Headline: Women’s Tennis Preview
Teams: UC Davis at Stanford
Records: Aggies, 0-2; Cardinals, 0-0
Where: Taube Tennis Stadium – Palo Alto, Calif.
When: Today at 3 p.m.
Who to watch: Lone senior and North Hollywood, Calif. native Desiree Stone received high praise from coach Bill Maze in a three-set loss against Arizona on Jan. 24.
Maze called her serve the strongest on the team.
Did you know? Dahra Zamudio was the only Aggie to defeat the Cardinal in the ITA Regional Championships on Oct. 23. The Villa Park High School graduate won the singles matchup in the round of 128 against Natalie Dillon, 7-5, 6-1.
Preview: For the Aggies, preparing for a team that has won 15 nationals titles – the last in 2006 – feels like pushing a car uphill with the emergency break on.
Their opponent, the No. 13 Cardinals has induced a “nothing to lose” attitude from coach Maze. This, however, doesn’t mean he’s already accepting defeat.
“We play the best when we have fun,” Maze said. “It always feels good when we play our best. I have no doubt we’ll go hard. Our players are looking forward to it.”
Maze believes the team’s most valuable weapon is Stone. Her experience and devastating serve gives her an opportunity to pick up a win in singles play today.
“I think Desiree is an amazing player,” Maze said. “If she’s on her game and confident, she has a shot. She can play with players on that skill level.”
The team’s rapid improvement in singles matchups this year has caught the attention of both Maze and assistant coach Ally Muller.
“We have improved in singles play,” Maze said. “We won a couple of sets against Arizona. We’re really moving in the right direction.”
If nothing else, the Cardinal will give the Aggies a difficult test before they come back home for three of their next four dual matches.
Maze said playing a team of Stanford’s caliber on the road will make adjustments on their home court that much easier.
“It will prepare us for home games,” Maze said. “It can give us confidence to play a great team before we play a team that is not quite as good.”
A sound performance at Stanford would provide the momentum needed when the Aggies return for a favorable matchup against San Francisco.
– Marcos Rodriguez