Washington Women Face BYU, Denver
Jan. 18, 2007
THIS WEEK: The Washington women's tennis team (0-0) hit the road this weekend to begin its dual match portion of the season. The Huskies will face the No. 30 BYU Cougars on Saturday in Provo, Utah. The match is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. PT. On Sunday, Washington will stay in Provo and take on the University of Denver at 8:00 a.m. PT. Results will be available on www.gohuskies.cstv.com after both matches.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: The BYU Cougars are ranked No. 30 in the ITA team polls. They return most of their team from last season, but do lose their No. 1 player from 2006, Olga Boulytcheva. The Cougars finished 20-8 last season and were the second-place team from the Mountain West Conference. Last season, BYU beat Washington 6-1 in the season-opener for both teams. The top players for the Cougars this season should be 2004 & 2005 All-Mountain West Conference honoree Sofia Holden and 2005 All-Conference member Anastasia Sourkova. On Sunday, the Huskies will take on Denver, who are ranked No. 58 in the ITA poll. Denver started its season last weekend at the Michigan Invitational and had several athletes upset ranked opponents. Sophomore Annette Aksdal is the Pioneers top player and upset No. 81 Jenny Kuehn of Michigan during the tournament.
LAST WEEK: The Huskies traveled to Maui, Hawai'i for a three-day tournament during Martin Luther King weekend. The weekend was very successful for the Huskies, as junior transfer Mathilde Cor won three times in the Flight 1 singles bracket to win the first tournament of her career. Cor, who had never competed for the Huskies before last weekend, was seeded number four in the tournament. Junior Tara Simpson, who was seeded No. 2 in the tournament, lost to Cor in the finals. The only other Husky to go undefeated during the weekend was freshman transfer Joyce Ardies, who was 3-0 in Flight 2 singles action and was 3-0 in doubles with Cor.
ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The Huskies will depend on a mix of youth and experience in the 2007 season. Mathilde Cor (Ugine, France) has emerged as the top contender to play No. 1 singles for the Huskies. The junior transfer debuted in Hawai'i and won the Flight 1 singles bracket and should start the season in the top spot for Washington. Junior Tara Simpson was the Huskies most consistent performer in 2006 and will be counted on at No. 2 or No. 3 spot in the singles lineup. The other front runners for starting spots in the singles lineup are sophomore Victoria Brymer, freshman transfer Joyce Ardies, sophomore Melinda Wong and junior Allison Rainey. Brymer was unable to play in Hawai'i due to injury, but is expected to play this weekend in Utah. The Huskies also have freshman Morgan Ramser Aleksandra Malovic on scholarship. The duo are both expected to not compete, as Ramser is battling an ankle injury, while Malovic, who joined the team in January, is clearing up eligibility issues. Lauren Summers, a walk-on from Edmonds, Wash., rounds out the roster for the Huskies.
SECOND TIME AROUND: Jill Hultquist is in her second season at the helm for the Huskies. The Huskies battled injuries and roster depletions on their way to a 3-17 record in 2006. Hultquist is expecting vast improvements with a larger roster and adjustment period under her belt. Hultquist previously served as an assistant coach under Patty McCain at Washington from 1997-2002. She was named the 2001 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year. Hultquist added Fernando Sanchez to her staff as an assistant this year. Sanchez was a member of Virginia Commonwealth's NCAA Championship finalist team in 2000 and obtained a ranking of No. 64 during his career.