Huskies Open Pac-10 Slate in the Desert
Feb. 14, 2007
THIS WEEK: The Washington women's tennis team (0-4) returns to action after a 11-day layoff with a pair of conference matches down in the desert. The Huskies will face No. 24 Arizona State in their Pac-10 opener on Friday, Feb. 16 at 12:30 pm PT and No. 48 Arizona on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 11:00 am PT.
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: No. 24 Arizona State (4-1) boasts three ranked players in singles and a doubles team that is ranked in the top 10. The duo of Roxanne Clarke and Kady Pooler form the No. 8 team in the country, while Clarke is ranked No. 76 in singles, Pooler No. 99 and Sabrina Capannolo No. 90. Capannolo is the Sun Devils No. 1 singles player. Clarke and Pooler teamed up to win the All-American Championships in the fall. The Sun Devils lone loss came at the hands of former Husky head coach Patty McCain and the Texas Longhorns. ASU holds the all-time advantage against the Huskies, 5-17-1.
SCOUTING ARIZONA: The Wildcats (3-3) moved up four spots in the poll this week to No. 48. Arizona bounced back from a three-match losing streak to win a pair in San Diego, including an upset over No. 46 San Diego State on Friday, 4-3. The Wildcats have played five-straight matches against ranked opponents since opening the season against unranked Northern Arizona. A total of 10 of Arizona's 12 remaining opponents are ranked in the ITA poll. Arizona has two pairs ranked at doubles. Danielle Steinberg and Juliette Mavroleon are ranked at No. 40, while Kasia Jakowlew and Camelia Todorova follow closely behind at No. 43. This is the 16th all-time meeting between the Huskies and Wildcats. Arizona has the series lead so far, 19-4. Last season, the Wildcats won 5-2 at Washington.
FACTS AND FIGURES
MISSING IN ACTION: The Huskies have battled injuries, sickness and eligibility concerns throughout the early season that has forced Head Coach Jill Hultquist to juggle the lineup on a weekly basis. Newcomer Mathilde Cor missed the last two matches while recovering from mono, but is expected back this week in Arizona. Joyce Ardies is battling an injury that has limited her in practice and may keep her out of action this weekend. Morgan Ramser injured her ankle the very first day of practice and has only competed once for the Huskies this season. Aleksandra Malovic, who was expected to compete for the No. 1 or No. 2 singles spot, has yet to compete this season as her eligibility is cleared up by the NCAA.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: The Huskies undoubtedly have one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Every one of the Huskies' opponents are ranked in the latest ITA poll except for Gonzaga and Illinois. Washington still must battle five teams ranked in the top-25 and an additional five teams that are ranked between 25 and 50. All eight Pac-10 teams, excluding UW, are ranked, including No. 1 Stanford.
HURRICANE KATRINA DELIVERS ARDIES: Husky freshman Joyce Ardies was a member of the Tulane Green Wave tennis team before the devestation of Hurricane Katrina forced the suspension of the tennis program in 2005. 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 anywhere from No. 5 singles to No. 2 for the Huskies in their first four dual meets.
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 started 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.