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Thursday October 5, 2000

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Women's tennis heads to ASU for tournament

By Lindsey Manroel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Three members of the UA women's tennis team take court today at the Arizona State Invitational in Tempe.

Senior Michelle Gough, junior Laresa Marino and freshman Perrine Pernin are will all represent Arizona at the ASU Invitational against Texas, Pepperdine, California, Southern California, UC-San Diego and Arizona State.

The ASU Invitational features some of the top collegiate players in women's tennis. All seven teams competing except for UC-San Diego completed their 1999-2000 seasons among the top-25.

The singles pool will consist of 32 players, 21 of whom earned a spot in preseason rankings and the doubles field will host 16 teams, nine of which are ranked.

All three UA players are heading into this weekends invitational with confidence after performing well in the William and Mary Invitational, Sept. 15-17.

Marino eliminated her opponents to advance to the championship match before she was defeated by North Carolina's Caroline Hill, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Marino sprained her ankle a week later, however, but Arizona head coach Brad Dancer said the injury should not hamper her play.

"It's very tender, but she's managed to play through it," Dancer said.

Marino's confidence has not been restrained despite her ankle injury.

"I personally played well (in the William and Mary Invitational) and have confidence," Marino said. "I have to concentrate on movement, but I don't think (it will hold me back) at all. I have confidence."

Pernin, though, is still trying to find success on the court this season after being defeated in the Mary Flight Fourth Round of the William and Mary Invitational by Wake Forest's Aimee Smith,

However, according to Dancer, this weekend's tournament is about Pernin gaining experience while playing with a different style of tennis.

"We're working a lot on her game and aren't working for results." Dancer said. "We're altering her game, working on using her forehand and being patient with the point."

Gough enters the ASU Invitational ranked No. 3 alongside junior Lindsay Blau in doubles, and No. 64 in singles.

Gough, who will be paired up with Marino for doubles this weekend and is prepared to face her competition.

"I want to get back into the competition mode," Gough said. "Maybe get some wins, but mostly get in some competition."

A key force behind the Arizona's 3-5 Pacific 10 Conference record last season, Blau, will not be among the Wildcats to compete in Tempe.

Blau has not yet played this season due to excessive swelling in her right knee and is currently undergoing physical therapy.

"Lindsay's knee is doing great, and she will be returning (for the ITA All-American Tournament)," Dancer said.