Huskies Mount Comeback To Beat Arizona

March 7, 2009

TUCSON, Ariz. - Washington's 23rd-ranked women's tennis team battled back from a 2-0 deficit to overtake Arizona, 4-3, today at the Wildcats' LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. Junior Aleksandra Malovic clinched the win for the Dawgs with a three-set win at No. 5 singles.

The win was the first for the Huskies in Pac-10 play, as they move to 8-5 overall and 1-3 in conference. Arizona drops to 6-4 and 1-2. Washington has now beaten Arizona each of the past two seasons after winning just four of the previous 24 meetings.

The Huskies endured a difficult doubles point loss, as they came up short, 9-7, at No. 2 doubles, and 9-8 (3), at the third spot. Then sophomore Lina Xu was forced to retire just one game into her No. 3 singles match after suffering an ankle sprain. That left five singles matches with UW needing to win four.

Junior Joyce Ardies got the Huskies going with a 6-1, 6-2 win at sixth singles over Jane Huh. Freshman Samantha Smith then earned her first Pac-10 singles win, defeating Ariane Masschelein, 6-4, 6-4 at No. 4. 59th-ranked freshman Denise Dy then completed a comeback win over 125th-ranked Natasha Marks at second singles, prevailing 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

The match was even at 3-3, after Arizona senior Danielle Steinberg upset 21st-ranked Venise Chan, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. That left things up to Malovic at No. 5 singles against Claire Rietsch. Malovic took the first set in a tiebreak, but Rietsch rolled to a 6-1 second set win. After opening up a lead in the third set, Malovic was determined to close out the match, and erase the memory of a couple close losses she suffered in recent weeks when leading in third sets. She was able to do so, winning the final set, 6-3.

'For me personally it was pretty big because I had lost late leads twice already this year, and if felt really good to finish the win today,' said Malovic. 'For this team as a whole it meant a lot that we won 4-3. Yesterday it was really close as well so we needed this one. To go out after the doubles and Lina getting hurt and win four singles matches took a big team effort.'

The Huskies will head home to Seattle and take a break from conference play, as they play just once next week, hosting Michigan State on Friday, March 13.

Washington Women's Tennis
3/7/09 - Tucson, Ariz.
LaNelle Robson Tennis Center

No. 23 Washington 4, Arizona 3

1) Marks/Rietsch (UA) def. (36) Chan/Dy (UW), 8-5
2) (66) Steinberg/Landsman (UA) def. Malovic/Xu (UW), 9-7
3) Masschelein/Huh (UA) def. Smith/Krsljanin (UW), 9-8 (3)

1) Danielle Steinberg (UA) def. (21) Venise Chan (UW), 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
2) (59) Denise Dy (UW) def. (125) Natasha Marks (UA), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
3) Sarah Landsman (UA) def. Lina Xu (UW), 1-0, retired
4) Samantha Smith (UW) def. Ariane Masschelein (UA), 6-4, 6-4
5) Aleksandra Malovic (UW) def. Claire Rietsch (UA), 7-6, 1-6, 6-3
6) Joyce Ardies (UW) def. Jane Huh (UA), 6-1, 6-2

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