Newcomers give UA lift for tournament

By Craig Sanders

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona women's tennis team begins play today in the Pacific 10 Conference Indoor Championships in Seattle.

The team will see the return of freshman Vicky Maes and recent addition Eva Maria Schurhoff. Team captain Allison Grace, who won both of her matches last week, will not play in the tournament so she can rest her still-aching back. Walk-on Erin Pavelko also will not play.

"As a senior, I know what to expect and I'm excited about playing. It will be good for everyone," senior Angela Bernal said. "We all had to play above our level. Now that Vicky and Eva Maria are competing, we can shift back into our more natural positions."

The Indoor Championships will be conducted as a flighted tournament in which individual players compete against players of similar seeds. The tournament will not count in the Pac-10 standings.

"At this point it is just important to get a lot of matches in," Coach Becky Bell said. "We are going to face tough competition. There are no easy matches. Most of the teams in the Pac-10 are ranked in the top 10 to 15 teams in the country. I'm hoping to get some of our players (an opportunity to get some) experience."

Bell is hoping the tournament will provide valuable experience to a young team that is bouncing back from injuries and ineligibility. Maes and Bernal will be in the first bracket while Schurhoff and Melody Falco will compete in the second. Stephanie Sammaritano and Betsy Miringoff will round out the third bracket for Arizona.

"I think it will give everyone a chance to compete," Bell said. "I'm really excited about seeing Eva Maria Schurhoff in her first match for us."

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