Women's Tennis Enters Homestand With Two Weekend Duals
Feb. 4, 2010
Friday, Feb. 5, 1 p.m., Nordstrom Tennis Center
#23 Washington vs Portland
Sunday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m. Nordstrom Tennis Center
#23 Washington vs. #42 San Diego State
THIS WEEK: Washington's 23rd-ranked women's tennis team heads into a crucial four-match homestand beginning with a pair of matches this Friday and Sunday at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Coming off a major 4-3 upset of 16th-ranked South Carolina, the Huskies (3-1) will look for continued improvement while hosting a pair of teams that will be looking for their own upsets. This Friday, Feb. 5, Portland will be in town for a 1 p.m. dual, then on Sunday Washington will take on 42nd-ranked San Diego State with a 10 a.m. start time that should allow plenty of time to stock up on snacks on the way to the nearest Super Bowl party.
DY COLLECTS UW'S SECOND-STRAIGHT PAC-10 HONOR: Washington made it two-for-two in Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week awards this week as sophomore Denise Dy earned the first such honor of her career for the week of Jan. 25-31. Dy's win came one week after junior Venise Chan garnered the first honor of the 2010 season. Dy was rock solid for the 23rd-ranked Huskies on the road as Washington split a pair of matches against Top-20 opposition. Dy did not drop a set in singles or doubles during the weekend. Against the 18th-ranked Razorbacks, she dominated Stephanie Roy at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-1. She and senior Joyce Ardies also scored an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles over Anouk Tigu and Claudine Paulson. The next day against the 16th-ranked Gamecocks, Dy's No. 2 singles match was the only one of the six not to go three sets. She dispatched Dijana Stojic 6-1, 6-3 to set Washington on its way to the 4-3 upset. She and Ardies also won again in the top doubles match, handling Stojic and Ana Marija Zubori, 8-2.
CHAN WINS THIRD PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior Venise Chan's 2010 season is off to an impressive start, as the 11th-ranked Husky was named Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 18-24. Chan was 2-0 in both singles and doubles as the 24th-ranked Huskies opened their dual season with 6-1 wins over BYU and Utah. Against the Cougars, Chan took out 54th-ranked McCall Jones in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. She also partnered with sophomore Samantha Smith in doubles, posting an 8-1 win at No. 2 over BYU's Doerr and Nedakovic. The next day, Chan slid to the No. 2 singles spot for the first time in her career, allowing 3rd-ranked sophomore Denise Dy to take a shot at No. 1 for the first time. Both won again, with Chan earning the day's fastest win, a 6-1, 6-3 decision over Erin Monson. She and Smith won again at second doubles, 8-6, over Utah's No. 2 team. Chan now owns three of Washington's five all-time Pac-10 Player of the Week honors, an award which started in 2006.
LAST TIME OUT: Washington trekked down to Fayetteville, Arkansas last weekend to take part in the qualifying rounds for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Huskies were drawn into a very tough four-team qualifying section that featured 16th-ranked South Carolina, 18th-ranked Arkansas, and 20th-ranked Michigan. The Huskies faced the Razorbacks in the opener last Friday. Denise Dy won easily at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-1 over Stephanie Roy, and Joyce Ardies pulled out a 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 win over Emily Carbone at No. 4, but Arkansas took the remainder. Venise Chan came up just short in a third set, 7-5, at No. 1, while Samantha Smith also fell in three. Ardies and Dy were also winners at No. 1 singles for UW. The next day Washington wouldn't lack motivation with another chance at a Top-20 team, especially when it was South Carolina, which had ended UW's season in the 2009 NCAA Round of 16. The match went back and forth several times. The Gamecocks won the doubles point although Ardies and Dy were victorious again at the top spot, 8-2. Five of the six singles matches then went three sets, with only Dy powering through in straights, 6-1, 6-3 over Dijana Stojic. Smith earned UW its second point at fifth singles with a three-setter, but USC took a 3-2 lead with wins at No. 3 and No. 4. Chan then knotted the score with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 win over 38th-ranked Ana Marija Zubori. With the match hanging in the balance, Aleksandra Malovic broke an even third set with Adriana Pereira at 3-all and proceeded to take the win, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to get UW its biggest win of the year.
SCOUTING PORTLAND: The Pilots opened their season with a 6-1 loss at Oregon, then came back with a 7-0 sweep of Eastern Washington to sit at 1-1 heading into Friday's dual. Junior Stephanie Fuchs earned Portland's point against the Ducks at No. 5 singles. Junior Lacy Pflibsen holds down the top singles spot and was an All-WCC selection in singles and doubles last year. Washington swept Portland in the season opener last year and leads the all-time series, 19-0. Susie Campbell-Gross is in her 16th season coaching the Pilots.
SCOUTING ARKANSAS: San Diego State and Washington are plenty familiar with one another at this point, having played twice last season, including in the NCAA First Round, a 4-0 win for the Huskies. Washington also has played at SDSU's Fall Classic for the past several years, including in the fall of 2009, where Joyce Ardies and Samantha Smith won the doubles title and Ardies reached the singles final. The 42nd-ranked Aztecs are 2-1 thus far, having lost their last match to 58th-ranked UC Irvine, 5-2. The Aztecs will play Portland first on Saturday. San Diego State is young this year with no seniors and freshmen Julia Wais and Alicia Aguilar playing second and third singles, respectively. The two wins over SDSU last year gave UW an 8-6 edge in the series.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Washington debuted at 24th in the first ITA team rankings released January 5, then moved up one spot to 23rd on Jan. 26. That is up four spots from where the Huskies finished the 2009 season. The real news of the last set of individual rankings was the outstanding new career-high rankings for both Venise Chan and Denise Dy. Chan, already ranked 16th in the preseason, climbed to 11th following her impressive fall. Dy, meanwhile, rocketed up the rankings from 58th to 3rd after a string of huge wins during fall tournament play. Dy already has wins over both the No. 2 and No. 4-ranked players in the country. Adding to the good news was the doubles ranking for Dy and senior Joyce Ardies. They moved up to No. 11, another career-high for both. Lina Xu and Samantha Smith also earned their first career doubles ranking, checking in at No. 44. Dy's No. 3 singles ranking is the highest for a Husky since Kristina Kraszewski earned the No. 1 spot back in 2000.
UP NEXT: The Huskies have a weekend off before continuing on at home with two critical matches against Sacramento State and Minnesota. The 59th-ranked Hornets of Sac State have had UW's number the past few years, and Washington will look to snap that streak on Feb. 20. That match has an 11 a.m. first serve. The next day the Huskies take on the Gophers in a 10 a.m. dual.
CHAN AND DY ON FIRE IN THE FALL: The 2009 fall season will go down as one of the best in Husky history, as both Denise Dy and Venise Chan had multiple outstanding tournament runs. Dy showed sings of what was to come during the summer, when she won the Washington State Open, beating Arizona State All-American Kelcy McKenna in the final. Starting with the ITA Northwest Regional Championships, Dy really caught fire. In the quarterfinals, she upset reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year Hilary Barte of Stanford. Next Dy beat Mallory Burdette, ranked 16th in the latest rankings, in a third set tiebreak. In the championship match, She took down fourth-ranked Jana Juricova of Cal, the 2009 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, in straight sets to become the first Husky ever to win the Regional title. That earned Dy a spot in the ITA National Indoor Championships, where she joined Chan. At the Indoors, Dy beat three more Top-25 players, including Barte again, to reach the semifinals. She had a three-set win over Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State, who moved up to No. 4 in January. In the semis, Dy was unable to get past Juricova a second time, and the Cal sophomore then took the title. Chan's National Indoor run was also special, as she joined Dy in the quarterfinals, highlighted by a win over 20th-ranked Kristy Frilling of Notre Dame. Chan started her fall off with a semifinal run of her own, as she reached the final four at the ITA All-American Championships. Her run included wins over No. 23 Lenka Broosova of Baylor, and rival Pac-10 First Teamers Kelcy McKenna of ASU and Marina Cossou of Cal, both ranked in the Top-20. Chan's run was halted in the semis by Georgia Tech's Irina Falconi in a 7-5, 7-6 heartbreaker. Falconi would win the tournament and assume the No. 1 ranking after the fall. It was Falconi again that topped Chan at National Indoors.
HEAD COACH Jill Hultquist: Entering year five of her tenure, head coach Jill Hultquist has ushered in a rebirth of the women's tennis program. In just four years, Hultquist took a 3-17 team and restored stability, added depth and an influx of talent, and brought the Huskies back to national prominence. The turnaround was made official when the Huskies reached the NCAA Round of 16 in 2009 with a stunning upset of Pac-10 Champion USC. Hultquist was named the Northwest Region Head Coach of the Year for her efforts in 2009, as the Huskies went 18-8 and finished the season ranked 27th. Sophomore Venise Chan earned her first All-Pac-10 First Team honor and became the third Husky ever to end the year ranked in the Top-25, finishing 25th. One year prior, Hultquist guided the Huskies back to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2005, and the Huskies climbed back into the ITA Top-40 after nearly a two-year absence. Hultquist is the fourth head coach in program history, and succeeded Patty McCain, whom Hultquist worked with as an assistant for five seasons from 1997-2002. During her first tour of duty at UW, Hultquist helped lead the Huskies to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances including a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2001. Hultquist was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in 2001. She was also selected as the ITA Northwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year in both 2000 and 2001. Before joining the coaching ranks at Washington, Hultquist played professionally on the WTA Tour from 1987-1997, winning more than 20 doubles titles. She ranked as high as sixth in the world in doubles and 64th in the world in singles. Hultquist teamed with McCain on the doubles circuit, and among their victories was a win over Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini in the semifinals of the 1988 U.S. Open. They also advanced to the finals of the 1989 Australian Open. Hultquist reached the mixed doubles finals of the French Open in 1995 and competed in the Olympic Games for Canada in 1984, 1988 and 1996. A native of Toronto, Canada, Hultquist and her husband Rich have two children, Jack (8) and Maggie (6).