Huskies Show Grit, But Utes Pull Out Win
SEATTLE – A hobbled Husky women’s tennis team battled tenaciously this afternoon on the Bill Quillian Stadium courts, but was unable to come out on top as 43rd-ranked Utah won two pivotal third sets in the top two singles matches to complete at 6-1 victory. The 44th-ranked Huskies (7-10, 1-7 Pac-12) lost two singles matches due to injury retirements, and played without starter Capucine Gregoire as well. Senior Denise Dy gritted through her singles match in obvious pain due to a wrist injury, and pushed it three sets, but could never play her game.
Down 1-3, it looked for a while that the Huskies were in good shape to rally and perhaps steal a win in their first outdoor home match of the season. UW needed to win the final three matches, at the top three spots. Dy and sophomore Andjela Nemcevic had both lost the first set, but both rallied to win their second sets, while senior Samantha Smith was up a set and leading in her second set at third singles.
But Dy could not rally again after falling behind in the third set, and she fell to 77th-ranked Anastasia Putilina, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-2 to clinch it. Nemcevic then also dropped her third set at second singles to Sarah Pham, ending a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 match. Smith, battling through her own injury issues, then chose to retire despite still leading her match, so as to eliminate further stress on her back.
The Huskies got another singles win from freshman Julija Lukac, who toughed out a first set tiebreak and then rolled in the second to beat Lucia Kovarcikova at No. 4 singles, 7-6 (2), 6-1. But Utah’s Danielle Flores beat freshman Natali Coronel, 6-4, 6-1, and freshman Riko Shimizu had to retire after rolling her ankle in her No. 6 singles match, and having lost the first set.
The day started with a disheartening doubles point loss, as Lukac and Coronel posted an easy 8-2 win at No. 3 doubles, but the Huskies lost two nailbiters at the top two spots. Dy and Smith were down 4-7 to Putilina and Callie Craig, but broke to get back on serve at 6-7, before being broken once more as Utah took it, 8-6. Nemcevic and Shimizu were even at 7-7 in their No. 2 doubles match, but Flores and Smith of Utah got the final two games for the 9-7 win to clinch the point.
UW will head to Pullman next Sunday, the 15th, for its final regular season road match.
Washington Women’s Tennis
Bill Quillian Stadium – Seattle, Wash.
April 7, 2012
No. 43 Utah 6, No. 44 Washington 1
1) Putilina/Craig (Utah) def. Dy/Smith (UW), 8-6
2) Flores/Smith (Utah) def. Nemcevic/Shimizu (UW), 9-7
3) Lukac/Coronel (UW) def. Pham/Watson (Utah), 8-2
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
1) (77) Anastasia Putilina (Utah) def. (20) Denise Dy (UW), 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-2
2) Sarah Pham (Utah) def. Andjela Nemcevic (UW), 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
3) Callie Craig (Utah) def. Samantha Smith (UW), 4-6, 6-5, ret.
4) Julija Lukac (UW) def. Lucia Kovarcikova (Utah), 7-6 (2), 6-1
5) Danielle Flores (Utah) def. Natali Coronel (UW), 6-4, 6-1
6) Natasha Smith (Utah) def. Riko Shimizu (UW), 6-2, 2-1, ret.
Order of finish: 6, 4, 5, 1, 2, 3