OJAI, Calif. – University of Washington junior Riko Shimizu advanced to the Pac-12 Women’s Invitational Singles Quarterfinals on Thursday as she upset sixth-seeded Zoe Katz (USC) and defeated Arizona’s Shayne Austin to highlight action for the Dawgs on day one. The Huskies had six student-athletes competing in the singles championship and the singles invitational rounds of the Pac-12 Championship.
"I was really proud of how the team competed today," said head coach Jill Hultquist. "In the past when we've played top schools, the results haven't been favorable but we really competed today, looked good and played hard. Even though Elianne lost, she had a solid match but just ran out of steam a little."
Shimizu, who hails from Ojai, battled through both of her rounds winning each in three sets. Against Austin in the round of 32, Shimizu dropped the first set 3-6, but responded with back-to-back 6-2, 6-1 wins to move on to the round of 16. The pair faced off earlier in the year with Austin taking a 6-2, 7-5 win.
Up against sixth-seeded Katz, who is also ranked 99th nationally, Shimizu lost the first set 0-6 but once again battled back with two-straight 6-2 wins to move on to the quarterfinals. She’ll now face fifth seeded Klara Fabikova (Cal) at Noon on Friday.
"That's the best I've seen Riko play since she's been here," said Hultquist. "She had a rematch against the Arizona player and didn't back down. We changed her strategy a little bit throughout the day and she responded very well, I was extremely proud of how she played."
In the singles championship bracket, Elianne Douglas-Miron and Julija Lukac each picked up wins in the first round as Douglas-Miron cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win over WSU’s Lize Leenknecht and Lukac battled it out with Oregon’s Lana Buttner, coming out with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory. Both Douglas-Miron and Lukac fell in the round of 16 to top four seeds.
Also competing on day one of the league championship was transfer Sophia Bott who picked up a straight-sets win over Oregon’s Maja Salibasic, 6-2, 6-3 but went on to drop a 6-1, 6-2 decision to the four-seed, Akilah James out of Arizona.
Day two gets started early for the Dawgs with both doubles and singles action taking place. In doubles action, Douglas-Miron and Shimizu will take on top-ranked Kristie Ahn and Carol Zhao of Stanford at 9 a.m. followed b Natalie Coronel and Grace Ysidora’s match against UCLA’s Courtney Dolehide and Chanelle Van Nguyen at 10:15 a.m.
Women’s Singles Championship Round of 16
No. 4 Carol Zhao (STAN) def. Julija Lukac (WASH), 6-0, 6-1
No. 2 Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) def. Elianne Douglas-Miron (WASH) 6-3, 6-0
Women’s Singles Championship Round of 32
Elianne Douglas-Miron (WASH) def. Lize Leenknecht (WSU), 6-2, 6-3
Julija Lukac (WASH) def. Lana Buttner (ORE), 6-4, 7-6 (5)
Ellen Tsay (STAN) def. Natali Coronel (WASH), 6-1, 6-4
Women’s Singles Invitational Round of 16
Riko Shimizu def. No. 6 Zoe Katz (USC), 0-6, 6-2, 6-2
No. 4 Akilah James (ARIZ) def. Sophia Bott (WASH), 6-1, 6-2
Women’s Singles Invitational Round of 32
Riko Shimizu (WASH) def. Shayne Austin (ARIZ), 3-6, 6-2, 6-1
Leighann Sahagun (ASU) def. Natalie Allen (WASH), 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4
Sophia Bott (WASH) def. Maja Salibasic (ORE), 6-2, 6-3