No. 11 Women's Tennis Heads To Wisconsin For USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships
Feb. 2, 2005
- THIS WEEK: Husky women's tennis (4-0) travels to Madison, Wisc. to compete in the prestigious 2005 USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships, hosted by the University of Wisconsin at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium, Feb. 5-8. The 11th-ranked Huskies are seeded eighth and will face the 24th-ranked New Mexico Lobos (0-0) in Thursday's first round at 9 a.m. CT. Should the Huskies advance, they would play the winner of top-ranked Stanford vs. Harvard in the quarterfinals, Friday at 3 p.m. CT. The field contains seven of the top ten teams in the latest ITA Rankings as well as 13 of the top 16.
TOURNAMENT DRAW: Listed below is Thursday's opening draw for the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships. All times are central.
(1) Stanford vs. Harvard, 9 a.m.
(8) Washington vs. New Mexico, 9 a.m.
(4) Northwestern vs. Georgia, 9 a.m.
(5) Vanderbilt vs. Wisconsin, 9 a.m.
(6) Duke vs. Texas A&M, 3 p.m.
(3) UCLA vs. Miami, 3 p.m.
(7) Tulane vs. North Carolina, 3 p.m.
(2) Clemson vs. Kentucky, 3 p.m.
TOURNAMENT TIDBITS: The USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship is collegiate tennis' premier indoor team tournament. The tournament began in 1988 and each season this tournament also offers a preview of the teams to beat in the May NCAA Championships. This is the 18th straight year it is being hosted by Wisconsin. Defending champion Stanford and Wisconsin are the only schools to have played in all 17 previous USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Stanford has won a record seven USTA/ITA titles and reached the final 12 times. Three of last year's four USTA/ITA semifinalists will be back in Madison this year - Stanford, finalist Georgia and Washington. Also on hand will be all four of the semifinalists from last May's season-ending NCAA Championships - champion Stanford, finalist UCLA, Clemson and Vanderbilt. Clemson edged the Huskies 4-3 in the NCAA quarterfinals last season.
HUSKY TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Washington is beginning to become a familiar face at the National Indoor Championships, as this marks their fourth appearance in the past five years in Madison. The Huskies made their strongest showing last year, defeating No. 23 Tennessee and No. 6 Vanderbilt to reach the semifinals. The Huskies fell to Stanford in the semis, nothing to be ashamed of as the Cardinal won the National Team Indoors as well as the NCAA Championships last May. Washington also competed in 2001 and 2002, failing to advance farther than the first round of play. The Huskies posted a 1-2 mark in 2001 and won two consolation matches in 02 for a 2-1 record. All told the Huskies are a combined 5-4 in their three previous National Team Indoor outings.
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO: The 24th-ranked Lobos have yet to play a match this season due to weather postponements. Last season, New Mexico posted a 20-5 record, winning the Mountain West Conference before losing 4-3 to Oregon in the first round of the NCAA Championships. The Lobos feature two ranked singles players, junior Maja Kovacek (24) and sophomore Iva Gersic (66). The two also combine to form the fourth-ranked doubles team in the country. This will be the second appearance at the Indoor Championships for New Mexico. The first came in 2000 when the Lobos posted a 1-2 mark, falling in the first round. Washington holds a 3-2 all-time edge against New Mexico.
LAST WEEK: In their first home duals of the year, the Husky women tuned up for the National Indoors by sweeping Gonzaga and Boise State last Friday and Saturday. Friday's match against Gonzaga saw several Huskies compete at new career highs in singles, with Dinka Hadzic earning the win in her first match at No. 1 singles and Mugette Ahn winning 6-0, 6-0 in her first shot at the second spot. The Huskies did not lose a set in singles or doubles against the Zags. On Satuday, Washington was equally dominant, sweeping singles play against Boise State to remain undefeated in singles through their first four duals. Hadzic, Ahn, and Tara Simpson all went 4-0 in singles and doubles over the weekend.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: In the latest ITA team rankings released February 1, the Huskies dropped one spot to 11th, despite having won their first four matches by a combined score of 27-1. Senior Dea Sumantri is the only Husky currently in the singles rankings at No. 13. Sumantri and Dinka Hadzic are the 56th-ranked doubles team in the current poll.
2004 RECAP: The Huskies enjoyed perhaps their most successful season in history last year, coming within mere points of their first ever Final Four appearance. Washington earned their eighth-straight postseason berth and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the second time in four years. UW defeated Fairfield, Oregon and Arizona State to reach the Elite Eight, where they were barely edged, 4-3, by No. 7 Clemson with the final match coming down to a third-set tiebreak. Washington won 21 matches against only six losses, matching an all-time high for victories under head coach Patty McCain. UW was ranked in the top-10 all year, including a high mark of fourth, the highest ranking in school history. In the Pac-10, the Huskies finished 5-3, good for a fourth place finish behind eventual national champion Stanford, USC, and national runner-up UCLA. Junior Dea Sumantri earned her second All-American certificate in singles and finished ranked No. 17. Sumantri also teamed with senior Claire Carter to reach the NCAA doubles quarterfinals and earn All-American certificates. It was the fourth All-American award for Carter, the first Husky to achieve that. For her efforts, Patty McCain earned national acclaim, being named National Coach of the Year.
UP NEXT: The Huskies remain on the road, paying a visit to Eugene, Oregon for a non-conference dual with the rival Oregon Ducks on Feb. 12 at noon. The Huskies earned a trio of wins over the Ducks in 2004, including ending Oregon's season in the NCAA Second Round. Each match was extremely close with Washington winning by scores of 5-2, 4-3, and 4-3 in the NCAAs.