Huskies Fall to Aggies, 4-1, in NCAA First Round

May 9, 2008

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The 2008 season for the Washington women's tennis team came to an end today with a 4-1 loss to 31st-ranked Texas A&M in the NCAA First Round. Playing at the regional hosted by Stanford at the Taube Family Tennis Center, the 38th-ranked Huskies (12-10, 2-6 Pac-10) fell short in their first NCAA appearance since 2005, while the Aggies advance to face fourth-ranked Stanford tomorrow at 12 noon.

Freshman Venise Chan scored UW's only point, as she took down 104th-ranked Elze Potgieter, 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. Chan, ranked 37th, will still continue her season at the NCAA Singles Championships, May 21-26 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Chan played every match at No. 1 singles for the Huskies, going a team-best 15-6.

The win from Chan tied the match at 1-1, after Texas A&M had taken the doubles point. Stephanie Davidson and Morgan Frank defeated UW's Aleksandra Malovic and Vanja Radunovic, 8-4, at No. 3 doubles to start the match. The Aggies' 51st-ranked No. 1 team of Anna Blagodarova and Tiffany Clifford then clinched the point with an 8-4 win over senior Tara Simpson and sophomore Joyce Ardies. At the No. 2 match, Chan and freshman Kelsey Anonsen were serving down 6-7 when the point was clinched and their match was suspended.

Texas A&M put together three consecutive wins to close out the match. Blagodarova defeated Simpson, 6-0, 6-3 at No. 3 singles for a 2-1 advantage. Simpson finishes with a 21-11 record this season, and a 73-59 record for her career. The 73 wins is tied for eighth-most in Washington history.

Washington's second departing senior, Allison Rainey, lost to Davidson at No. 6 singles, 6-3, 6-1. Rainey battled illness for much of her senior season, but made it back for UW's final regular season match and the postseason. Rainey was 46-47 over her four-year career.

The match was clinched at No. 2 singles, where Liles defeated Malovic, 6-3, 6-3. That suspended the remaining two matches, both of which Washington was in a position to win. Joyce Ardies was up a set after a 7-5 tiebreak win in her first set with Morgan Frank at No. 2 singles. They were tied 2-2 in the second set. Anonsen also took her first set at No. 5 singles over Clifford, but Clifford rebounded with a 6-4 second set win, and the players were early in the third set when play was stopped.

Given the past two seasons, when UW won only eight total matches over two years, the 2008 season has to be viewed as a resounding success. Washington climbed as high as No. 34 in the rankings after starting the season at No. 70. The Huskies had their first win over a Top-20 team since 2005 when they upset No. 12 Arizona State late in the season. And Washington should only go up from here, as five of the six singles positions were occupied by freshmen or sophomores for the majority of the season.

Chan, named the ITA West Region Player to Watch for 2009, will now look to write a more storybook ending for the season as she will be the first Husky to compete in the individual championship since Dea Sumantri in 2005. If she reaches the Round of 16, Chan would become the program's fifth All-American. Draws will be released following the conclusion of the team championship.

Washington Women's Tennis
NCAA Championships - First Round
5/9/08 - Palo Alto, Calif. - Stanford University
Taube Family Tennis Center

No. 31 Texas A&M 4, No. 38 Washington 1

1. (51) Blagodarova/Clifford (A&M) def. Ardies/Simpson (UW), 8-4
2. Anonsen/Chan (UW) vs. Liles/Potgieter (A&M), 6-7 DNF
3. Davidson/Frank (A&M) def. Malovic/Radunovic (UW), 8-4
Order of finish: 3, 1

1. (37) Venise Chan (UW) def. (104) Elze Potgieter (A&M), 6-4, 6-1
2. Christi Liles (A&M) def. Aleksandra Malovic (UW), 6-3, 6-3
3. Anna Blagodarova (A&M) def. Tara Simpson (UW), 6-0, 6-3
4. Joyce Ardies (UW) vs. Morgan Frank (A&M), 7-6 (5), 2-2 DNF
5. Kelsey Anonsen (UW) vs. Tiffany Clifford (A&M), 6-2, 4-6, 2-0 DNF
6. Stephanie Davidson (A&M) def. Allison Rainey (UW), 6-3, 6-1
Order of finish: 1, 3, 6, 2

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