Washington Opens Season With A Twist In Michigan
Jan. 15, 2010
THIS WEEK: The Washington women's tennis team gets the 2010 season underway this weekend with three dual matches, of a kind. The 24th-ranked Huskies are in Ann Arbor, Mich. for the Michigan Invitational, a new event featuring Washington, Michigan, Tennessee, and Miami, that falls about halfway between an individual tournament and a dual match. The Huskies are coming off an outstanding fall season and currently feature two of the top singles players in the NCAA with third-ranked sophomore Denise Dy and 11th-ranked junior Venise Chan.
This weekend's matches won't affect team rankings, but will count as normal for individual records. The tournament runs from Saturday, Jan. 16 through Monday, Jan. 18 at UM's Varsity Tennis Center, and in essence the four teams will be playing one extended dual match per day, though they will face a different team in singles and doubles each day. For example on Saturday, Washington matches up its top four doubles teams in order against the top four of Tennessee, then later pits its eight singles players against the top eight of Michigan. Points are assigned for individual wins and the team with the highest total after three days will be declared the winner.
Live scoring as well as live video should be available for all matches on www.MGoBlue.com.
Every team that No. 24 UW faces will provide a formidable challenge. Miami is the seventh-ranked team in the country, while Tennessee is No. 11 and Michigan is 20th. Dy is the top-ranked individual on-hand, but Tennessee features 6th-ranked Caitlin Whoriskey, and Miami is led by 7th-ranked Laura Vallverdu, thus with Chan that means four of the top-11 singles players in the country will be in Ann Arbor. Michigan's top singles player in the ITA Rankings is Denise Muresan at No. 36.
Miami and Tennessee also are home to two of the top-three doubles teams nationally. Whoriskey and Natalie Pluskota are the top-ranked duo in the country, while Miami's Vallverdu and Gabriela Mejia are ranked third.
SCHEDULE OF PLAY
Saturday, Jan. 16
10 a.m. Singles -- Miami vs. Tennessee
1 p.m. Doubles -- Michigan vs. Miami, Tennessee vs. Washington
Singles to follow -- Michigan vs. Washington
Sunday, Jan. 17
10 a.m. Singles -- Miami vs. Washington
1 p.m. Doubles -- Michigan vs. Washington, Miami vs. Tennessee
Singles to follow -- Michigan vs. Tennessee
Monday, Jan. 18
9 a.m. Singles -- Tennessee vs. Washington
12 p.m. Doubles -- Michigan vs. Tennessee, Miami vs. Washington
Singles to follow -- Michigan vs. Miami
FORMAT OF PLAY
Each team will play three rounds of doubles and three rounds of singles. There will be eight flights in singles and four flights in doubles. Each day will consist of eight doubles matches and 16 singles matches. The third set will be played to completion in singles. Points will be allotted for each win based on the following decreasing point value to determine the champion (singles and doubles) at the end of the weekend.
Win at No. 1 position -- 8 points
Win at No. 2 position -- 7 points
Win at No. 3 position -- 6 points
Win at No. 4 position -- 5 points
Win at No. 5 position -- 4 points
Win at No. 6 position -- 3 points
Win at No. 7 position -- 2 points
Win at No. 8 position -- 1 point
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Washington women's tennis team received a No. 24 preseason ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), up three spots from the end of the 2009 season. The real story however were the new individual rankings unveiled on January 5. Sophomore Denise Dy jumped 55 spots from her fall preseason ranking of 58th all the way up to No. 3, while Venise Chan also moved up to a new career-high No. 11. Both women had fantastic fall seasons, accounting for their major improvements. Dy in particular had numerous wins over highly-ranked foes, and based on the current rankings has victories over the second and fourth-ranked players. Not only that, but Dy and senior Joyce Ardies moved further up the doubles rankings to No. 11 as well, a new high for both. Samantha Smith and Lina Xu also earned their first career doubles ranking, coming in at No. 44. Dy's No. 3 ranking is the highest for a Husky since Kristina Kraszewski was the No. 1-ranked player in the country in 2000.
UP NEXT: Washington's home opener will be next Saturday morning, Jan. 23, at 10 a.m. against the 64th-ranked BYU Cougars. The next morning the Huskies will play early once again, hosting 62nd-ranked Utah on Sunday again at 10 a.m.