By From staff and wire reports
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranked Arizona's women's doubles senior duo Dianne Hollands and Maja Mlakar as the preseason number one team in the nation this week.
The pair finished the 2003-04 season with a season-high No. 5 ranking overall with a 19-8 record, en route to this year's preseason honor.
Hollands and Mlakar reached the semi-finals of the 2004 Pacific 10 Conference Doubles Championship and ended up losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
"(The ranking) is great news and a testament to how well they played together last year," said fourth-year head coach Vicky Maes. "I hope their ranking motivates them to play well this year. All of last year they were very dependable, so we're expecting a lot of leadership to come from the two of them."
Hollands comes into the season ranked No. 7 by the ITA individually as well. She finished last season as the No. 13 player in the nation with a 31-12 mark and was named to the First-team Pac-10 All-Academic.
"She has never gotten the deserving ranking we think she has earned," said Maes. "Being top 10 in college is very tough to earn, but she is very deserving of No. 7."
After being unranked at the end of last season, Mlakar begins the season with a No. 102 individual ranking. Last year, she entered the year at No. 18 in the preseason ranking, but finished with a record of 14-17 and ultimately fell out of the rankings.
"She can be an All-American in singles and doubles. She's definitely an elite player if she plays tough," Maes said. "She kind of hung her head and let the circumstances take control of her last year. If she wants to, she will be in the top 20."
The Wildcats open their fall schedule at the Baylor Invitational Friday in Waco, Texas.