Men and Women's Tennis both struggle over weekend

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Emily Gauci | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona women's tennis player Lauren Marker reaches for a shot during Arizona's 5-2 loss to USC at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center on Friday. Marker and the Wildcats struggled over the weekend against UCLA and USC.

Arizona women’s tennis is ranked No. 41 but has not started out the Pac-12 Conference matches in a positive way.

The Wildcats could not get it together and dropped to 3-4 in Pac-12 play, after being defeated by California and Stanford last weekend, as they lost, 5-2, to No. 1 ranked USC on Friday.  

The Wildcats were not able to win the doubles point even though senior Laura Oldham and her freshman partner Devin Chypyha beat opponents Zoe Katz and Meredith Xepoleas on court three.

“Obviously, our doubles have improved a lot in the last couple weeks,” Arizona women’s tennis coach Vicky Maes said. “For that, I’m happy, but I do think that we need to show up on the big points, which I don’t think we are always ready to do.”

Briar Preston, Shayne Austin, Lauren Marker and Inge Hendrikx competed on courts one and two for the Wildcats but failed to win match points.

“Good job on three winning that and two being up 6-4,” Maes said. “They, too, kind of crumbled a little bit, and you go down that doubles point against the best team in the country, you’re not going to get a whole lot more opportunities after that.”

Although doubles, or the match in general, did not go the Wildcats’ way, sophomore Marker, who is ranked No. 80, took down No. 11 ranked Giuliana Olmos and senior Preston, ranked No. 114, took down No. 49 Zoe Scandalis.

“It feels amazing; I wish we could have won as a team, but obviously getting that high ranked win boosted my confidence, and it just shows that anyone can beat anyone,” Marker said. “I was down 7-4 in the 10-point tiebreaker, and I was just like, ‘OK, it’s only six more points; you can do this. Just stay in the moment, one point at a time,’ and I finally pulled it out, and it was pretty cool.”

The Wildcats played UCLA on Saturday and lost 7-0. Preston and Austin won on court one, 8-5. Marker, Hendrikx, Oldham and Chypyha could not get it done on courts two and three.

Marker was defeated by No. 1-ranked Robin Anderson on court one, 6-3 and 6-2, and Preston was defeated on court two by No. 46-ranked Jennifer Brady 6-3, 6-2.

It was a special match for Preston and Oldham, despite Arizona not coming out on top, as it was their last time playing on the Arizona courts.

“It was really weird,” Preston said. “It kind of hasn’t set in that this is the last college match that I will ever play at my home school. It was nice to have a solid doubles win.”

The Arizona women head to Seattle for a matchup with Washington on Friday and Eugene, Ore., to take on the Ducks on Sunday.

The Arizona men’s tennis team traveled to Los Angeles this weekend where it took on UCLA and USC. The conference matches have not been going its way either, as it lost to UCLA 4-0 and to USC 6-1 to drop to 0-4 in conference play.

Senior Sumeet Shinde, sophomore Will Kneale and junior Trevor James all had unfinished singles matches on Friday, as the rest of the Wildcats players were taken down in just two sets.

Jose Zamorano got the only point for the Wildcats on Saturday and received his first career win, 6-3, 2-6 and 6-4. Junior Naoki Takeda, one of Arizona’s top players, has been injured for the past three matches.

“Naoki being out has created an opportunity for some of the other guys to take on different rolls,” Arizona assistant coach Arron Spencer said. “As a group, they have done a great job making up for the passion and fight that he brings to the match.”

The Wildcats head home for a Friday matchup against Oregon and their final home match of the season Sunday against Washington.

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