Event: Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northwest Regional Championships
Where: Taube Tennis Center – Palo Alto, Calif.
When: Friday through Monday, all day
Who to watch: Senior Desiree Stone was very successful at the ITA Northwest Regional’s last year.
The North Hollywood, Calif. native qualified for the round of 32 in the main draw before losing to Carolyn McVeigh of Stanford, 6-2, 6-3.
Stone, who is healthy after nursing an early-season injury, is coming off a strong showing at the St. Mary’s Invitational, having made it to the round of 16.
Did you know? For the Aggies, the ITA Northwest Regionals is their last scheduled play for over three months.
Coach Bill Maze plans on having intra-squad matches to keep the girls loose and ready for the start of match play in January.
“The hardest part about the long layover is making sure the girls stay motivated and in shape,” Maze said.
Preview: The ITA Northwest Regionals is consistently one of the most competitive tournaments of the season with perennial powerhouses like Stanford and California sending their top players.
While the competition will be fierce, Maze feels like his team is ready to face some of the top tennis programs and players in the state.
“[Playing at] St. Mary’s last weekend got us ready for this tournament,” Maze said. “I think the girls are ready for the more difficult competition.”
UC Davis will send all eight players with the hopes of perfecting its lineup for its first dual match of the season on Jan. 22 against Arizona.
With the ITA Regionals being the last tournament before regular season play, Maze denotes these tournaments as part of the preseason.
Once dual matches begin, there will be no flights. This means every player will compete in the main draw and that some will face top competition from around the region.
Like the St. Mary’s Inviational, the team prepares by working hard while also having fun in the process, according to Maze.
“As much as I want to see the girls win, I want to ensure they have a good attitude for the weekend,” Maze said.