Huskies Post Best Ever Result Against Cardinal In Defeat

April 9, 2010

SEATTLE - Washington had 11th-ranked Stanford on the rocks and was aching for its first win over the Cardinal in program history, but Stanford managed to escape with a 4-3 win this afternoon at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Still, the 25th-ranked Huskies (10-5, 2-4 Pac-10) played one of their best matches of the season to push the Cardinal (16-1, 5-0 Pac-10) to the limit.

Today's match was the closest match in the 21-match history between the two programs. Even with two Elite Eight teams and two Sweet-16 teams over the past ten years, the Huskies had never been within a point of perennial power Stanford. Head coach Jill Hultquist thought this was UW's finest effort of the year, but still a missed chance that will sting.

'It was disappointing, but I told them that today was the first day that we actually looked like a team out there,' said Hultquist. 'The whole year I haven't really felt good about the team. We've been putting wins up there, but I haven't really felt like I could look at every court and feel really good about it, and see everyone fighting. And today was the first match for me this year that I saw fight. We still have some improvements, we could have pulled the doubles point out, but overall this is the best I've seen us play as a team, so that gives me encouragement.'

Despite dropping the doubles point, Washington came out and won five of the six first sets in singles to surprise the Cardinal. But Stanford was able to fight back and get two of those matches in three sets, and that proved to be the difference.

Husky seniors Joyce Ardies and Aleksandra Malovic showed how tough it will be to lose them, as they both picked up singles victories in their second-to-last home matches. Malovic's 7-6 (5), 6-1 win over Veronica Li at sixth singles put UW's first point on the board, and Ardies went the distance to upset 109th-ranked Carolyn McVeigh, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, at No. 5 singles.

Stanford had the win clinched at 4-2, but there was still a lot of drama on court two, where fourth-ranked sophomore Denise Dy was battling back in the third set against 61st-ranked Lindsay Burdette. Dy cruised in the first set, 6-1, but struggled to hold serve in the second and Burdette took it, 6-4. The third set saw Burdette open up a 3-0 lead with two service breaks, and after Dy got within 3-2, Burdette rallied again to open a 5-2 lead. Dy continued to hang on, breaking Burdette when she served for the match on two occasions to even it at 5-all. The two again traded service breaks to bring up a tiebreak, where Dy stepped up with the 7-3 win. Dy is now 24-3 on the year, has won seven-straight and is 11-0 at No. 2 singles.

The No. 1 singles match was a hard loss for the Huskies. 2009 Pac-10 Player of the Year Hilary Barte of Stanford went against 17th-ranked junior Venise Chan. Chan dominated the first set with an armful of winners, taking the frame 6-2. But Barte took a 4-3 lead in the second set, and then Chan lost her rhythm and dropped six straight games. Barte finished off a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 win. The Cardinal's other comeback came at No. 4 singles, where 69th-ranked Stacey Tan rallied to beat junior Lina Xu, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 despite one of Xu's best efforts this year.

'I think even though we lost, a couple players played their best tennis in a while, so that's very motivating especially going into postseason,' said Ardies. 'We needed some energy back, we had a lot of team spirit, and that's what our focus has been the last two weeks. Bring more energy, and bring the fight against those top schools. It sucks to lose like that, especially at home, when you're so close it hurts a little bit but we're going to focus on the positive for sure.

Washington swapped doubles partners at the second and third spots, and the move resulted in a big win at No. 2 doubles, with Chan and Xu upsetting 34th-ranked Tan and Mallory Burdette, 8-5, in just their first match together. But Stanford won at third doubles, and then the second-ranked duo of Barte and Lindsay Burdette overcame 14th-ranked Ardies and Dy, 8-6, at the No. 1 spot with a break of serve in the last game.

The Huskies will need a similar effort on Saturday in the home finale as they face the 12th-ranked Bears of California. It will be the last home appearance for Ardies, Malovic, and Lauren Summers. First serve is set for 12 noon, on the Bill Quillian Courts if the weather stays dry.

Washington Women's Tennis
April 9, 2010 - Seattle, Wash.
Nordstrom Tennis Center

No. 11 Stanford 4, No. 25 Washington 3

Doubles
1) (2) Barte/L. Burdette (Stan) def. (14) Ardies/Dy (UW), 8-6
2) Chan/Xu (UW) def. (34) Tan/M. Burdette (Stan), 8-5
3) McVeigh/Li (Stan) def. Malovic/Smith (UW), 8-3
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

Singles
1) (8) Hilary Barte (Stan) def. (17) Venise Chan (UW), 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
2) (4) Denise Dy (UW) def. (61) Lindsay Burdette (Stan), 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (3)
3) (36) Mallory Burdette (Stan) def. Samantha Smith (UW), 6-4, 6-2
4) (69) Stacey Tan (Stan) def. Lina Xu (UW), 5-7, 6-2, 6-2
5) Joyce Ardies (UW) def. (109) Carolyn McVeigh (Stan), 6-0, 3-6, 6-3
6) Aleksandra Malovic (UW) def. Veronica Li (Stan), 7-6 (5), 6-1
Order of finish: 3, 1, 6, 4, 5, 2

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