Huskies Just Short Of No. 16 USC In Pac-12 Opener
SEATTLE – In their past two matches, the Husky women's tennis team has come oh so close to scoring a top-20 upset. They'll keep seeking that breakthrough after another heartbreaker of a 4-3 loss today against 16th-ranked USC in the Pac-12 opener for UW.
Washington (7-2, 0-1 Pac-12) had not played in nearly two weeks since a 4-3 loss to 15th-ranked Baylor. As in that match, the Huskies dropped the doubles point before splitting the singles matches against the Trojans (7-3, 1-0 Pac-12)
Head Coach Robin Stephenson continued to espouse belief in what the team can achieve. "I just told the team I'm very proud of them. We could easily be sitting here winning the match 4-3, so I told them we just need to focus on the right things and what we did well out there today. There's no lack of fight in this team. Also, yes, it's March, but we just haven't played a lot of highly competitive matches and I think we're going to get better and better. It just comes down to belief for some of our young players."
One of those young players had her biggest win of the season today, as Yolanda Lin scored the final point for the Dawgs, defeating Clare Mckee at No. 6 singles, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Senior Vanessa Wong stayed undefeated today at the No. 1 spot as she held off USC's 103rd-ranked Naomi Cheong in three intense sets, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-3.
Junior Sedona Gallagher quickly earned UW's first point in singles with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 3 against Salma Ewing.
USC had straight set wins at No. 4 and No. 5 singles. The clincher came at No. 2 singles where freshman Sarah-Maude Fortin faced her highest-ranked opponent yet in 48th-ranked Eryn Cayetano. Fortin took the first set, 6-3, but Cayetano came back with a 6-3 second set win. Cayetano then opened up a 3-0 lead in the third set but Fortin rallied back and tied it at 3-all. The Trojan was able to reach match point on Fortin's serve at 4-5, but Fortin saved two match points to get to deuce and the deciding point. Cayetano ended a back and forth point with a winner to seal the win, 6-4.
In doubles, Gallagher and Lin were 6-4 winners over Mckee/Ewing at the No. 2 spot, but USC had a 6-2 win at No. 1 and clinched the doubles point with a 6-3 win at No. 3 doubles.
The Huskies will face a third-straight highly ranked foe on Sunday when 6th-ranked UCLA comes in for a 12 noon match.
March 5, 2021
Nordstrom Tennis Center | Seattle, Wash.
Washington – 3
#16 USC – 4
1. (#74) Vanessa Wong (UW) def. (#103) Naomi Cheong (USC) 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-3
2. (#48) Eryn Cayetano (USC) def. Sarah-Maude Fortin (UW) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
3. Sedona Gallagher (UW) def. Salma Ewing (USC) 6-1, 6-2
4. Danielle Willson (USC) def. Zoey Weil (UW) 6-2, 6-4
5. Summer Dvorak (USC) def. Tara Chilton (UW) 6-1, 6-3
6. Yolanda Lin (UW) def. Clare Mckee (USC) 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 5, 2, 1, 6
1. Cayetano/Cheong (USC) def. Wong/Fortin (UW) 6-2
2. Gallagher/Lin (UW) def. Mckee/Ewing (USC) 6-4
3. Dvorak/Willson (USC) def. Weil/Chilton (UW) 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3