40th-ranked Hornets Outlast No. 34 Huskies, 4-3

Feb. 20, 2009

SEATTLE - Sacramento State pulled out a third-set tiebreak win at No. 6 singles to break a 3-3 tie and hand the Husky women's tennis team its second loss of the season today at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in a match that lasted four and a half hours. Washington falls to 6-2 on the year while Sacramento State improves to 6-0.

With UW trailing 2-3, junior Joyce Ardies finished off a hard fought 7-6 (4), 6-7 (0), 6-2 win at No. 5 singles over Clarisse Baca to tie the match. That left things up to the No. 6 match, with junior Aleksandra Malovic battling Joyce Martinez Gutierrez in a marathon match-up. Gutierrez took the first set, 6-4, but Malovic answered with a 7-5 second set win, and ran out to leads of 3-0, and 5-2 in the third set. Gutierrez got back on serve, but serving at 4-5 Malovic had a match point come and go, and play continued. The two went to a tiebreak to decide the match, and Gutierrez won, seven points to three, on her second match point.

While the fifth and sixth singles matches were nailbiters, the top four singles matches all were lopsided wins for one team or the other. 53rd-ranked Venise Chan's night ended surprisingly early, as 62nd-ranked Katrina Zheltova retired due to illness after Chan had taken a quick 3-0 lead. At No. 2 singles, 61st-ranked freshman Denise Dy rolled to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Aileen Tsan. Chan, Dy, and Ardies are all now 7-1 in dual matches.

In the third spot, Sacramento State's Maria Meliuk defeated sophomore Lina Xu, 6-0, 6-2, and Luba Schifris earned a 6-2, 6-1 win over freshman Samantha Smith at No. 4.

Ultimately the difference proved to be doubles play, which the Hornets took two matches to one. At the No. 1 match, the 28th-ranked duo of Chan and Dy broke serve in the final game to defeat Zheltova and Melissa Valenzuela, 8-6, to improve to 13-2 on the year. Sacramento State evened up doubles play with an 8-5 win at No. 3 doubles, Gutierrez and Baca holding off UW's Malovic and Xu. That left the point up to No. 2 doubles, where Ardies and Smith fought back from 2-5 down to take a 6-5 lead, but Sacramento State's Meliuk and Tsan came back to win the last three games to win, 8-6, and clinch the point.

Sunday the Huskies will be back in action, taking on 75th-ranked Rice in a match slated to start at 10 a.m. at the Nordstrom.

Washington Women's Tennis
February 20, 2009 - Nordstrom Tennis Center

No. 40 Sacramento State 4, No. 34 Washington 3,

Doubles
1) (28) Chan/Dy (UW) def. Zheltova/Valenzuela (Sac St), 8-6
2) Meliuk/Tsan (Sac St) def. Ardies/Smith (UW), 8-6
3) Gutierrez/Baca (Sac St) def. Malovic/Xu (UW), 8-5
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2

Singles
1) (53) Venise Chan (UW) def. (62) Katrina Zheltova (Sac St), 3-0, ret. illness
2) (61) Denise Dy (UW) def. Aileen Tsan (Sac St), 6-2, 6-1
3) Maria Meliuk (Sac St) def. Lina Xu (UW), 6-0, 6-2
4) Luba Schifris (Sac St) def. Samantha Smith (UW), 6-2, 6-1
5) Joyce Ardies (UW) def. Clarisse Baca (Sac St), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (0), 6-2
6) Joyce Martinez Gutierrez (Sac St) def. Aleksandra Malovic (UW), 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (3)
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2, 4, 5, 6

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