Huskies Take First Road Trip To Face L.A. Schools

March 8, 2006

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- THIS WEEK: The first road trip of the season will be one of the most daunting for the Washington women's tennis team, as they travel to Los Angeles to face No. 5 USC and No. 16 UCLA in Pac-10 action. The depleted Huskies (1-7, 0-2) will attempt to snap their current six-match losing streak. UW and USC square off on Friday, March 10 at 1:30 p.m., while the Huskies and Bruins play Saturday, March 11 at 12 noon.

SCOUTING USC: The No. 5 Trojans are one of the top conenders to unseat Stanford as NCAA Champions this season. In a match earlier this season, the Trojans looked poised to snap the Cardinal's win streak, winning the doubles point and four first sets in singles, but Stanford came back to win 5-2 with three wins coming in third sets, and a fourth point via default when USC's Amanda Fink retired despite leading a set and 5-4. It was USC's only loss this year as they are now 8-1. Fink, a freshman, is the nation's third ranked player but typically plays number two behind sophomore Lindsey Nelson, who is 50th in the most recent singles rankings released today. Junior Dianne Matias ranks 48th, and senior Luana Magnani is 67th. New Fila Doubles Rankings will not be posted until tomorrow, but in the past rankings, Matias and Judy DeVera were ranked 18th, Magnani and Nelson ranked 24th, and Magnani and Fink ranked 52nd. Washington is only 1-11 against the Trojans, and USC won last year's meeting, 6-1 in Seattle.

SCOUTING UCLA: The Bruins are 16th in the current Fila Rankings with a 7-2 record thus far. UCLA's two losses came way of top-ranked Stanford and No. 17 Pepperdine. Senior Laura Gordon is the highest ranked Bruin, at No. 24. Sophomore Tracy Lin is 37th and freshman Ashley Joelson is 59th. Gordon and Riza Zalameda were the 17th-ranked doubles team in the Feb. 22 rankings. Zalameda is currently unranked but a very talented sophomore and plays in the top singles spot for the Bruins. UCLA leads the all-time series 14-2 and defeated the Huskies twice last year including a 4-0 win in the second round of the NCAA Championships.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Huskies dropped out of the March 7 Fila Rankings which moved to a computer-based ranking system. Senior Dinka Hadzic moved up one spot to 79th in singles. New doubles rankings will be released Thursday, March 9. Hadzic and freshman Victoria Brymer are 29th in the past doubles rankings.

LIVE VIDEO AND SCORING: Many home matches 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.

LAST TIME OUT: Washington came away disappointed from last weekend's matches as their current struggles were extended with a 5-2 loss to San Diego State followed by a 6-1 loss to the University of San Diego. The Huskies were unable to get over the hump in doubles play in either match, winning one of the three doubles matches in each instance. Against the Aztecs of San Diego State, Dinka Hadzic won her No. 1 singles match with Dita Hauerlandova, and Stephanie Svanfeldt was victorious in straight sets at fourth singles, but the Huskies fell short when the Aztecs won a pair of tight third sets at second and third singles. Victoria Brymer lost in a tiebreak at No. 2 while Tara Simpson fell, 6-4, in her third set. The next day against the Toreros, the Huskies won at No. 2 doubles, 8-5, and were even at both Nos. 1 and 3, but San Diego proceeded to win all remaining games in each match to win doubles and take the 1-0 lead. Svanfeldt once again showed the determination of a proud senior by winning once again at No. 4 singles, 7-5, 6-1, against Helene Linstrand. It would be Washington's only point however in their sixth-straight setback.

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, 17 of UW's 18 different opponents are ranked, including nine different top-25 teams. The Huskies have five current top-10 teams on their `06 slate: #1 Stanford (7-0 loss), #4 Northwestern, #5 USC, and #8 California (7-0 loss), and #10 Texas. 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 10th-ranked University of Texas (April 1) and 26th-ranked 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.

UP NEXT: Washington returns home to face their fourth top-ten opponent of the season in No. 4 Northwestern. The Huskies have already played No. 1 Stanford, No. 9 California, and will face No. 5 USC this weekend. The Wildcats pay a mid-week visit during Washington's spring break. The match is set for Tuesday, March 21 at 12 p.m.

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