No. 7 USC Escapes With 4-3 Win Over UW

April 4, 2009

SEATTLE - The Husky women's tennis squad continues inching ever closer to a marquee win this season, but came up one doubles win or one singles win short today against 7th-ranked USC. Washington, ranked 31st, split the singles matches with the Trojans but lost the doubles point which proved critical.

The Huskies fall to 12-7 and 1-5 in Pac-10 play, yet all five of their conference losses have come against teams ranked 16th or higher, and the UW has scored at least two points in all but one. USC leads the Pac-10 with a 5-0 conference record and is 17-2 overall. Today's match was the first UW home match of the season to be played outdoors at the Bill Quillian Courts.

Sophomore Venise Chan capped off another fantastic weekend with a dazzling performance at No. 1 singles. The Hong Kong native moved USC's 33rd-ranked Sarah Fansler all around the court and hit precision angles all afternoon en route to a 6-2, 6-2 victory. Chan now has won six straight and is 23-5 on the year. With her win yesterday over UCLA's No. 1 player, Chan has now defeated the top players for USC, UCLA, Stanford, and California all in one season.

'I was hoping we'd get to play outside today because I feel like I play better,' said Chan. 'I was feeling good after we won doubles, and she was a good match-up for me because she doesn't hit the ball too hard and I was able to step into my shots.'

USC took a 2-0 lead when Husky freshman Denise Dy was forced to retire at No. 2 singles due to illness, after falling behind 5-0 to 26th-ranked Amanda Fink. Chan's win brought UW to within a point, but the Trojans clinched the match with wins at third and fourth singles. At No. 3, freshman Samantha Smith fell to 64th-ranked Gabriela Niculescu, 6-1, 6-2, and sophomore Lina Xu fought gamely but lost, 6-4, 6-3, to 68th-ranked Alison Ramos in the four spot.

Washington refused to go down quietly after the clinching point, winning the final two matches in third set super-tiebreaks. At No. 6 singles, junior Aleksandra Malovic came back from a first set setback to beat Lyndsay Kinstler, 5-7, 7-5 and 10-3 in the tiebreak. Junior Joyce Ardies then ended the match with a 7-5, 3-6, (10-6) win over Leyla Entekhabi at No. 5. Ardies lost the first five points of the tiebreak, before winning 10 of the next 11.

'We don't want to just be close, we want to start winning some of these,' said head coach Jill Hultquist. 'But in the past few years we haven't even been competitive and now we're certainly putting up a good fight. We just need a few more of these to start believing we will win them.'

The Trojans came out on top in a closely contested doubles point. UW's Xu and Smith fell, 8-3, to Ramos and Cristala Andrews at No. 3 doubles in the first match to finish. Then at No. 1 doubles, Ardies and Dy were shooting for their second top-five upset in as many days, taking on 5th-ranked Fink and Niculescu. The Huskies came back from down 3-6 to level the set at 6-6, then had a 0-30 advantage in the next game, but USC came back to hold and broke serve in the next game to clinch the doubles point.

Washington would win the final doubles match, at the No. 2 position. Chan and Malovic knocked off the 56th-ranked tandem of Kinstler and Fansler, 9-7. That makes two wins in a row over ranked opposition for the Husky twos, as they defeated the No. 30 team from UCLA on Friday.

The Huskies will next play their final two non-conference matches on the road in San Diego. Washington will face San Diego State next Friday and then the University of San Diego on Sunday.

Washington Women's Tennis
April 4, 2009 - Seattle, Wash.
Bill Quillian Courts

No. 7 USC 4, No. 31 Washington 3

Doubles
1. (5) Fink/Niculescu (USC) def. Ardies/Dy (UW), 8-6
2. Chan/Malovic (UW) def. (56) Kinstler/Fansler (USC), 9-7
3. Ramos/Andrews (USC) def. Xu/Smith (UW), 8-3
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2

Singles
1. (24) Venise Chan (UW) def. (33) Sarah Fansler (USC), 6-2, 6-2
2. (26) Amanda Fink (USC) def. (78) Denise Dy (UW), 5-0 ret.
3. (68) Gabriela Niculescu (USC) def. Samantha Smith (UW), 6-1, 6-2
4. (64) Alison Ramos (USC) def. Lina Xu (UW), 6-4, 6-3
5. Joyce Ardies (UW) def. Leyla Entekhabi (USC), 7-5, 3-6, (10-6)
6. Aleksandra Malovic (UW) def. Lyndsay Kinstler (USC), 5-7, 7-5, (10-3)
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3, 4, 6, 5

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