Dy Powers Into National Indoor Semifinals
Nov. 6, 2009
WEST HAVEN, Conn. - For the second time in two months, Washington women's tennis has a singles semifinalist at one of the three majors in college tennis, only this time it is sophomore Denise Dy. The red-hot Husky played six sets of tennis today and came away with two wins at that ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, hosted by Yale. Junior Venise Chan had her run ended in the quarterfinals.
Dy, a San Jose, Calif. native enjoying a tremendous fall run, overcame Stanford's 5th-ranked Hilary Barte in the Round of 16 and then took out Fresno State's 22nd-ranked Anastasia Petukhova in the Quarterfinalists to make her first national tournament semifinal. Just last month, teammate Chan advanced to the semis at the ITA All-American Championships, the first major of the year.
To put things in perspective, only once before in Washington women's tennis history had a Husky reached the semifinals of a major national tourney. That came back in 2000, when former college No. 1 Kristina Kraszewski reached the final of this same ITA National Indoor Championships. Now, two new Huskies have made semifinal runs in less than two months.
In the morning's Round of 16, Dy faced Barte, the 2009 Pac-10 Player of the Year, for the second time in two weeks. Dy upset the Cardinal All-American on her way to the Northwest Regional title, and once again the two waged a three-set marathon. Dy took the first set, 6-4, but Barte stayed alive with a 7-5 win in set two. Barte took a 5-4 lead in the third set, but Dy closed with a flourish, taking the final three games for a 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 victory.
'I was down in the third set but was able to just keep playing my game,' said Dy. 'She really wanted to win this match, and I was able to just play tennis, sometimes if you want something too much it overwhelms you.'
Right next to Dy, Chan was playing her Round of 16 match against Notre Dame's Kristy Frilling, ranked 20th nationally. Chan rolled to a 7-5, 6-3 win to make the final eight of her second straight national event.
'We were playing next to each other which helps motivate both of us,' said Dy, though she added, 'I think she was done with her match when I was still in the first set.'
Later that evening, Chan was up first for her Quarterfinal, facing the second-seed from Georgia Tech, Irina Falconi. It was Falconi that ended Chan's run at the All-Americans and she went on to win the event. Falconi was just too tough today, beating Chan 6-0, 6-2.
Dy got off to a similarly slow start in her Quarterfinal against 22nd-ranked Petukhova. The Bulldog veteran had upset the No. 1-ranked player in the first round. Dy fell behind 0-5 before getting on the board, and Petukhova took the first set, 6-1. Dy got a read on Petukhova's game in the second set, opening up a 3-0 lead and going on to win the set, 6-3. Both women were heading into their sixth sets of the day, but Dy's fitness and momentum carried her to a 6-0 shutout win in the third set.
'It took me a while to figure out a gameplan, because in the first set she kept going down the line when I was expecting crosscourt shots,' said Dy. 'But I was able to keep playing my game and started figuring it out. She had played a long match earlier in the day too so she started to wear down.'
In tomorrow's semifinals, Dy will face the woman she upset to win the Northwest Regional title two weeks ago: fourth-seeded Jana Juricova of California.
Washington Women's Tennis
ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
11/5/09 - West Haven, Conn. - Yale University
Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center