Short-Handed Huskies Fight No. 9 Cal To The Wire
SEATTLE – Once again going into a match against a top-20 opponent missing two of their winningest singles players, Washington still fought and scrapped and nearly pulled out what would have been a phenomenal win against 9th-ranked California. But with the match tied at 3-3, Cal won the last two games from 5-5 on the No. 1 court to earn the 4-3 victory.
Playing without Sarah-Maude Fortin and Nika Zupancic, the Huskies got huge singles wins from Yolanda Lin at the No. 3 spot over a ranked opponent, and from Zoey Weil at the No. 5 position. UW also started the match off with a doubles point win. But Cal's 92nd-ranked Haley Giavara outlasted Husky senior Vanessa Wong in the top match, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 to get the Bears the thriller at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
"We've obviously faced a lot of adversity this week losing two of our top players, but I was really proud of the group, how we competed today," said Head Coach Robin Stephenson. "That was our identity. We're lucky we've got a big roster and have people to step up. I was really proud of our effort and the way we fought out there to give ourselves a chance."
Wong fought back from 1-4 down in the third set, and saved two match points at 3-5 on her way to getting back even with Giavara at 5-5. But Cal's No. 1 rallied back with a service break and held for the 7-5 win.
Just a few minutes before the No. 1 match finished, Weil kept the Huskies in it with her come-from-behind 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Hannah Viller Moeller at the No. 5 spot.
The other huge win for the Dawgs was a 6-2, 6-3 victory by Yolanda Lin over 103rd-ranked Katja Wiersholm at No. 3 singles. Lin was not in the starting lineup just a few weeks ago but moved to No. 6 and picked up some crucial wins there for the Huskies in 4-3 wins at the Arizona schools. Now with Zupancic and Fortin out she moved all the way up to No. 3 yet still came through.
Ashley Chang got her first start of the dual match season and pushed Cal's Erin Richardson with a 7-5 first set win at No. 6, but Richardson rallied for 6-1, 6-1 wins in the next two sets. Hikaru Sato fell in a battle with 50th-ranked Jessica Alsola at No. 2, 6-2, 6-4, and Kelly Leung fell at fourth singles, 6-4, 6-1.
Washington gained some more belief with a win in the doubles point to start things off. Lin and Tara Chilton worked a 6-3 win at third doubles over Richardson/Rosenqvist. Then Wong and Sato upset the 33rd-ranked duo of Alsola/Wiersholm, 6-4, to clinch the point.
Washington Women's Tennis
April 9, 2022
Nordstrom Tennis Center | Seattle, Wash.
No. 28 Washington – 3
No. 9 California – 4
1. (#92) Haley Giavara (Cal) def. Vanessa Wong (UW) – 2-6, 6-3, 7-5
2. (#50) Jessica Alsola (Cal) def. Hikaru Sato (UW) – 6-2, 6-4
3. Yolanda Lin (UW) def. (#103) Katja Wiersholm (Cal) – 6-2, 6-3
4. Julia Rosenqvist (Cal) def. Kelly Leung (UW) – 6-4, 6-1
5. Zoey Weil (UW) def. Hannah Viller Moeller (Cal) – 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
6. Erin Richardson (Cal) def. Ashley Chang (UW) – 5-7, 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish: 4, 3, 2, 6, 5, 1
1. Wong/Sato (UW) def. (#33) Alsola/Wiersholm (Cal) – 6-4
2. Leung/Weil (UW) vs. Giavara/Viller Moeller (Cal) – 5-6, DNF
3. Chilton/Lin (UW) def. Richardson/Rosenqvist (Cal) – 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1