SEATTLE – The No. 40 University of Washington women’s tennis team dropped a closely fought match to No. 64 Houston on Sunday afternoon, falling 4-3 to snap the Dawgs’ five-match home winning streak. The Huskies move to 8-2 on the season and next face TCU on Saturday, March 1 at Noon at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
“As I was telling the team, as tough of a loss as this is to swallow, Houston is a good team,” said head coach Jill Hultquist. “They’re just coming into the rankings and will be ranked higher so it’s not like losing to a really bad team. We fought hard and I was proud of the team for not giving up and fighting hard all the way through.”
The Huskies started the match the same way they have in the last six matches by taking the doubles point. Elianne Douglas-Miron and Riko Shimizu easily claimed an 8-2 win on court one followed by Grace Ysidora and Natali Coronel’s 8-3 decision on court two.
In singles action, Houston rallied quickly by winning the first two matches to take a 2-1 lead. But the Huskies didn’t stay down long as Grace Ysidora claimed a 6-3, 6-3 victory over #122 Elena Kordolaimi. Ysidora had a 1-4 record in the number one position over the last five matches before Hultquist made the change against the Cougars.
“Grace had a tough day yesterday and I thought she bounced back and played well today,” said Hultquist. “Sometimes as a coach you have to give them a little mental relaxation and take the pressure off which is what we did for Grace today. The girl she beat was ranked in the 100s so it was a good win for her.”
Julija Lukac followed up Ysidora’s win with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 win over Celia Fraser to give UW a 3-2 lead. Lukac remains undefeated at the number three spot this season and has only been taken to three sets three times this year.
The Cougars battled back though and tied it up on court four with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) win before Tina Rupert won the match for Houston with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory on court five over Riko Shimizu.
“It was just one of those days where Houston hit a lot of winners from different spots on the court and played very well,” Hultquist added. “It was good though for our team to have this kind of match at this point in the season. I always tell them that you don’t learn a lot from winning, you learn a lot from losing because now we can really see the areas that we need to improve on heading forward. “
Up next for the Dawgs is a home match against TCU on Saturday, March 1 at Noon followed by a match against Sacramento State on Sunday, March 2 (noon).
#40 UW 3, #64 Houston, 4
Nordstrom Tennis Center
Doubles (Order of Finish – 1, 2, 3)
1. Elianne Douglas-Miron/Riko Shimizu def. Kordolaimi/Vograssari, 8-2
2. Grace Ysidora/Natali Coronel def. Cardenas/Rupert, 8-3
3. Fraser/Phillips def. Julija Lukac/Andjela Nemcevic, 8-7 (7-0)
Singles (Order of Finish – 6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
1. #125 Despoina Vograsari (UH) def. Elianne Douglas-Miron, 6-3, 6-4
2. Grace Ysidora def. #122 Elena Kordolaimi (UH), 6-3, 6-3
3. Julija Lukac def. Celia Fraser (UH), 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
4. Maria Andrea Cardenas def. Andjela Nemcevic, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
5. Tina Rupert def. Riko Shimizu, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
6. Charlotte Phillips def. Natali Coronel, 6-0, 6-4