Huskies Start Conference Play vs. No. 9 Cal and No. 1 Stanford
Feb. 22, 2006
- THIS WEEK: Husky women's tennis faces a pair of top-ten teams this weekend as they kick off their Pac-10 schedule against No. 9 California and No. 1 Stanford. The 39th-ranked Huskies (1-3) host the Golden Bears on Friday, February 24 at 12 p.m. then host the two-time defending national champion Cardinal on February 25 at 12 p.m. Both matches will be at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
LIVE VIDEO AND SCORING: Many home matches, including the two this weekend against the Bay Area schools 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. Live scoring is also available on gohuskies.com.
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: The ninth-ranked Golden Bears are currently 5-3 on the year after losing consecutive 4-3 matches to USC and UCLA. They had a very strong showing at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, upsetting then-No. 4 Northwestern and then-No. 9 Miami to tie for fifth place. An impressive five Golden Bears are ranked in singles led by junior Zsuzsanna Fodor, a transfer from Mississippi State who is ranked third in the nation. Sophomore Suzi Babos (No. 25), sophomore Marion Ravelojaona (58), freshman Cristina Visico (70), and sophomore Stephanie Kusano (82) make up the rest of the ranked Bears. Babos and Fodor are also the 39th-ranked doubles team. Fodor and Ravelojaona have each earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this year. Cal holds an 18-3 edge in the all-time series, but Washington has won the past two matches, downing the Bears 4-3 last year in Berkeley.
SCOUTING STANFORD: Upsetting the top-ranked Cardinal will be a monumental challenge for the Huskies. Stanford has gone undefeated the past two years in winning the national championship each season, and has won their first nine matches this season to run their winning streak to 65. Stanford won the recent ITA National Team Indoor Championships without losing a point in any match. The Cardinal have more ranked singles players than can even start a given match, with seven players earning national rankings. Leading the Cardinal is senior Amber Liu, ranked ninth. Liu was the NCAA SIngles Champion as a freshman and sophomore. Other ranked Cardinal include senior Alice Barnes (No. 8), junior Theresa Logar (11), junior Anne Yelsey (14), sophomore Celia Durkin (35), sophomore Whitney Deason (64), and freshman Jessica Nguyen (96). Barnes and Yelsey are the top-ranked doubles team in the nation. Washington has never defeated Stanford in 16 previous tries, with the Cardinal winning 6-1 in their most recent meeting a year ago.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: In the latest Fila Rankings released February 22, the Huskies sit 39th. Senior Dinka Hadzic broke into the singles rankings for the first time this year, with a ranking of No. 80. Hadzic and freshman Victoria Brymer also debuted in the doubles rankings at No. 29.
UP NEXT: Washington goes back to nonconference play next weekend when San Diego and San Diego State visit the Nordstrom Tennis Center. March 4 the Huskies take on 55th-ranked San Diego State at 12 p.m., then March 5 they will face No. 63 San Diego at 11 a.m.
LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies have not played since February 10 when they lost to the 24th-ranked Oregon Ducks, 5-2. The Ducks swept doubles play, winning the No. 1 match in a tiebreak. Washington then captured four of the six first sets in singles play, but Oregon fought back to win two of those matches at fifth and sixth singles. Holding on for straight set wins was Victoria Brymer at No. 2 singles and Tara Simpson at No. 3. Dinka Hadzic fell to Dominika Dieskova at No. 1 singles, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.
THE SCHEDULE: As is usually the case, the Huskies faced an extremely difficult schedule when they took to the courts in January. The Huskies enjoyed the luxury of playing their first eight dual matches at home. Non-conference home opponents during that stretch include BYU, Portland, New Mexico, San Diego State and San Diego. Based on the current FilaTeam Rankings, 16 of UW's 18 different opponents are ranked, including nine different top-20 teams. The Huskies have five current top-10 teams on their `06 slate: #1 Stanford, #3 Texas, #4 USC, #6 Northwestern and #9 California. The Huskies don't take to the road until March 10-11 when they face USC and UCLA in Los Angeles. In fact, the Huskies only take two trips outside of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to its trip to Southern California, Washington will travel to the state of Texas to face the University of Texas (April 1) and TCU (April 2). At Texas, Husky players will face their former coach Patty McCain, while Hultquist will coach against her good friend after coaching side-by-side for five years. McCain left Washington after eight years at the helm of the program following the 2005 season.
FALL SEASON: The Huskies participated in three main tournaments during their fal season. The All-American Championships opened the season, followed by ITA Northwest Regionals, then the Husky Invitational. At the All-American Championships in Los Angeles, Dinka Hadzic advanced the farthest, reaching the second round of the qualifying draw. Hadzic and Tara Simpson won a pair of doubles matches to advance through the prequalifying round into the qualifying bracket but were defeated in round one. Hadzic and Simpson also reached the quarterfinals of the ITA Northwest Regional Doubles Tourney before being ousted by the second-seeded team from Stanford. Simpson's best fall showing came in the Regionals, where she reached the Round of 16 after a pair of straight-set wins. At the Husky Invitational Hadzic reached the singles final but lost to Oregon's Dominika Dieskova, who also defeated Simpson in the semifinals. Allison Rainey advanced to the finals of the second singles flight, while Hadzic and Simpson were bested in the finals of the doubles tournament.
HULTQUIST TAKES REINS: Jill Hultquist begins her first season at the helm of the Washington women's tennis program in 2005-06. Hultquist, a former standout on the pro tour and in the collegiate ranks, returned to Washington after serving as an assistant coach with the Huskies from 1997-2002. This is the first collegiate head coaching position for Hultquist, who becomes the fourth head coach in program history. 'Jill was an accomplished player, is an exceptional teacher and as a previous member of our staff demonstrated leadership and coaching skills that are a perfect match for the University of Washington,' Washington Athletics Director Todd Turner said at the time of her hiring. 'We're very pleased to have her leading our women's tennis program.' Hultquist was an assistant under McCain at Washington for five years and played an integral role in guiding the program to new heights. During her first tenure at UW, Hultquist helped lead the Huskies to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances including a school record trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2001. In fact, it was Hultquist who served as the acting head coach for the team during its Elite Eight run, as McCain was unable to travel to Stone Mountain, Ga., due to the impending birth of her first child. Hultquist was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in 2001, an honor she shared with Georgia's Debbie Beck. She was also selected as the ITA Northwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year in both 2000 and 2001. Before joining the coaching ranks at Washington, Hultquist played professionally on the WTA Tour from 1987-1997, winning more than 20 doubles titles. She ranked as high as sixth in the world in doubles and 64th in the world in singles.
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