SEATTLE – The No. 24 University of Washington women’s tennis team continued its strong play on Sunday despite some injury setbacks as it edged out Sacramento State, 4-3, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The Dawgs are now 10-2 on the season heading into the start of Pac-12 play this coming weekend.
“Today was definitely nail-biting,” said head coach Jill Hultquist. “It was big for us to get the win, especially since Julija [Lukac] went down early in the doubles. I still had confidence in the team but I knew it was just going to be a tougher day for all of us. You never want to lose to an unranked team since that’s what really dings you in the rankings so it was big for us to pull that out under the circumstances.”
The Huskies suffered a setback early in the day as Julija Lukac was injured early in doubles play and had to retire her match. Elianne Douglas-Miron and Riko Shimizu then easily won their match, 8-1, leaving the doubles point decision in court two’s hands. Grace Ysidora and Natali Coronel made it dramatic for the large crowd in attendance as they battled back from a 4-1 deficit in the tiebreaker to win the match 8-7 (9-7 tiebreak), and give UW the doubles point.
Heading into singles action, the Dawgs had to readjust their lineup after Lukac, who is undefeated at the three spot this season, was going to have to sit out. Hultquist moved up Andjela Nemcevic, Shimizu and Coronel then added Sophia Bott to the lineup in the number six spot.
Sacramento State took the lead early in singles play as Olivia Boija defeated Bott, 6-3, 6-1 and Sophie Lohscheidt outlasted Shimizu 6-3, 6-3 in the four spot. But the Dawgs continued to battle as Coronel easily handled her opponent in the number five spot, 6-1, 6-2, to wrap up a good weekend for the junior who also clinched the match against TCU on Saturday.
“Natali is an interesting player and it’s always fun to see what she comes up with on different days,” said Hultquist. “The girl that she played, Natalie had lost to her two times last year and I don’t think a Washington player has ever beaten that girl before so for her to come out and win that way was a nice result for her.”
After Nemcevic fell 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 on court three to Alina Soltanici, Douglas-Miron tied the score back up with her second-straight win on court one. The sophomore defeated Jennifer Nguyen 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 leaving the match decision to Ysidora’s outcome on court two.
The sophomore from Jakarta, Indonesia took set one 6-3 before falling 4-6 in set two. With the whole crowd watching set three, Ysidora’s strong play helped her claim the victory with a 6-2 decision. It was the third-straight match for the Huskies that came down to the final point with UW winning the last two.
“I think she had a great first set, then fell back a little in the second set and then just came out firing on all cylinders in the third set,” added Hultquist. “She was playing more aggressively and controlling the points all the way through, which I’d like to see more of from her as we continue on this season.”
The Dawgs are now 10-2 on the season and start conference play this coming weekend as Arizona State (Friday, March 7, 1:30 p.m.) and Arizona (Sunday, March 9, 11 a.m.) come to town.
No. 24 Washington 4, Sacramento State 3
1. Douglas-Miron/Shimizu def. Lohscheidt/Boija, 8-1
2. Ysidora/Coronel def. Savchenko/Nguyen, 8-7 (9-7)
3. Soltaniei/Knoebl def. Lukac/Nemcevic, 1-0 (inj)
Order of finish: 5, 1, 3
1. Elianne Douglas-Miron def. Jennifer Nguyen (Sac State), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
2. Grace Ysidora def. Daria Savchenko (Sac State), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
3. Alina Soltanici (Sac State) def. Andjela Nemcevic, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
4. Sophie Lohscheidt (Sac State) def. Riko Shimizu, 6-3, 6-3
5. Natali Coronel def. Katharina Knoebl (Sac State), 6-1, 6-2
6. Olivia Boija (Sac State) def. Sophia Bott, 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 4, 5, 3, 1, 2