Ninth-Ranked Dawgs Face Ducks In Eugene

Feb. 8, 2005

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- THIS WEEK:: Washington's ninth-ranked women's tennis team heads south to Eugene for a non-conference dual with the No. 25 Oregon Ducks (7-0) on Saturday, Feb. 12 at noon. The match marks the fourth in six-straight road duals against top-25 competition for the Huskies (6-1), who are 2-1 in such matches thus far.

SCOUTING OREGON:: The Ducks are off to a 7-0 start and rose two spots to No. 25 in the latest ITA Rankings. Senior Daria Panova is the top-ranked Duck at No. 31 and sophomore Dominika Dieskova is close behind at No. 34. Senior Davina Mendiburu is off to a hot start with a 13-1 record. Mendiburu also won the Flight II Singles title at the Pac-10 Indoor Championships held last month at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Dieskova and Panova are the 45th-ranked doubles team. Last year, UW proved to be the bane of Oregon's existence, pulling out three close dual matches by scores of 5-2, 4-3 and 4-3. The final win occurred in the second round of the NCAA Championships, which Washington trailed 3-2 before a pair of comeback three-set wins by Dinka Hadzic and Mugette Ahn sent the Huskies on to the Sweet-16. Washington has dominated the all-time series with 53 wins to only two defeats.

LAST TIME OUT:: The Husky women spent last weekend in Madison, Wisconsin, the site of the 2005 USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships held Feb. 3-6. The tournament featured seven of the top-ten teams and 13 of the top-16 based on the Feb. 1 ITA Rankings. Washington was making its fourth appearance, all coming in the past five years. The Huskies were seeded eighth and advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-1 win over No. 24 New Mexico in the first round. The victory over the Lobos was highlighted by Dea Sumantri's 6-1, 6-2 win over 24th-ranked Maja Kovacek at No. 1 singles. UW's quarterfinal opponent was top-ranked STanford, the defending National Team Indoor and NCAA champion. The Cardinal had knocked the Huskies out of the National Team Indoor semifinals in 2004, and proved to be Washington's undoing again this year, netting a 6-1 win on Friday. The Huskies took some solace in Dinka Hadzic's 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 2 singles over 22nd-ranked Erin Burdette. Hadzic gained a measure of revenge with the win, since Burdette had defeated Hadzic in last month's Pac-10 Indoor Championships semifinal match and went on to win the singles title over Sumantri. Stanford would go on to repeat as champion, defeating Kentucky in the final. The Huskies' biggest win came in a consolation match-up with 12th-ranked Miami on Saturday. The Hurricanes held a 3-1 lead but Washington captured the final three singles matches to sew up the 4-3 victory. Hadzic continued her strong play with a 6-0, 6-0 triumph at second singles over Miami's Staci Stevens. Saskia Nauenberg and Allison Rainey pulled out tough straight-set wins at fourth and sixth singles, respectively, to tie the match 3-3. Senior Mugette Ahn then clinched the win via her 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win at No. 3 singles.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS:: In the latest ITA team rankings released February 8, the Huskies rose two spots to break back into the top-ten at No. 9, the same position they finished 2004. Also of note, the Huskies passed UCLA and USC to sit now as the second-highest ranked Pac-10 team behind No. 1 Stanford. 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. The next singles and doubles rankings will be released on Feb. 22.

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: Pac-10 play comes early for the Huskies as they stay on the road to face 16th-ranked California on Friday, Feb. 18 in Berkeley, Calif. at 1:30. A rematch with No. 1 Stanford follows on Saturday, Feb. 19 at noon in Stanford, Calif.

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