Huskies Upset Cougars To Snap Losing Streak

March 26, 2006

SEATTLE - Despite suffering through the midst of a forgettable season thus far, and able to start only five girls in singles for the third-straight match, Washington's women's tennis team demonstrated their purple pride in a dramatic 4-3 win over the rival Washington State Cougars at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Sophomore Tara Simpson clinched the match with a 6-2 third set win over Cougar Amy Toth.

'At a time like this when you're in the middle of the season and the losses start mounting up, it was nice to get a win under our belts,' said Head Coach Jill Hultquist. 'And of course we always want to beat Wazzu as well. To be able to do that, we're thrilled. It has been a tough season and I've been really proud of them because they've stayed positive. They came out today and were still positive and fighting and that's what I want to see.'

With the win the Huskies snap a ten match losing streak. UW's last win came back on February 3 against Portland. It is the first ranked win for UW this season, as the Cougars came in ranked 72nd. The Huskies also picked up their first true doubles point win since the victory over Portland.

For Simpson, her gutsy win at No. 2 singles was her third in her past four matches and she now leads the team with five dual wins and 11 overall. Her match with Toth was a streaky slugfest, with Simpson taking a 4-1 lead in the first set before Toth fought back to force a tiebreak, which Simpson captured 7-4. Toth really got rolling in the second set, and dominated for six straight games as she won 6-0. Simpson reasserted herself in the third set and Toth cooled off. Leading 4-2, Simpson won a rapid net exchange on break point in the biggest point of the match to go up 5-2. She then served it out and the Huskies celebrated their biggest win of the year.

Freshman Victoria Brymer raced through her singles match at No. 3 versus Aleksandra Cekic. Brymer improved to 3-2 at third singles with a 6-0, 6-1 win in a match that finished over 30 minutes before any other. UW's other freshman, Melinda Wong, provided the next Husky win, holding off Aleksandra Stefanova, 6-4, 6-4, for her first career win at No. 5 singles.

The Huskies defaulted the No. 6 singles match once again as junior Monika Kolbovic could not make the start.

The Cougars clawed their way back into the match after the Huskies enjoyed a 3-1 lead. 77th-ranked Ekaterina Burduli rebounded from a 6-2 first set loss to senior Dinka Hadzic, and controlled the next two sets for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 1 singles. At the No. 4 spot, senior Stephanie Svanfeldt looked poised to push her match with Marjolein van de Ven to a decisive third set as well, but van de Ven rallied to win the final three games and the match, 6-1, 6-4. That left Simpson and Toth to decide things.

Washington broke through in doubles play with wins at first and third doubles to claim the 1-0 lead. Wong and Svanfeldt pulled out an 8-6 win at No. 3 over Stefanova and Selaru for their fist win of the year in dual play. That evened doubles play as Burduli and van de Ven captured the first match, 8-4, over Simpson and Monika Kolbovic. At No. 1 singles, UW's Hadzic and Brymer fell into a 5-7 hole against Toth and Maria Ring. They then held serve to make it 6-7, but faced match point in the next game. The Huskies pulled out the point and eventually broke serve, and both teams held again to reach a tiebreak. In the tiebreak, the Huskies rolled to the win, taking a 5-0 lead before the Cougars won a point. It was their only point of the tiebreak as UW prevailed, 7-1.

Next weekend the Huskies make what is sure to be an emotional and difficult road trip to face their former Head Coach Patty McCain and her new squad the Texas Longhorns. Last year's NCAA Runner-Up, 15th-ranked Texas hosts Washington on Saturday, April 1 at 10 a.m. PST. Then on Sunday, April 2, the UW takes on No. 22 TCU also at 10 pacific.

Washington Women's Tennis vs. Washington State
3/26/06 - Nordstrom Tennis Center - Seattle, Wash.
Washington def. No. 72 Washington State, 4-3

1) (38) Hadzic/Brymer (UW) def. Maria Ring/Toth (WSU), 9-8 (1)
2) Burduli/van de Ven (WSU) def. Simpson/Kolbovic (UW), 8-4
3) Wong/Svanfeldt (UW) def. Stefanova/Selaru (WSU), 8-6
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

1) (77) Ekaterina Burduli (WSU) def. (98) Dinka Hadzic (UW), 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
2) Tara Simpson (UW) def. Amy Toth (WSU), 7-6 (4), 0-6, 6-2
3) Victoria Brymer (UW) def. Aleksandra Cekic (WSU), 6-0, 6-1
4) Marjolein van de Ven (WSU) def. Stephanie Svanfeldt (UW), 6-1, 6-4
5) Melinda Wong (UW) def. Aleksandra Stefanova (WSU), 6-4, 6-4
6) WSU wins by default
Order of finish: 3, 5, 1, 4, 2

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