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Taking stock: What the Arizona Wildcats women's tennis looks like under coach Ryan Stotland

Taking stock: What the Arizona Wildcats women's tennis looks like under coach Ryan Stotland
Taking stock: What the Arizona Wildcats women's tennis looks like under coach Ryan Stotland

 


The offseason is here, with all Arizona sports for the 2023-24 season and the 2024-25 campaigns still a ways away.

That makes this a good time to take a step back and see how all the Wildcats programs are doing, especially with the impending move to the Big 12 Conference.

In the coming weeks, take a look at each of the UA's 19 men's and women's athletic programs to see what shape they are in and what prospects they have for the near future. We break down each team and evaluate how it is performing under the current coaching staff, looking at the state of the program before he/she arrived and comparing it to now, while also looking at the upcoming Big 12 debut and beyond .

Next one: Ryan Stotlands men's tennis team

What it used to look like

From 2001 to 2018, Arizona was under the helm of Vicky Maes and was one of the lowest performing programs on campus. In Maes' final two seasons, UA went 11-13 and 2-8 in conference play in 2017 and 9-16 and was winless in conference play in her final season.

After she resigned, UA hired Stotland in 2018 to turn around the program. Before UA, he led Fresno State to three Mountain West titles in five years.

Where things stand now

In Stotland's first six seasons, he has led Arizona to six consecutive records above .500, but his best season in the conference over that stretch came last season, where the team went 4-6.

UA was eliminated from the Pac-12 Tournament in the second round, but still received a bid to the NCAA Tournament, falling to No. 18 Oklahoma in the first round. Arizona's only win of the match came from the sophomore in doubles Reece Carter and graduate student Brandelyn Fulgenzi.

Carter was named first-team Pac-12 All Conference Team and Melissa Sakar And Ahmani Guichard received an honorable mention at the end of the season.

On the recruiting front, Stotland has brought in three straight recruiting classes in the previous three seasons, but UA has only brought in one recruit for next season. Stephanie Shogreen is a five-star player from Scottsdale, which is why he was a former national top 10 player at age 14 and held the No. 1 spot in the Southwest.

What life in the Big 12 should be like

ASU is the only school in the Pac-12 that will follow Arizona into the Big 12 next year that made the tournament last season. With Texas and Oklahoma moving to the SEC, the top of the Big 12 softens a bit and those teams will end up in the top three in 2024.

The Big 12 had six teams above .500 in conference play last season and seven teams at .500 or better overall, compared to the nine teams in the Pac-12 that finished with a winning record.

One big question

Can Arizona compete to win a Big 12 championship and advance past the first round of the NCAA Tournament? Arizona only lost two seniors from last season's roster, so Stotland knows what he'll be getting for the most part next season with the addition of a 5-star recruit.

It was a big step for Stotland and the program to get to their first NCAA tournament under him, but he will now have to get back there and continue to bring high-level talent to Tucson.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.azdesertswarm.com/2024/6/23/24184053/arizona-womens-tennis-ryan-stotland-big-12-pac-12-reece-carter-vicky-mae-stephanie-shogreen

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