No. 11 Women's Tennis Downs No. 24 Lobos in First Round of National Team Indoors
Feb. 3, 2005
MADISON, Wisc. - Washington's 11th-ranked women's tennis team won its first round match at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships today, 6-1, over the 24th-ranked New Mexico Lobos. The Huskies (5-0) captured the doubles point and took five of six singles matches to reach the quarterfinals of the championship for the second straight year. Top-seed and defending national champion Stanford await the Huskies in Friday's quarterfinal.
The eighth-seeded Huskies came through in doubles play, winning at the second and third doubles positions to clinch the point. Senior Mugette Ahn and freshman Tara Simpson earned an 8-5 win at No. 2 doubles to even doubles play at one win apiece after senior Dea Sumantri and junior Dinka Hadzic were beaten by New Mexico's fourth-ranked duo of Maja Kovacek and Iva Gersic, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles. The doubles point consequently came down to a tiebreak at No. 3 doubles, and the Husky pair of sophomore Saskia Nauenberg and freshman Allison Rainey came away with the win, seven points to three in the tiebreak.
Moving into singles play, the premier match-up at No. 1 singles between 13th-ranked Sumantri and New Mexico's Kovacek, ranked 24th, turned out to be an easy win for the Husky All-American. Sumantri handled Kovacek, 6-1, 6-2. Simpson continued her outstanding singles play, defeating the Lobos' Nora Quintal, 6-2, 6-1 at No. 5 singles to put UW ahead 3-0. The clinching fourth point was earned by Ahn at No. 3 singles, who held off Michelle Heidbrink, 7-6 (3), 6-4. From that point the Huskies would add to their lead thanks to straight-set wins from Nauenberg at fourth singles and Rainey in the sixth position. New Mexico earned its lone point at No. 2 singles, as UNM's 66th-ranked Gersic and UW's Hadzic were forced to play a third-set super-tiebreak given that the Huskies had already clinched the win. Gersic took the super-tiebreak 10-7.
The USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships are the premier indoor team tournament of the year. Hosted every year since 1988 by the University of Wisconsin at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium, this year's 16-team field features seven of the current top-ten teams in the ITA Rankings and 13 of the top 16. Stanford is the defending champion and has won a record seven USTA/ITA titles.
This is Washington's fourth overall appearance, following entries in 2001, 2002, and 2004. Last year the Huskies defeated Tennessee and Vanderbilt to reach the semifinals, where they were ousted by Stanford. In 2001 and '02, the Huskies failed to advance past the first round.
Play continues through the weekend with quarterfinal play on Friday, semifinals Saturday, and the final at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday, Feb. 6.
Washington Women's Tennis vs. New Mexico