The No. 54 Arizona women’s tennis team prevailed over San Jose State 5-1. This caused Arizona to improve to a 7-2 record on the season.
Throughout the match, there were moments when either team could have over powered the other and gone home as the victor. Both teams were evenly matched; it was almost impossible for anything to separate the Spartans from the Wildcats.
The duo of Lauren Marker and Shayne Austin failed to win the tiebreaker doubles round against SJSU’s Marie Klocker and Gaelle Rey. Arizona quickly found themselves in a hole already down a point.
The Wildcats, however, rebounded in singles play, putting their hearts and souls into every point.
“We all had great starts to our singles and then he hit a hurdle ... the girls were playing into three sets," said Arizona Head Coach Vicky Maes. "It easily could have. But we kept on going, played with heart and were able to get through it.”
Reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week Marker played a brilliant match, winning once again in straight sets (6-1, 6-1) against SJSU sophomore Sybille Gauvain.
The player with the toughest match of the day was fellow MAC member senior Austin, who went into three sets with the Spartans' No. 82-ranked athlete, Klocker.“I saw my teammates all [around] me playing really tough and it helped me see that I had the skill to come back and get that third set,” Austin said.
Despite the third set not being completed, Austin continued to fight no matter how much she was down. She was one of three Wildcats who had to play three full sets. Freshmen Camila Wesbrooks and Kinga Garnter also went the distance, both coming away with wins.
Next up for the Wildcats will be a tough match against the undefeated No. 39 Long Beach State.
Long Beach State has blown away every opponent it has faced so far this season, losing just three points all spring.
The 49ers' roster is loaded with talent. Five of the nine players on the roster have been given all Big West honors for the last two seasons.
Ebba Unden and Maeva Razakasoa are the top players for the 49ers. Razakasoa was named conference Player of the Year in 2014. Both players have already reached double digits in the win column.
But the talent goes beyond the upperclassmen for Long Beach State. Sophomore Ella Monsey is sporting a 7-3 record and doubles pair Laura Eales and Hayley Thompson have an 11-1 doubles record.
The woman that holds her 49ers together is the decorated Jenny Hilt-Costello. Hilt-Costello is an eight-time Big West Coach of the Year, winning five of those awards in six-year span, from 2004 to 2009.
A troubling fact for Long Beach State is that in the 15 meetings in which they faced Arizona, they have only won twice, the most recent win being in 2008.
Maes believes the team will be able to hold its ground Saturday against its unbeaten opponent.
“We’ve got a great chance to play a good team ranked 38th,” Maes said. “When you play a team like Long Beach, you got to get creative and grind it out with them. You don’t play a team like them all the time.”
While the win over San Jose State is solid, the team must shift focus to the Long Beach State 49ers, as this match will be no cake walk.
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