Huskies Conclude Home Season With Two Non-Conference Duals

April 11, 2006

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- THIS WEEK: The Husky women's tennis team will look to put together a strong finish in their final two home matches, hoping their recent improved play will translate into the win column. Washington (2-15, 0-7 Pac-10) also gets a break from their usual dose of top-20 competition, as No. 61 South Alabama visits on Friday, April 14 for a 5:30 match, and No. 58 Sacramento State challenges the Huskies on Sunday, April 16 at 12 noon in the home finale. Bill Quillian Stadium is the site for both matches.

SCOUTING SOUTH ALABAMA: The South Alabama Jaguars come out of the Sun Belt Conference. The Jaguars are ranked 61st with a 12-7 record and a 4-0 conference mark. The Huskies and Jaguars have not played a common opponent this season. The Jaguars have a young team consisting of three freshmen, three sophomoes and one junior and senior. South Alabama has fallen off a bit from their strong 2005 season which saw them reach the second round of the NCAA Championships and finish 27th in the ITA Rankings. The Jaguars top player is sophomore Adrianna Solarova, who is 91st in the Fila Singles Rankings. Washington won the only previous meeting between the schools back in 2004.

SCOUTING SACRAMENTO STATE: The Sacramento State Hornets are 12-6 on the season and a perfect 6-0 in Big Sky play. Senior Margarita Karnaukhova is 8-5 in the No. 1 singles spot for the Hornets and ranks 76th in the nation in singles. Junior Cecilia Helland owns the best singles record on the team at 13-5 in dual play, 7-0 at fourth singles. Washington and Sacramento State each played New Mexico earlier this season, with the Huskies losing, 4-3, and the Hornets falling, 6-1. San Diego is the other common opponent, where the Hornets posted a 5-2 win in their first match of the season, and the Huskies were defeated, 6-1 in early March. Sacramento State earned their first ever win over Washington last season, upsetting UW, 4-3. The Huskies still lead the series, 4-1.

LAST TIME OUT: Washington played tough last weekend but suffered two Pac-10 losses on their home courts to the Arizona schools. In the first match against the Wildcats, Washington came out playing some of their best doubles of the year and surprised Arizona by taking two out of the three matches to win the point. It was only the Huskies fourth doubles point win. Dinka Hadzic and Victoria Brymer were victorious, 8-5 at No. 1 doubles while Melinda Wong and Allison Rainey got their first dual win together in a tiebreak at No. 3 doubles. Momentum carried through the first set of singles play, with Washington winning first sets on three courts, but Arizona fought back in two of the three to win, and earned straight set wins in the remaining three matches. Tara Simpson was the only Husky to hold her set lead, upsetting 61st-ranked Juliette Mavroleon, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 3 singles. The following day against the 16th-ranked Sun Devils of Arizona State, the Huskies hung tough in nearly every match but were nonetheless swept, 7-0. Hadzic fell two points short of knocking off ASU's No. 1 player, Sabrina Capannolo, losing 11-9 in a third-set super-tiebreak despite saving four match points. At No. 5 singles, Wong also was thwarted in a third-set super-tiebreak after she took the second set of her match with Jessica Leitch. Leitch though prevailed 10-6 in the breaker.

TAKING THE HARD ROAD: One of the biggest factors in Washington's struggles this season has been their daunting schedule. In what was likely a rebuilding year from the start, the Huskies played one of their toughest schedules in the program's history, and surely one of the hardest in the nation. Ten of Washington's opponents were ranked in the top-25 when they met the Huskies, including top-ten squads Stanford, USC, California, and Northwestern. Sixteen of UW's 17 opponents this season have been ranked, compare that to only six for Sacramento State, one of this weekend's two opponents.

UP NEXT: The final match of the Husky women's tennis team's 2006 dual season is a rematch of one of their two wins thus far. The Huskies face the Washington State Cougars in Pullman, in what will be the last chance for each team to avoid a winless conference season. Washington won the non-conference meeting between the two, 4-3, on March 26 in Seattle. The Huskies and Cougars meet on April 21 at 1:30 p.m.

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