Difficult test awaits Arizona women's tennis

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Nick Smallwood | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona athlete Shayne Austin (Senior) returns a volley in Tucson on Feb. 12.

Another roadtrip will feature yet another difficult test for the Arizona women’s tennis team. The Wildcats will travel to Louisiana to face Louisiana State University and Tulane University this weekend.

The last roadtrip taken by the Wildcats saw them split games with University of Houston and Rice University.

Their first opponent will be the No. 13 LSU Tigers, who have a 9-3 record and only one loss at home this season, making this matchup even more difficult for Arizona.

Sophomore Ryann Foster and junior Joana Vale Costa will try to end the Wildcats' five-game winning streak. Both Foster and Vale Costa carried the Tigers this season.

Foster is undefeated on the year in singles, with a 9-0 record, and her doubles partner Vale Costa is 7-2. In doubles play, the duo has tallied a 9-3 record, an early indication that doubles could decide this match once again.

After Fridays match, Arizona will face what Arizona head coach Vicky Maes calls a “must win.”

“At this stage, facing a team like a Tulane is a must win opportunity that we must take advantage of,” Maes said.

The Green Wave will hope to put a mid-week loss to LSU behind and challenge an Arizona team that will give every ounce of effort against LSU.

Tulane is 3-8 on the season and, aside from the likes of New Mexico State University or Houston, should do little to slow down the Wildcats. The Green Wave suffered some ugly losses this season, including Texas Tech and Ole Miss.

Never the less, the Green Wave will rely on sophomore Naz Karagoz, who was given an American Athletic All-Conference Selection. This season she has a 5-11 record overall in singles, but is by far a top player on the Green Wave’s roster.

It’s fair to say the Wildcats could walk away from another roadtrip with another 1-1 record. But the team's recent five-match win streak leads one to think otherwise.

The key for the UA will be players such as Camila Wesbrooks and Devin Chypyha stepping up and grabbing victories. Both players have impressed lately, but a good performance against a top-15 team in the country will show the potential talent of Arizona.

“LSU has weakness just like every other team and I’m certain we can fight them and get good results out of that match,” Maes said.


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