Women’s tennis host San Diego State, men prepare for second half
No. 60 Arizona women’s tennis (9-1) will host San Diego State (5-6) on Saturday at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.
“We know heading into this weekend that we are facing a hungry San Diego State,” head coach Vicky Maes said. “They have lost a few matches recently, but they are a very good team and we are going to have to be on our toes.”
The Aztecs have lost to all the top 60 teams they’ve played so far this season, including Long Beach State, UC Irvine, Pepperdine, Washington, Saint Mary’s and USC.
“I’m excited to play them and I think it is going to be a good matchup,” freshman Lauren Marker said. “We need to go out there and play our game and we should do well.”
Arizona senior Kim Stubbe returns San Diego's serve during the Wildcats' 7-0 win against San Diego at Robinson Tennis Center in Tucson on Saturday. Stubbe is ranked No. 85 by the The Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
The Wildcats are coming off a 7-0 victory over San Diego on Feb. 22. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association now currently ranks the Wildcats as No. 60 in the country. The ITA has also ranked senior Kim Stubbe as tied for 85th and senior Lacey Smyth as tied for 112th in singles play.
“We want to continue our streak at home, especially since these are must-win situations for us,” Maes said. “Our goal is to move up the rankings and make nationals. We know we can do it, but we have to do it step by step and SDSU is yet another opportunity for us to prove our strength as a team.”
The men’s team (9-6) has a two-week hiatus before taking on No. 38 Louisville (7-2) on March 10 at the Robson Tennis Center and starting the second half of the spring season.
“We really challenged the guys the first half of the season with a lot of matches and a lot of playing,” head coach Tad Berkowitz said. “This is the perfect time for us to refresh and regroup both mentally and physically because we demanded a lot out of the guys, so it’s a great opportunity to reset.”
Back from injury, junior Sumeet Shinde was the deciding factor in the match against New Mexico State, where the Wildcats were able to defeat the Lobos 4-2.
“[The match] felt really good and I was really satisfied,” Shinde said. “I didn’t know if I was going to play that weekend, but I kept working on my ankle. For me, playing that weekend was a big thing and then clinching was just satisfying.”
Shinde rolled his ankle in the match against UC Santa Barbara and was not able to play for the last two weeks.
“Sumeet this year has been really playing with a lot of confidence and that helps him, but also helps the team as well,” Berkowitz said. “They see Sumeet playing on the court next to them and that gives the team an extra sense of confidence knowing that he’s out there and knowing that he is one of our go-to-guys.”
—Follow Matt Wall @mwall20