UW Caps Road Trip With 4-3 Win Over No. 33 Illinois

March 27, 2009

MANOA, Hawai'i - The Husky women's tennis team earned one of its biggest wins of the season thus far today, taking out 33rd-ranked Illinois, 4-3, to complete a perfect 3-0 spring break road trip in Hawai'i. All six Huskies contributed at least one win in singles or doubles, and the UW needed every one of them.

Washington survived extremely windy conditions to pick up its fifth-straight victory and improve to 12-5 on the year. The 12 wins already matches UW's 2008 win total. The Huskies were playing their third match in four days at Hawaii's UH Tennis Complex, having beaten Cal Poly and Hawai'i earlier in the week, while Illinois was playing its first match in twelve days.

Clinching the match for the Dawgs was junior Joyce Ardies, who put UW ahead, 4-2, with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Amy Allin at No. 5 singles. Ardies has had a win in every match of UW's current five-match win streak, and is now 21-6 on the year.

Also winning for the Huskies in singles play was 27th-ranked sophomore Venise Chan, who handled 103rd-ranked Leigh Finnegan, 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 singles. At 21-5 overall, Chan has already equaled her freshman year win total when she went 21-10. Another pivotal win was earned by junior Aleksandra Malovic at sixth singles, as she defeated Shivani Dave, 6-1, 6-4.

'There was a ridiculous amount of wind which made conditions very difficult,' said assistant coach Damon Coupe. 'So it really came down to mental toughness and our women were able to come through. It was a testament to the desire and mental discipline they've built this season. This was a match we've looked to on the calendar as one we really needed to go after.'

Illinois earned wins at the second, third, and fourth singles positions. 108th-ranked Megan Fudge outlasted 69th-ranked freshman Denise Dy, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, after the Huskies had already clinched. Freshman Samantha Smith fell, 6-3, 6-3 to Marisa Lambropoulos at No. 3 singles, and sophomore Lina Xu lost a tough, 7-5, 7-6 match to Chelcie Abajian at fourth singles.

Doubles play would prove crucial, and for the fourth-straight match Washington was the better team in doubles. Since restructuring the lineup prior to their match against Michigan State, the Huskies are 4-0 in doubles play. One team that has yet to be defeated is Ardies and Dy at No. 1 doubles, and they picked up another win today, 8-3, over Finnegan and Abajian. Illinois' Fudge and Lambropoulos beat Chan and Malovic at No. 2 doubles, but Xu and Smith came through at third doubles, 8-5, over Annie McCarthy and Allin to give the Dawgs the point.

This was the third year in a row that Washington defeated Illinois by a 4-3 margin. It was also the first win by the Huskies this season over a Top-40 team. The Huskies will return home now for marquee matches with UCLA and USC next weekend. The Bruins are up first, visiting Seattle on Friday, April 3, at 12 noon.

Washington Women's Tennis
3/27/09 - Manoa, Hawai'i
UH Tennis Complex

No. 36 Washington 4, No. 33 Illinois 3

1. Ardies/Dy (UW) def. Finnegan/Abajian (UI), 8-3
2. Fudge/Lambropoulos (UI) def. Chan/Malovic (UW), 8-1
3. Xu/Smith (UW) def. Annie McCarthy/Allin (UI), 8-5

1. (27) Venise Chan (UW) def. (103) Leigh Finnegan (UI), 6-4, 6-3
2. (108) Megan Fudge (UI) def. (69) Denise Dy (UW), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
3. Marisa Lambropoulos (UI) def. Samantha Smith (UW), 6-3, 6-3
4. Chelcie Abajian (UI) def. Lina Xu (UW), 7-5, 7-6
5. Joyce Ardies (UW) def. Amy Allin (UI), 7-5, 6-1*
6. Aleksandra Malovic (UW) def. Shivani Dave (UI), 6-1, 6-4
* clinched match

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