Huskies Face No. 24 Ducks On Friday
Feb. 8, 2006
- THIS WEEK: The Oregon Ducks make their annual trip up to Seattle this weekend to face the Washington women's tennis team in what is always a hotly-contested rivalry. In the series' latest installment, the 40th-ranked Huskies (1-2) are in the rare position of underdog, looking to upset the No. 24 Ducks. The action takes place Friday, February 10 at 1:30 p.m. at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
LIVE VIDEO AND SCORING: Many home matches, including the Oregon match this weekend will be streamed live on gohuskies.com as well as archived on the site. Fans who wish to watch must be premium subscribers to The Dawg Channel All-Access. For more information visit gohuskies.com. Live scoring is also available on gohuskies.com.
SCOUTING OREGON: The Ducks broke into the top-25 in the latest rankings, coming in at 24th, although they have not played a match since January 29. Oregon has yet to be challenged in their three matches against Portland, Santa Clara, and Boise State. Junior Dominika Dieskova is Oregon's top singles player, ranking 26th in singles. Dieskova and frehman Anna Olivos are the 49th-ranked doubles team. The Huskies and Ducks split their two matches last year, with Washington winning the first dual, 5-2, in Eugene. Oregon prevailed in the second meeting, winning 4-3 for only the third all-time Oregon win in the series. Despite the competitiveness of recent matches, the Huskies still hold a commanding 54-3 all-time series lead.
LAST TIME OUT: Washington split a pair of nonconference duals this past weekend, sweeping the Portland PIilots, 7-0, before falling 4-3 to the New Mexico Lobos. Against Portland, the Huskies took every set in singles and doubles to pick up their first win of the season and the first dual win for Head Coach Jill Hultquist. Senior Stephanie Svanfeldt clinched the win with a straight set win at No. 5 singles, and freshman Victoria Brymer scored the first dual win of her collegiate career with a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 3 singles. Facing the Lobos this past Sunday, the Huskies fell just short in a match decided by the doubles point. New Mexico scored decisive wins at second and third doubles to clinch the point, however, senior Dinka Hadzic and Brymer continued to battle at No. 1 doubles against the No. 3 doubles team in the nation, Maja Kovacek and Iva Gersic. The UW duo took the Lobo tandem into a tiebreak, but lost 7-4 in the breaker. The two teams then split the six singles matches with New Mexico clinching the win at No. 4 singles when Nora Quintal held off sophomore Allison Rainey, 6-3 in the third set. Hadzic had the day's biggest win, upsetting 20th-ranked Kovacek at No. 1 singles, 6-4, 6-3. Freshman Melinda Wong remained undefeated in dual play, improving to 3-0 with a straight set No. 6 singles win over Mackenzie White. Brymer ended the match by winning a third set super-tiebreak at third singles.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: In the latest Fila Rankings released February 7, the Huskies fell to 40th. Washington is on the outside of the top-25 looking in for the first time in almost exactly five years, the last time coming in early February, 2001. The Huskies are currently without any players ranked in the individual rankings.
UP NEXT: The Huskies have an off-week to prepare for one of the toughest weekends of the season when sixth-ranked California and top-ranked Stanford come to Seattle for two conference matches. The Huskies host the Golden Bears on Friday, February 24 at 12 p.m. then face the two-time defending NCAA Champion Cardinal on Saturday, February 25 at 12 p.m.
THE SCHEDULE: As is usually the case, the Huskies faced an extremely difficult schedule when they took to the courts in January. The Huskies enjoyed the luxury of playing their first eight dual matches at home. Non-conference home opponents during that stretch include BYU, Portland, New Mexico, San Diego State and San Diego. Based on the current FilaTeam Rankings, 16 of UW's 18 different opponents are ranked, including eight different top-20 teams. The Huskies have five current top-10 teams on their `06 slate: #1 Stanford, #3 Texas, #4 USC, #6 California and #8 Northwestern. The Huskies' don't take to the road until March 10-11 when they face USC and UCLA in Los Angeles. In fact, the Huskies only take two trips outside of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to its trip to Southern California, Washington will travel to the state of Texas to face the University of Texas (April 1) and TCU (April 2). At Texas, Husky players will face their former coach Patty McCain, while Hultquist will coach against her good friend after coaching side-by-side for five years. McCain left Washington after eight years at the helm of the program following the 2005 season.
FALL SEASON: The Huskies participated in three main tournaments during their fal season. The All-American Championships opened the season, followed by ITA Northwest Regionals, then the Husky Invitational. At the All-American Championships in Los Angeles, Dinka Hadzic advanced the farthest, reaching the second round of the qualifying draw. Hadzic and Tara Simpson won a pair of doubles matches to advance through the prequalifying round into the qualifying bracket but were defeated in round one. Hadzic and Simpson also reached the quarterfinals of the ITA Northwest Regional Doubles Tourney before being ousted by the second-seeded team from Stanford. Simpson's best fall showing came in the Regionals, where she reached the Round of 16 after a pair of straight-set wins. At the Husky Invitational Hadzic reached the singles final but lost to Oregon's Dominika Dieskova, who also defeated Simpson in the semifinals. Allison Rainey advanced to the finals of the second singles flight, while Hadzic and Simpson were bested in the finals of the doubles tournament.
HULTQUIST TAKES REINS: Jill Hultquist begins her first season at the helm of the Washington women's tennis program in 2005-06. Hultquist, a former standout on the pro tour and in the collegiate ranks, returned to Washington after serving as an assistant coach with the Huskies from 1997-2002. This is the first collegiate head coaching position for Hultquist, who becomes the fourth head coach in program history. 'Jill was an accomplished player, is an exceptional teacher and as a previous member of our staff demonstrated leadership and coaching skills that are a perfect match for the University of Washington,' Washington Athletics Director Todd Turner said at the time of her hiring. 'We're very pleased to have her leading our women's tennis program.' Hultquist was an assistant under McCain at Washington for five years and played an integral role in guiding the program to new heights. During her first tenure at UW, Hultquist helped lead the Huskies to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances including a school record trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2001. In fact, it was Hultquist who served as the acting head coach for the team during its Elite Eight run, as McCain was unable to travel to Stone Mountain, Ga., due to the impending birth of her first child. Hultquist was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in 2001, an honor she shared with Georgia's Debbie Beck. 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.