Huskies Aim For Year's First Win Against Portland, New Mexico This Weekend

Feb. 1, 2006

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- THIS WEEK: After nearly two weeks since their last match, the Washington women's tennis team returns to action this weekend with a pair of nonconference home matches. The 26th-ranked Huskies (0-1) will look to earn their first win of the year and first for new Head Coach Jill Hultquist when they take on the Portland Pilots on Friday, February 3 at 1 p.m. UW then faces No. 47 New Mexico on Sunday, February 5 in a 10 a.m. match. Both matches are at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.

LIVE VIDEO: Many home matches, including both matches this weekend will be streamed live on gohuskies.com as well as archived on the site. Fans who wish to watch must be premium subscribers to The Dawg Channel All-Access. For more information visit gohuskies.com.

SCOUTING PORTLAND: The Pilots are one of only two unranked teams that the Huskies will face this year based on the current rankings, the other being Washington State. The Pilots are off to an 0-3 start after an 8-16 showing in 2005. Portland finished seventh in the West Coast Conference tournament last season. Four freshman play key roles in the Pilots line-up, with freshman Jenna Tanzer playing No. 1 singles early on. Washington is 15-0 all-time versus Portland, and swept the Pilots, 7-0, last year in Seattle.

SCOUTING NEW MEXICO: The Lobos are ranked 47th after finishing 2005 ranked 50th. New Mexico is coming off a 15-9 season which saw them finish second in the Mountain West Conference to BYU, who beat the Huskies in their opening match this year. As a team, the Lobos missed the NCAA Championships, but Maja Kovacek qualified for the NCAA Singles Championships and Kovacek and Iva Gersic participated in the doubles tourney. Both Kovacek and Gersic are back to give the Lobos a talented top twosome. Kovacek, a senior, is ranked 20th in singles while Gersic, a junior, ranks 45th. Together they form the No. 3 doubles team in the nation. New Mexico lost its first match to Arizona State, 5-2, and will play Portland on Saturday before facing the Huskies. Washington and New Mexico met last year in the first round of the National Team Indoor Champinships, with the Huskies handing the Lobos a 6-1 loss. The Huskies have a 4-2 edge in the series.

LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies opened their 2006 dual season on January 21 with a challenging BYU squad, falling to the 21st-ranked Cougars, 6-1. In doubles action, Dinka Hadzic and Victoria Brymer notched UW's first dual match win with an 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles over BYU's Lauren Jones and Dolly Chang. BYU then evened up doubles by winning at No. 3. With the point on the line, BYU's No. 2 team fought back from a 5-3 deficit to beat Allison Rainey and Monika Kolbovic, 8-5 and win the point for the Cougars. Husky freshman Melinda Wong was the bright spot of the day, as she made short work of Rana El Derwy at sixth singles to even the match at one. But from then on, BYU would take the remaining singles matches, overcoming first set deficits at second and fourth singles to pull away for the win.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: In the latest Fila Rankings released January 10, the Huskies dropped one spot to No. 26. Washington dropped out of the top-25 for the first time in almost exactly five years, the last time coming in early February, 2001. The Huskies are currently without any players ranked in the individual rankings.

UP NEXT: Washington renews its rivalry with the Oregon Ducks next week in the first of their two annual meetings. Friday, February 10, the Huskies face the 27th-ranked Ducks at 1:30 p.m. at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The dual matchwill not count towards Pac-10 standings.

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