Huskies Begin ITA NW Regionals On Friday

Oct. 16, 2008

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SEATTLE - One of the highlights of the fall tennis schedule, the ITA Northwest Regional Championships, gets underway Friday morning in Palo Alto, Calif. The large field features the top players in the region and many of the best players in the Pac-10 and NCAA. Nine members of the Washington women's team will be in action, led by seventh-seeded Venise Chan.

Stanford hosts the tourney, which runs through Oct. 20, at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. In addition to Stanford and Washington, the event will showcase the top players from the following Northwest region schools: California, Cal Poly, Fresno State, Gonzaga, Nevada, Oregon, Pacific, Sacramento State, Saint Mary's, San Francisco, San Jose State, Santa Clara, UC Davis, and Washington State.

Sixteen other ITA Regional Championships for NCAA Division I men and women are taking place during this month at campuses throughout the country. The singles finalists and doubles champion from each regional earn berths to the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, slated for Nov. 6-9 in Charlottesville, Va.

Chan, ranked 28th in the preseason ITA Rankings, will receive a first round bye as one of the top eight seeds. The other Huskies competing in singles this weekend include juniors Joyce Ardies, Aleksandra Malovic, and Lauren Summers, sophomores Aleksandra Krsljanin, Vanja Radunovic, and Lina Xu, and freshmen Denise Dy and Samantha Smith.

The 120-player field features seven players ranked in the ITA Top-30, including No. 4 Hilary Barte of Stanford, No. 7 Marina Cossou of Cal, No. 12 Melanie Gloria of Fresno State, No. 16 Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State, No. 21 Katrina Zheltova of Sacramento State, No. 22 Claire Ilcinkas of California, and Chan at No. 28.

In the 64-team doubles draw, Chan and Dy are teaming together as they once did as standout juniors. Also playing together are Ardies and Xu, Radunovic and Krsljanin, and Malovic and Smith.

Last week Smith got off to a hot start by winning the SMC Invitational White singles flight with a 5-0 record. She will have a tough first match this week, going against Cal veteran Marion Ravelojaona.

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