Huskies and Cougars Square Off in Season Finale

April 19, 2006

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- THIS WEEK: The UW women's tennis team wraps up its regular season with its last chance at a Pac-10 win as they travel to Pullman to face Washington State. The Huskies (3-16, 0-7) are coming off their third win of the year as they upset 58th-ranked Sacramento State, and hope to duplicate their 4-3 win over the Cougars (13-11, 0-6) in a non-conference dual in March. Washington and Washington State meet on Friday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m.

SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars are the only other winless team in the Pac-10 right now, with an 0-6 conference mark. Washington State is 13-11 overall, and upset South Alabama in their last match after South Alabama had defeated Washington the day before. Currently ranked 70th in the Fila Rankings, this is the latest the Cougars have been ranked in a season since 2003. Sophomore Ekaterina Burduli is ranked 90th in singles and has 23 singles wins on the year. The Cougars have been shut out in all six of their Pac-10 matches thus far. In the Huskies' 4-3 win over Washington State back on March 26, the Cougars got wins from Burduli at No. 1 singles, and Marjolein van de Ven at fourth singles, as well as earning a point at sixth singles as Washington could only start five players. The Huskies lead the head-to-head series, 43-6.

LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies split a pair of non-conference matches last weekend, falling to No. 61 South Alabama last Friday but bouncing back to upset Sacramento State on Sunday. Against the Jaguars of South Alabama, the Huskies looked on the verge of winning the doubles point, as Dinka Hadzic and Victoria Brymer won at No. 1 singles and Tara Simpson and Stephanie Svanfeldt had a commanding 7-2 lead in the No. 2 spot. However, the Jaguar duo at second doubles ended up winning seven straight games to win 9-7 at No. 2, and coupled with their 8-6 win at No. 3 doubles, the Jaguars took the 1-0 lead and the Huskies seemed to deflate. South Alabama would go on to take four of six singles matches to win, 5-2. Only Brymer and Simpson picked up wins, at second and third singles, respectively. Brymer's came in a third-set super-tiebreak, while Simpson got a straight set victory. In the year's final home match against Sacramento State, the Huskies came through in doubles, with Hadzic and Brymer wnning again and Allison Rainey and Melinda Wong dominating at No. 3 doubles, 8-1. Then the Huskies gave their singles line-up a little shake, moving Brymer into the No. 1 spot for the first time and putting Hadzic at No. 2 to improve her shot at a win in her final home appearance. The move paid off as Hadzic cruised, 6-2, 6-2 over the Hornets' Luba Schifris. Simpson was victorious once again, also by a 6-2, 6-2 count at No. 3 singles for UW's third point. The clinching victory fittingly came thanks to Svanfeldt, a senior in her final home match. Svanfeldt fought off Karina Jarlkaganova, 7-5, 6-3 at No. 4 singles to give Washington the 4-3 win.

TAKING THE HARD ROAD: One of the biggest factors in Washington's struggles this season has been their daunting schedule. In what was likely a rebuilding year from the start, the Huskies played one of their toughest schedules in the program's history, and surely one of the hardest in the nation. Ten of Washington's opponents were ranked in the top-25 when they met the Huskies, including top-ten squads Stanford, USC, California, and Northwestern. Eighteen of UW's 19 opponents this season have been ranked, whereas the Cougars have played 12 matches against unranked opponents, going 10-2, and only 3-9 against ranked teams.

UP NEXT: The Huskies will travel to Ojai, California for the annual individual Pac-10 Championships next weekend. The tournament features singles and doubles draws and runs from Thursday, April 27 through Sunday, April 30 with matches taking place throughout the day. Entries and draws will be announced next week.