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Wong Breaks Record As Season Ends In First Round

May 6, 2022

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – In the final match of her Husky career, senior Vanessa Wong fittingly broke the Washington career wins record, though it would not be enough to prolong Washington's stay in the NCAA Championships. The 39th-ranked Huskies lost a 4-2 match this morning against 27th-ranked Baylor in the first round of the NCAA tourney, hosted by Texas A&M at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
It was as good a silver lining as the Huskies could have hoped for, as Wong defeated Isabella Harvison at the No. 1 singles spot, 7-5, 6-2, for win number 112 in her five seasons at UW. That broke a tie with 2001 alum Kristina Kraszewski for the top spot in school history.
The win also pulled the Huskies to within 3-2, after trailing 3-0. Hikaru Sato had also just notched a 6-3, 6-2 win over 108th-ranked Alicia Herrero Linana at the No. 2 spot. Washington was also in the mix for a point on court six, where Ashley Chang was early in a third set. But Baylor stopped the rally with a 6-4, 6-1 win on court No. 5.

As has been the case for much of the past month, the Huskies were scrapping to overcome a roster shortened by injuries. The Dawgs were down two singles starters today, sophomores Sarah-Maude Fortin and Yolanda Lin.
"Obviously, we started off really strong this season," said Head Coach Robin Stephenson. "I'm really proud of our team. We qualified for indoors for the first time since 2011 and were ranked top-20 for a lot of the year. We had some injuries here down the stretch, but I thought our team did a really good job today in giving ourselves a chance. I thought Baylor was just a little bit better today. I'm just really proud of our team in the way we've continued to compete and fight in the face of adversity."
Wong's win today gives her 112 against just 40 defeats in her career, with three straight seasons of playing at the No. 1 singles spot. She also added 81 doubles wins, for 193 combined singles and doubles wins, which is also a UW record.
Baylor took the doubles point with wins on courts two and three. In singles, the teams split the first sets, three apiece. Wong was down 3-5 before winning four games in a row to take her 7-5 first set. Sato cruised 6-3, and Chang came up with a 6-4 set win on six.
But the Bears built a 3-0 cushion with wins at three and four. Mel Krywoj topped senior Nika Zupancic, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 3. Senior Zoey Weil lost a 6-1, 6-3 match to Alina Shcherbinina at fourth singles. After wins from Wong and Sato, Baylor closed it out with a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 5, Anita Sadiieva defeating Kelly Leung. Chang lost her second set and was at 0-2 in the third.
This was Washington's first NCAA tourney appearance since 2019, though the 2020 season was canceled due to Covid-19 with UW ranked in the top-30 at the time the season ended.
Wong, Zupancic, and Weil leave the program having helped UW to tourney appearances in 2019 and 2022, and a record of 77-39 over the past five years.
Washington Women's Tennis
NCAA Championships – First Round
May 6, 2022
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center | College Station, Texas
#39 Washington – 2
#27 Baylor – 4
1. (#109) Vanessa Wong (UW) def. Isabella Harvison (Bay) – 7-5, 6-2
2. Hikaru Sato (UW) def. (#108) Alicia Herrero Linana (Bay) – 6-3, 6-2
3. Mel Krywoj (Bay) def. Nika Zupancic (UW) – 6-2, 6-2
4. Alina Shcherbinina (Bay) def. Zoey Weil (UW) – 6-1, 6-3
5. Anita Sahdiieva (Bay) def. Kelly Leung (UW) – 6-4, 6-1
6. Ashley Chang (UW) vs. Paula Baranano (Bay) – 6-4, 1-6, 0-2, DNF
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 2, 1, 5
1. Wong/Sato (UW) vs. (#7) Herrero Linana/Krywoj (Bay) – 3-4, DNF
2. Harvison/Shcherbinina (Bay) def. Zupancic/Chang (UW) – 6-1
3. Baranano/Sahdiieva (Bay) def. Weil/Leung (UW) – 6-2
Order of Finish: 2, 3