UW Tennis: Huskies Wrap Homestand Hosting No. 9 California
FRIDAY, MAR. 16 • NORDSTROM TENNIS CENTER
#36 Washington hosts #9 California • 1:30 p.m.
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THIS WEEK: The Huskies pick up Pac-12 play with another Top-10 opponent this week, as ninth-ranked California visits this Friday at 1:30 p.m. The Huskies and Bears met once this season already with Cal taking a 5-2 non-conference win in Berkeley in January. Washington (6-4, 0-1 Pac-12) is coming off a bye week which should help heal some nagging injuries for a few players. Last time out, the Huskies fought hard and pushed a powerhouse Stanford team, and the Huskies will need that same effort this week against the Golden Bears. Based on the forecast, expect the match to be in the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Washington is ranked 36th nationally this week, up one spot from a week ago. The Dawgs ended the 2011 season at 26th nationally and started 2012 one spot below that at No. 27 according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The only UW individual currently ranked is senior All-American Denise Dy. The senior All-American was ranked fourth in the nation in singles at the start of the fall. Although Dy had another impressive fall, reaching the ITA National Indoor semifinals, she slipped to 10th in the first 2012 singles rankings, then fell to 18th but has since moved back up to her current No. 11. Dy ended the 2011 spring season ranked eighth nationally, the second-best year-end ranking in school history. She has been ranked in the top-20 in every poll since 2010, her sophomore year, when she jumped from the fifties to No. 3 after a fantastic 2009 fall campaign.
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: The Golden Bears are ranked No. 9 this week and owns a 9-4 record and a 2-0 mark in Pac-12 Conference matches, having defeated Colorado and Utah last week. Cal posted a 5-2 win over the Huskies in Berkeley earlier this year in the second round of ITA National Team Indoor Championships qualifying. UW’s wins came from Denise Dy, who defeated Zsofy Susanyi, currently ranked 17th in singles, and Julija Lukac who won in three sets at sixth singles. Cal then went on to make the semis of the National Team Indoors before losing to Duke. The Bears also had 4-3 defeats at both UCLA and USC in non-conference meetings. Cal features the defending NCAA Singles Champion, Jana Juricova, currently ranked No. 6, and Dy snapped a three-match losing skid against Juricova in the fall season. Also ranked for Cal is No. 54 Tayler Davis, No. 66 Anett Schutting, and No. 100 Annie Goransson. Schutting and Goransson are 27th in doubles, and Juricova and Susanyi are No. 38. Cal has a 26-3 lead in the all-time series.
LAST TIME OUT: Playing its Pac-12 opener against one of the nation’s top teams, the Stanford Cardinal, the Huskies gave themselves a real chance at what could have been a massive upset, but Stanford (8-0, 2-0 Pac-12) pulled away late for a 6-1 victory at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The final score did not reflect the intensity of the match. Midway through the singles matches, the Huskies were leading or even on just about every singles court, but only freshman Riko Shimizu was able to close out her match, a 7-6, 6-1 victory at the No. 6 position over Natalie Dillon. The Cardinal won the last three matches in third sets. Andjela Nemcevic had won three straight games and was serving at 4-4 against 7th-ranked Mallory Burdette at No. 2 singles, but after calling a Burdette shot long, Nemcevic was overruled and Burdette went on to break serve and then hold for the 6-1, 6-4 victory. At fifth singles, freshman Julija Lukac lost a long, close first set then Stanford’s Veronica Li pulled away for a 7-5, 6-2 win. The Huskies still had a chance on the final three courts, but 40th-ranked Stacey Tan clinched it by coming back to defeat senior Samantha Smith, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.14th-ranked senior Denise Dy was trading winners at No. 1 singles against 8th-ranked Nicole Gibbs. The two split the first two sets, Gibbs winning the first, 6-3, and Dy winning the second, 6-3. Gibbs took a 5-2 lead in the third set, but Dy held and then broke serve at love to get back to 4-5. She took a 30-0 lead on serve but played a couple loose points and let Gibbs back in. A wide backhand on break point gave Gibbs the 6-4 third set win. The final match was a freshman duel between Capucine Gregoire and 53rd-ranked Ellen Tsay of Stanford. Gregoire needed six set points on serve to close out the first set, but she did, 6-4. Tsay came back in the second set to break serve in the 10th game and win that set, 6-4. At that point the Cardinal had just clinched the match so the two played the 10-point tiebreak instead of the full third set. They were tied at 7-7 but Tsay won the last three points for the 10-7 win.
NO DY-NYING DENISE: One of the greatest Huskies in history, the incredible career of Denise Dy is in its final act, but the senior from San Jose is still piling up the wins and looking to leave the program with a flourish. The only Husky to reach three national semifinals (the 2009 ITA National Indoors, the 2010 ITA All-Americans, and the 2011 ITA National Indoors), Dy has been a force in tournament play, but has been even greater in dual match play with a team point on her racquet. Dy has a career dual match record in singles of 60-14, and since the start of her sophomore year it is an even more incredible 41-6, a winning percentage of .872. An All-Pac-10 First Team selection last year, Dy continues to draw near the 100 win plateau for singles, currently owning 96 victories. She would be the fourth Husky to join that club, along with Kristina Kraszewski (111), former doubles partner Venise Chan (101), and Dea Sumantri (100). She has made both the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships each of the past two years, earning a top-16 seed in singles both times, and advancing to the doubles quarterfinals last year with Chan, matching the best finish ever by a Husky duo. Her 77 career doubles wins rank fourth all-time. Dy is looking to earn ITA All-America honors for the third year in a row. She picked up a singles All-America honor in 2010, and singles and doubles honors in 2011. Dy has been a fixture in the Top-12 of the national singles rankings for the past three years, with a career-best of No. 3 during her sophomore year, and highs of No. 4 as a junior and a senior.
UP NEXT: The Huskies head out on the road for the first time since early February, and it will be a tough road with Pac-12 matches in Arizona followed by a trip to Los Angeles the next week. First will be a March 23 match against 26th-ranked Arizona in Tucson, followed by a dual against 27th-ranked Arizona State on the 24th.
HEAD COACH JILL HULTQUIST: Now in year seven of her tenure, head coach Jill Hultquist has ushered in a rebirth of the women’s tennis program. In just four years, Hultquist took a 3-17 team and restored stability, added depth and an influx of talent, and brought the Huskies back to national prominence. The turnaround was made official when the Huskies reached the NCAA Round of 16 in 2009 with a stunning upset of Pac-10 Champion USC. Hultquist was named the Northwest Region Head Coach of the Year for her efforts in 2009, as the Huskies went 18-8 and finished the season ranked 27th. Washington has had unprecedented individual success over the past two seasons, as junior Venise Chan and sophomore Denise Dy eached made the semifinals of ITA national singles championships, and both earned All-America honors in 2010 in singles and again in 2011 in both singles and doubles. They became the first All-Americans for Hultquist and first for UW since 2004. Washington has now made four consecutive NCAA tournaments under Hultquist, reaching the second round the past two years after the 2009 round of 16 run. In 2008, Hultquist guided the Huskies back to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2005, and the Huskies climbed back into the ITA Top-40 after nearly a two-year absence. Hultquist is the fourth head coach in program history, and succeeded Patty McCain, whom Hultquist worked with as an assistant for five seasons from 1997-2002. During her first tour of duty at UW, Hultquist helped lead the Huskies to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances including a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2001. Hultquist was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in 2001. She was also selected as the ITA Northwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year in both 2000 and 2001. Before joining the coaching ranks at Washington, Hultquist played professionally on the WTA Tour from 1987-1997, winning more than 20 doubles titles. She ranked as high as sixth in the world in doubles and 64th in the world in singles. Hultquist teamed with McCain on the doubles circuit, and among their victories was a win over Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini in the semifinals of the 1988 U.S. Open. They also advanced to the finals of the 1989 Australian Open. Hultquist reached the mixed doubles finals of the French Open in 1995 and competed in the Olympic Games for Canada in 1984, 1988 and 1996. A native of Toronto, Canada, Hultquist and her husband Rich have two children, Jack (10) and Maggie (8).