April 30, 2013
SEATTLE -- Washington women's tennis was left out of the NCAA Tournament with the announcement of the field on Tuesday. The Dawgs (13-9) were very much a bubble team, but were snubbed by the NCAA committee. Washington was ranked 42nd in the most recent ITA poll, which was the highest ranking of any team not selected.
"It is very disappointing," said head coach Jill Hultquist. "I think not playing a conference team championships hurt us because we didn't have a chance to pick up those extra wins at the end of the year."
"Some of the ranked teams that we have beaten have struggled recently and fallen in the polls. When I look at our season, I think our worst loss was at Utah and they were a ranked team playing on their home court at altitude. I am proud of our girls; we just didn't have the best luck the way things went."
The NCAA snub came on the heels of a historic feat from the Washington women at the Pac-12 Championships. Freshman Grace Ysidora and sophomore Natali Coronel became the first Husky women to win a conference title of any kind.
The Husky doubles team captured the Invitational Pac-12 title, winning four matches in the three days. Previously, four Washington doubles teams had made the final of the Invitational final, but Ysidora and Coronel captured the program's first-ever conference title.
"Getting better in doubles was a goal of mine at the beginning of the season," said Hultquist. "It's funny because when I put Grace and Natali together I wasn't sure about it because they are both so quiet. They worked really hard and have really grown to where they have such great chemistry."
The youth of the UW doubles team is a theme that goes throughout the team. The Dawgs have just one junior in Andjela Nemcevic, otherwise it a team of only freshmen and sophomores. This means that a team on the verge of an NCAA berth in 2013 will be back with all of its parts for a run in 2014.
The Dawgs showed tremendous depth in 2013 with two players splitting time at No. 1 singles, but being particularly strong towards the middle and the back of their lineup. Julija Lukac led the Huskies in wins during dual matches with a 15-7 record playing mostly at No. 4.
"They injury to Capucine Gregoire hurt us, but Natali and Riko Shimizu have really stepped up to solidify our team," said Hultquist.
Shimizu also teamed with Elianne Doulas-Miron to form the Dawgs No. 1 doubles team through the dual season. Yet another young pairing of a freshman and sophomore earned a national ranking in doubles that at the last poll was No. 60 in the nation.
"When I talked to the team, they were disappointed to not get selected to the tournament," said Hultquist. "More than anything, though, I think they are excited to get back to work for next season."