Huskies' NCAA Run Ended By Clemson, 4-3, In Quarterfinals
May 21, 2004
ATHENS, Ga. - Washington's season came down to a third-set tiebreak loss, as the Huskies were unable to get past Clemson, falling 4-3, in the quarterfinals of the 2004 NCAA Women's Tennis Championship at Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Friday.
The fourth-seeded Huskies (21-6) matched their best-ever tournament finish, after also advancing as far as the Elite Eight in 2001. But a school-record trip to the Final Four was not to be, as fifth-seeded Clemson (26-3) used a win at fifth singles by Ioana Paun over UW freshman Saskia Nauenberg to clinch the victory. Nauenberg won the first-set 6-2, before Paun answered with a 6-3 win in the second. Paun then took the third-set in a tie-break, 7-6. Clemson will face UCLA in the semifinals, Saturday, at 8 a.m. PT.
'We had a great season,' said Washington's Head Coach Patty McCain. 'This was the first match like that (3-3 tie, with clinching match going to a tiebreaker) that we lost all year. It was anybody's match coming down to the wire.'
'We thought this was going to be a rebuilding year,' said McCain. 'We lost six seniors off last year's team. Our freshmen fought hard. It was a huge accomplishment to make it this far.'
Washington started out the match in a hole, as Clemson captured the doubles point. The Tigers' team of Richele LeSaldo and Karen Rombouts first defeated UW's freshman-sophomore combo of Monika Kolbovic and Stephanie Svanfeldt, 8-4 at No. 3. The Tigers clinched the doubles point at No. 2, as Julie Coin and Alix Lacelerie defeated senior Erin Hoe and sophomore Dinka Hadzic, 8-5. UW's 10th-ranked team of senior Claire Carter and junior Dea Sumantri was trailing at No. 1 doubles when play was suspended.
UW stormed back in singles play, as junior Mugette Ahn earned a quick straight-set win at No. 6 singles over Rombouts, 6-3, 6-2. Hadzic then lost in straight sets to Maria Brito, 6-2, 6-4, but a victory by Hoe at No. 3, 7-5, 6-0, tied the match at 2-2.
The Huskies took a 3-2 lead on Sumantri's straight-set win over 68th-ranked Daniela Alvarez at No. 2 singles, 6-4, 6-4. Clemson then needed to win the last two matches on the courts, which is exactly what they did. Sixth-ranked Coin proved to be too much for the 33rd-ranked Carter at No. 1. Carter looked to be in control, winning the first set 6-3, but Coin came back with 6-4, 6-1 wins in the second and third sets.
The deciding match moved to the dual at No. 5 singles, a battle that ended in a third-set tiebreak in favor of Clemson's Paun.
Washington ends the season with 21 wins, equaling its best total-win performance under head coach Patty McCain. The Huskies will not say good-bye to Athens just yet, as three singles players and one doubles team will compete in the individual portion of the championship beginning Monday, May 24. Carter, Sumantri and Hoe will play in the 64-member singles bracket, while Carter and Sumantri will compete in the 32-team doubles bracket.
NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship
Quarterfinals o May 21, 2004 o Dan Magill Tennis Center
No. 5 seed Clemson 4, No. 4 seed Washington 3
1. (10) Claire Carter/Dea Sumantri (UW) vs. (31) Daniela Alvarez/Maria Brito (Clem), DNF
2. Julie Coin/Alix Lacelerie (Clem) def. Erin Hoe/Dinka Hadzic (UW), 8-5
3. Richele LeSaldo/Karen Rombouts (Clem) def. Monika Kolbovic/Stephanie Svanfeldt (UW), 8-4
1. (6) Julie Coin (Clem) def. (33) Claire Carter (UW), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
2. (17) Dea Sumantri (UW) def. (68) Daniela Alvarez (Clem), 6-4, 6-4
3. (64) Erin Hoe (UW) def. Alix Lacelerie (Clem), 7-5, 6-0
4. (96) Maria Brito (Clem) def. Dinka Hadzic (UW), 6-2, 6-4
5. Ioana Paun (Clem) def. Saskia Nauenberg (UW), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6
6. Mugette Ahn (UW) def. Karen Rombouts (Clem), 6-3, 6-2