By Matthew Bassin
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, March 25, 2005
Women's tennis hold court at home
The No. 47 Arizona women's tennis team has a tough task ahead of them if they want another winning streak.
Arizona (6-6, 0-1 Pacific 10 Conference) plays at home today at 1:30 p.m. against No. 12 UCLA (9-4, 2-0) and tomorrow against No. 5 Southern California (10-1, 2-0) at noon at Robson Tennis Center.
The Wildcats were set to face the Bruins and Trojans earlier in Los Angeles, but the games were cancelled because of rain.
In Pac-10 play, only one of the matches counts, so these both are of even more importance to Arizona.
"These are some big matches," said Arizona head coach Vicky Maes. "Our girls are in good spirits, but we need everyone to show up if we're going to beat these teams."
Maes said UCLA has a lot of experience, but the Bruins are beatable.
Assistant coach Brian Ramirez said the doubles point is where it will count for Arizona.
"We need to win in doubles," Ramirez said. "They are very good up and down the line. We need our best effort of the season 1-6.
"They need to play like a fire is under their butt."
Not only are the coaches excited and ready - so are the players.
"I'm really excited to play doubles," said senior Kelly Perry. "I love playing with Jess (Rochefort)."
Perry said she is confident in her team and that winning the doubles point will help them going into the singles matches.
Rochefort mirrors her playing partner's enthusiasm.
"If everyone competes hard, we should do fine," she said. "We need to go out and play the same way as we did against Minnesota. We were relaxed, and that really helps."
Sophomore Kasia Jakowlew is playing better with each match and is also excited for a shot at UCLA and USC.
"We got rained on last time," she said. "But we're recharged from break and more comfortable. The people who needed to step up have done so."
Jakowlew, who celebrates her 21st birthday today, said a win against one of the best teams in the country would be a great present.
"We're ready," she said.
Men's tennis gets second shot at Bruins, Trojans
The No. 45 Arizona men's tennis team is getting another crack at the Los Angeles schools.
The Wildcats (7-6) take on No. 5 UCLA today and No. 9 Southern California tomorrow in Los Angeles.
On the weekend before spring break, Arizona squared off against the Bruins and Trojans, losing 5-2 to both teams but in different ways.
The Arizona men (7-6) failed to win the doubles point against USC, but won two singles matches. Against UCLA, they won the doubles point, and then won only one singles match.
"We're putting ourselves in position," said Arizona assistant coach Tad Berkowitz. "We just need a little more."
Berkowitz is confident his team won't make the same mistakes as before. His players feel the same way.
"We're feeling really confident right now," said senior Paul Warkentin.
"We're going to take it to them hard," said freshman Bruno Alcala.
Arizona needs to win against these teams to get on track in the Pacific 10 Conference.
Arizona is looking to make a surprise impact.
If the Wildcats are going to do that, Berkowitz said, they need to play a little tougher.
"We have got to raise our intensity," he said. "We have to go take it from them, not sit back and wait for it to come.
"We can't expect good teams like UCLA and Southern Cal to fold," he said.
UCLA (15-2, 4-1 Pac-10) is coming off a 7-0 spanking of No. 33 Virginia Commonwealth.
Southern California (7-7, 4-2) emerges from back-to-back 4-3 losses to No. 38 ASU and No. 14 Clemson.