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Friday March 30, 2001

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UA Weekend Preview

UA women's tennis team seeks to get back on winning track

After weathering a lengthy storm, it is time to get back to work for the UA women's tennis team. A recent stretch against five of the nation's top teams saw the Wildcats go winless, and they look to bounce back against Tulsa on Saturday at noon.

The contest is the last of a four-match homestand and will be played at the Tucson Country Club. The No. 52 Golden Hurricanes (9-4, 2-1) come to Tucson having lost the one previous meeting between the two schools.

It has been two weeks since a difficult 4-3 setback against UCLA, and the Wildcats are eager to get back to their winning ways against Tulsa.

"We have been practicing hard and we are confident and real excited for this weekend," said senior Joanna Buczkowska.

UA head coach Brad Dancer said he likes the attitude his squad has showed in moving past the difficult stretch.

"The girls have done a great job of putting the matches behind them which is difficult when you do not get the results you had hoped for," Dancer said.

As Final Four fever swarms Tucson, Dancer - a Michigan State University alum - looks forward to his team taking care of business against Tulsa, and then watching Arizona handle his alma mater on the hardwood.

"I'll take that sweep anytime," he said. "I just look forward to when it is our tennis team in the final four."

-Dan Komyati

Laxcats host Bruins in Coliseum

Coming off a huge win against No. 9 Auburn, the No. 10 Laxcats will try to keep the ball rolling against Pacific 10 conference foe UCLA. The Bruins are also coming off a win over Auburn so UA head coach Mickey-Miles Felton is anticipating a good game, but expects his team to win handily.

"Their playoff hopes are on the line," Felton said. "But we are stepping up the intensity. Everybody is a little extra excited because of the basketball team, and everyone returning."

Josh Morrison will be returning from an injury suffered during the spring break road trip, and Jay Spatafora will be making his season debut after recovering from a knee injury. While Morrison was out with the injury, freshman Jeems Lochridge stepped in and assumed the role as a primary attacker.

"I think I have shown what I can add to the team." Lochridge said.

This will be the second meeting between the two teams. On March 12th the Laxcats beat UCLA 16-5 in Westwood.

"We beat them pretty good," Lochridge said. "And we didn't even play very well."

The Laxcats host the Bruins at Laxcat Coliseum Saturday at 1 p.m.

-Jeff Lund

Long Distance runners head to Stanford to take part in Invitational

With half the team resting this week, the UA track and field team will be sending the middle- and long-distance runners to Palo Alto, Calif. as they will compete in the Stanford Invitational to be held at Cobb Track and Angel Field.

The meet, long known for its quality of competitors, will start open and collegiate competition tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.

"The Stanford Invitational is the premiere long-distance meet in the country," UA head coach Dave Murray said. "You have to send your runners there to get good times."

The tremendous amount of competition is the reason why junior Tara Chaplin and other Wildcat runners take part in the annual event.

The meet seems to always feature Olympic-caliber runners and this year is no exception. The two Olympic representatives are Gabe Jennings and Michael Stembern - both Stanford runners.

The rest of the team will continue to get ready for next week's Texas Relays, which will take place at the University of Texas in Austin.

- Francisco Merced

Men's tennis greets top-ranked Calif. schools

No. 58 Arizona (9-5 overall, 0-4 in Pacific 10 Conference) is ready to prove they deserve a higher ranking this weekend. The five losses have come to No. 1 UCLA (twice), No. 19 Southern California, No. 21 Arizona State and No. 39 Rice.

"All of our losses have been to top-ranked teams," UA freshman Roeland Brateanu said. "As a team, we belong higher in the rankings"

The first test comes tomorrow against No. 7 Stanford (10-1). This is the first meeting between the two schools of the year. The Cardinal boasts four nationally ranked players in the singles lineup. No. 3 Alex Kim will face junior Steve Capriati. Even though Kim has been ranked in the top three all year, Capriati is ready for the challenge.

"He waits for you to make the error," Capriati said. "I just need to take the initiative early so I'll have a chance."

Saturday No. 30 California (7-4, 2-1) boasts ranked three players in its lineup. The Golden Bears come into town after having their five-match winning streak snapped by No. 2 TCU last week.

But the bottom two positions in Cal's six-man lineup is the main advantage UA seeks to exploit.

"We have three to four players that can play at five and six, it just depends on how we feel about it on Saturday," Roeland said.

Tomorrow's match starts at 1:30 p.m., and Saturday's begins at noon. Both are at Robson Tennis Center.

-David Stevenson