Huskies, Hultquist Earn First Pac-10 Women's Tennis Win

April 21, 2007

SEATTLE - The Husky women's tennis team picked up the first Pac-10 victory of Jill Hultquist's coaching career as Washington upset No. 45 Washington State 5-2 at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on Saturday. Washington improved to 4-16, 1-6 in Pac-10, while the Cougars fell to 14-11, 1-7.

'I'm really proud of the girls,' said Hultquist after the match. 'They fought really hard today and we really had to earn our first Pac-10 win.'

The match had the feel of a heavyweight boxing match, with each team taking jabs at each other and then picking themselves up off the mat to battle back. The Huskies struck first, winning the doubles point.

The doubles matches started outdoors at the Bill Quillian Tennis Courts before rain forced the teams to move inside. Once inside, Washington took control and grabbed the early 1-0 lead.

Aleksandra Malovic and Allison Rainey were the first off the court for the Huskies, winning an 8-5 decision at No. 3 over Amy Toth and Bianca Selaru. The Husky duo trailed 4-3 before rallying for the win. The Huskies had to also rally in the No. 2 match to clinch the first point. Tara Simpson and Melinda Wong trailed 4-0 and 7-5 before finally pulling out a 9-7 win over Aleksandra Cekic and Aleksandra Stefanova.

With the point decided, the Cougars' pair of Ekaterina Burduli and Marjolein van de Ven rallied from a 5-2 and 7-5 deficit in the No. 1 match. The pair forced a tiebreaker and put away the Huskies' Mathilde Cor and Joyce Ardies 7-5.

Down 1-0, the Cougars came out throwing haymakers. Early on it looked like Washington State was going to seize momentum and not let up. Burduli drew first blood at No. 1 for the Cougars, winning a quick 6-2, 6-1 decision over Cor. Cekic followed with a straight-set win over Simpson at No. 4.

The Huskies trailed 2-1 and were down a set in three of the four remaining courts before unleashing a furious comeback. Wong was the first to complete her comeback, losing the first set at No. 6 before rallying for a three-set win to tie the match score at 2-2. Ardies quickly followed with a 6-4, 6-2 win over van de Ven at No. 3 to give the Huskies back the advantage, 3-2.

Rainey provided the knock out punch for the Huskies at No. 5. She dropped her first set 6-1 before rallying to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-3 over Selaru. The win clinched the match for the Huskies, who had last beat a Pac-10 opponent back on April 15, 2005; also against the Cougars.

Malovic punctuated the victory for the Huskies with their third come-from-behind win of the day. Malovic, in just her third career match as a Husky, dropped the first set before bouncing back with 7-5, 7-5 wins over Toth at No. 2. The singles win was the first of Malovic's career.

Washington will not have much time to rest. Right after the match concluded, the Huskies jumped on a plane to Eugene, Ore., where they will face the Ducks tomorrow at 12 p.m.

Saturday, April 21, 2007; Seattle, Wash.
#45 Washington State (14-11, 1-7) at Washington (4-16, 1-6)
UW 5, WSU 2

1. Burduli/van de Ven (WSU) def. Ardies/Cor (UW), 9-8 (5)
2. Wong/Simspon (UW) def. Cekic/Stefanova (WSU), 9-7
3. Malovic/Rainey (UW) def. Toth/Selaru (WSU), 8-5

1. Ekaterina Burduli (WSU) def. Mathilde Cor (UW), 6-2, 6-1
2. Aleksandra Malovic (UW) def. Amy Toth (WSU), 3-6, 7-5, 7-5
3. Joyce Ardies (UW) def. Marjolein van de Ven (WSU), 6-4, 6-2
4. Aleksandra Cekic (WSU) def. Tara Simpson (UW), 7-5, 6-3
5. Allison Rainey (UW) def. Bianca Selaru (WSU), 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
6. Melinda Wong (UW) def. Aleksandra Stefanova (WSU), 4-6, 6-1, 6-3

Order of Finish:
3, 2, 1
Singles: 1, 4, 6, 3, 5, 2