impressive 7-1 at home. Following the win over New Mexico State, which snapped that Wolfpack’s six-match winning streak, head coach Tad Berkowitz couldn’t have been happier.

“”The guys played a complete match today,”” Berkowitz said. “”Across the board they competed very well and got the job done.””

On Sunday, the Wildcats’ No. 107 ranked senior Andres Carrasco defeated the No. 77 Arthur Surreaux by scores of 6-1 and 6-1.

 

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