Huskies Face Ranked Big-10 Teams in Mercer Island
Feb. 13, 2008
THIS WEEK: The 48th-ranked Husky women's tennis team returns to action after an off-week with two dual matches against Big-10 opposition. The Huskies (6-1) will put their six-match winning streak on the line against 43rd-ranked Purdue and 68th-ranked Illinois. The Boilermaker dual will take place Saturday, Feb. 16 at 12 p.m., while the Illinois match is set for Sunday, Feb. 17 also at noon. Despite the home matches, the women will still be traveling a short distance to the Mercer Island Country Club. The Nordstrom Tennis Center is hosting the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championships the same weekend, forcing the women's team to pay a visit to senior Allison Rainey's home courts.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Due to the 2008 ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championships taking place all weekend at the Nordstrom Tennis Center, the Husky women will play their home matches away from the friendly confines of the Nordstrom. The Mercer Island Country Club has welcomed the Huskies to their courts for the weekend. Admission remains free.
Mercer Island Country Club
8700 SE 71st
Mercer Island, WA
Directions from the University District to Mercer Island Country Club:
Proceed South on I-5.
Merge onto I-90 E via EXIT 164 toward BELLEVUE / SPOKANE.
Keep LEFT at the fork to continue on I-90 E.
Merge onto ISLAND CREST WAY via EXIT 7B.
Turn RIGHT onto SE 71ST ST.
End at Mercer Island Country Club
SCOUTING PURDUE: The Boilermakers opened with a sweep of Middle Tennessee State, but then were hit hard in a 6-1 loss to No. 22 Tennessee and a 7-0 loss to ninth-ranked Clemson to drop to 1-2. They defeated Western Michigan, 6-1, yesterday before heading to the Puget Sound. Purdue was 13-9 in 2007 but was left out of the NCAA Championships. After the season, longtime head coach Mat Iandolo stepped down, and Laura Glitz was hired to replace him. Senior Brooke Beier is Purdue's top singles player, and defeated Western Michigan's 98th-ranked singles player at No. 1 singles on Tuesday. She has racked up 42 singles wins over the past two seasons. Last year, the Boilermakers handed UW a 7-0 defeat in Indiana, however four of the singles matches were stretched to three sets. That was the first meeting between the two schools.
SCOUTING ILLINOIS: The Fighting Illini broke into the ITA Rankings for the first time this week, following a convincing 6-1 upset of then-60th-ranked DePaul, and 5-2 win over Kansas. Illinois is now 4-3 on the season, with two losses coming to Top-25 teams Tennessee and Florida State. Sophomore Megan Fudge has been Illinois' No. 1 singles player in each of her first two seasons, and leads the team with a 13-6 overall record, and 5-2 record in dual play. She was an All-Big-10 Team member as a freshman. Junior Shivani Dave has also been strong in the back on the lineup, going 5-2 between No. 4 and No. 6 singles. Illinois struggled to a 5-17 record last season and was 1-9 in the Big-10, losing in the first round of the conference tournament to Minnesota. One of the losses came against the Huskies in Urbana, Ill. Washington got its first win of the season vs. Illinois last year, winning the doubles point, then getting three singles wins for a 4-3 victory. The Huskies are 5-0 all-time against the Fighting Illini.
LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies ran their winning streak to six two weeks ago, outscoring Portland, San Diego State, and Gonzaga by a combined 19-2 score. The convincing 6-1 win over the 46th-ranked Aztecs was the biggest win of the weekend and one of the biggest this year along with their upset of BYU. The Huskies won five singles matches, with the clincher provided by Joyce Ardies, a 7-5, 6-2 win over Esther Cadua at No. 4 singles. Tara Simpson outlasted Eliska Krausova at third singles, 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 to end the match. The Dawgs swept the Bulldogs of Gonzaga in their most recent outing on Feb. 3. Melinda Wong and Aleksandra Krsljanin stepped into the singles lineup at No. 5 and 6, respectively, and each scored routine wins.
Washington's current six-match winning streak is its longest since another six-match streak during the 2003-04 season. Washington reached the NCAA Quarterfinals that year. The team's 6-1 start is its best since beginning the 2004-05 season 10-1.
Venise Chan is a perfect 7-0 at No. 1 singles, and is riding a 10-match winning streak dating back to the fall. Chan is 13-2 overall, and recently avenged one of her two losses. San Diego State's Holly Bagshaw defeated Chan in three sets in the fall when Chan was suffering from the flu. When the two teams met on Feb. 2, Chan beat Bagshaw easily, 6-2, 6-3.
Tara Simpson is also sporting a 7-0 record in dual play. Simpson needs just two more wins to match her entire 2007 total with at least 14 dual matches remaining. In UW's last match against Gonzaga, Simpson picked up her 65th career singles win, tying her for 10th place on UW's career singles wins list with Cindy Olejar (1988-91).
Beginning with this weekend's matches, the Huskies play a ranked team in every remaining match except the March 26th meeting at Michigan State. Washington has six matches against Top-25 teams upcoming.
The Huskies have used four different players at No. 6 singles this year. Allison Rainey, Vanja Radunovic, Kelsey Anonsen, and Aleksandra Krsljanin have all seen time at No. 6, and the four have combined to go 6-1.
FOLLOW ALONG LIVE: Much the same as in years past, GoHuskies.com will provide live video and live scoring updates for those Husky fans unable to make the trip to the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The video streams will focus on the No. 1 singles match and also cover the No. 3 singles match when possible. Links to streaming video can be found by going to the women's tennis schedule on GoHuskies.com, and clicking on that day's match. This weekend's matches will not have video or scoring available due to the location change.
UP NEXT: The Huskies will face their most difficult challenge of perhaps the entire season when No. 3 Stanford and No. 9 California visit Seattle next weekend to kick off Pac-10 play. Both the Cardinal and Golden Bears reached the NCAA Semifinals last season. The Huskies host the Cardinal on Friday, Feb. 22 at 12 noon and the Bears on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 12 noon. Both matches will be at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.