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Sato Pulls Out Clincher In 4-3 Win Over Denver

Jan 28, 2022

SEATTLE – After three dominant wins to open their season, the Husky women's tennis team got reacquainted with adversity today in the first round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend. Washington took a 3-0 lead over Denver at UCLA's Los Angeles Tennis Center, but the Pioneers came back to tie it up at 3-3. With the match on the line, transfer Hikaru Sato got her biggest Husky win to date with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 win to clinch Washington's 4-3 victory.
The Huskies (4-0) will now advance to Saturday's regional final to face either the host, fourth-ranked UCLA, or Cal Poly, at 1 p.m. The winner of tomorrow's match will qualify for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in February.
With the doubles point in hand, the Huskies added to the lead with a win at No. 3 singles from Nika Zupancic, who won 6-3, 6-2 over Britt Pusell. Then sophomore Sarah-Maude Fortin made it 3-0 with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Taylor Melville at No. 2 singles.
But Denver got on the board with a 7-5, 7-5 win from Verden-Anderson over Zoey Weil at No. 5 singles. Then two three setters went to the Pioneers, as Kelly Leung dropped a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 match at No. 6 singles to Tatum Burger, and then Vanessa Wong came up short, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, in the No. 1 match to Anna Riedmiller.
That left it up to Sato, who split her first two sets with Andrea Burguete Beltran. Tied at 4-4 in the third set, Sato was able to hold serve and then break her opponent in the final game to win it, 6-4.
In doubles play, the Huskies got a 6-4 win at No. 2 from Zupancic and Fortin, and a 6-3 win at the No. 3 spot from Weil and Leung to overcome a loss at the No. 1 position by Sato and Wong.
Washington Women's Tennis
ITA Kickoff Weekend First Round
January 28, 2022
Los Angeles Tennis Center | Los Angeles, Calif.
Washington – 4
Denver – 3
1. Anna Riedmiller (Den) def. Vanessa Wong (UW) – 7-5, 2-6, 6-2
2. Sarah-Maude Fortin (UW) def. Taylor Melville (Den) – 7-5, 6-2
3. Nika Zupancic (UW) def. Britt Pursell (Den) – 6-3, 6-2
4. Hikaru Sato (UW) def. Andrea Burguete Beltran (Den) – 7-5, 5-7, 6-4
5. Camille Verden-Anderson (Den) def. Zoey Weil (UW) – 7-5, 7-5
6. Tatum Burger (Den) def. Kelly Leung (UW) – 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 5, 6, 1, 4
1. Pursell/Verden-Anderosn (Den) def. Wong/Sato (UW) – 6-1
2. Zupancic/Fortin (UW) def. Melville/Riedmiller (Den) – 6-4
3. Leung/Weil (UW) def. Burger/Nelson (Den) – 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2