UW Women's Tennis Face Sac State, Michigan
Feb. 1, 2007
THIS WEEK: The Washington women's tennis team (0-2) return to action after a 12-day layoff. The Huskies will play their first two home matches of the season, taking on No. 63 Sacramento State (0-1) on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 11 a.m., and No. 22 Michigan (1-0) on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. Admission is free for both matches in the Nordstrom Tennis Center and free pizza and soft drinks are available in between the doubles and singles matches. Fans can also follow both matches on gohuskies.com with free live stats and free live video.
SCOUTING SACRAMENTO STATE: Sacramento State is ranked No. 63 in the latest ITA poll. The Hornets played California in their season-opening match and were swept 7-0 by the Bears. The Huskies and Hornets both played in a three-day tournament in Maui, Hawaii. In tournament play, the Huskies held a 4-1 advantage in singles matches over Sacramento State. The Hornets did not have their No. 1 singles player Katrina Zheltova in Hawai'i, but she will play on Saturday in Seattle. Washington holds a 5-1 advantage in dual matches, including a 4-3 win on April 16 in Seattle last season.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN: The Huskies and the 22nd-ranked Wolverines will clash on the tennis court for the first time ever in women's tennis history on Sunday at 11 a.m. The Wolverines (1-0) claimed a 4-3 victory in their season opener against then-ranked No. 12 Vanderbilt. Michigan is led by Tulane transfer Jenny Kuehn, ranked No. 81 in the latest ITA polls. Kuehn, the former two-time Conference USA Player of the Year, Michigan will face Oregon in Eugene on Saturday before heading north to Seattle.
HURRICANE KATRINA CONNECTION: Husky freshman Joyce Ardies and Michigan graduate senior Jenny Kuehn have a unique bond that will be brought to the forefront on Sunday. Both were members of the Tulane Green Wave tennis team before the devestation of Hurricane Katrina forced the suspension of the tennis program in 2005. Kuehn found a home in Ann Arbor, while Ardies journey to Washington was a little more bumpy. Ardies arrived in New Orleans just before Katrina hit the South. She was ushered immediately from the airport to a shelter by her coach, which marked the start of a trying journey. She eventually ended up on the campus of Texas A&M University, but did not participate with the tennis team there. Husky Coach Jill Hultquist ended up hearing about Ardies from Tulane's former coach and welcomed her to the team in the fall. Ardies has played No. 5 singles for the Huskies in their first two dual meets, while Kuehn is Michigan's No. 1 player and ranked No. 81 in the ITA polls. Although the pair never played together, they remain friends.
FACTS AND FIGURES
ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The Huskies will depend on a mix of youth and experience in the 2007 season. Mathilde Cor has emerged as the top contender to play No. 1 singles for the Huskies. The junior transfer debuted in Hawai'i and won the Flight 1 singles bracket and should start the season in the top spot for Washington. Junior Tara Simpson was the Huskies most consistent performer in 2006 and will be counted on at No. 2 or No. 3 spot in the singles lineup. The other front runners for starting spots in the singles lineup are sophomore Victoria Brymer, freshman transfer Joyce Ardies, sophomore Melinda Wong and junior Allison Rainey. The Huskies also have freshman Morgan Ramser Aleksandra Malovic on scholarship. Lauren Summers, a walk-on from Edmonds, Wash., rounds out the roster for the Huskies.
SECOND TIME AROUND: Jill Hultquist is in her second season at the helm for the Huskies. The Huskies battled injuries and roster depletions on their way to a 3-17 record in 2006. Hultquist previously served as an assistant coach under Patty McCain at Washington from 1997-2002. She was named the 2001 ITA National Asst. Coach of the Year. Hultquist added Fernando Sanchez to her staff as an assistant this year. Sanchez was a member of VCU's NCAA Championship finalist team in 2000 and obtained a ranking of No. 64 during his career.