No. 15 Trojans Outlast No. 20 Huskies
March 4, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Facing yet another Top-20 opponent on the road, the 20th-ranked Husky women's tennis team came out fighting gamely in singles, but 15th-ranked USC won the Pac-10 opener for both teams by a 6-1 count at Marks Stadium. Washington (8-5, 0-1 Pac-10) took four first sets in singles but lost two in third set super-tiebreaks, and lost one match it was leading to a retirement.
Despite the tight matches up and down the singles lineup, only senior Venise Chan closed out a victory at No. 2 singles. The 27th-ranked All-American overcame 18th-ranked Danielle Lao in a pair of tiebreakers, winning the first 7-2 and the second, 8-6. That extends her winning streak to 13 matches and she remains unbeaten in dual play at 12-0. Seven of those wins have come against ranked players, and she now has three wins over Top-20 singles players this year.
The No. 1 singles match was a battle of Top-10 opponents on hot streaks. Sixth-ranked junior Denise Dy was unbeaten in dual play, as was USC's second-ranked Maria Sanchez. Dy took the first set, 6-2, but Sanchez broke Dy's serve to grab the second set, 6-4. At that point with the match already 4-0 for USC, the two had to play a super-tiebreaker rather than a full third set, not quite the ending the match deserved. Sanchez pulled out the tiebreak, 10-6 to get the win.
USC's fourth point came in unfortunate fashion for the Huskies, as freshman Andjela Nemcevic was forced to retire from her match against Valeria Pulido with an apparent knee injury. Nemcevic had won the first set, 6-3, but was injured in the second set. After trying a couple more games, Nemcevic had to stop play, down 2-5 in the second set.
Senior Aleksandra Krsljanin was also a victim of the super-tiebreaker, as she had earned a 6-4 first set win against Alison Ramos at No. 5 singles, but Ramos forced a third with a 6-4 win in set two. Ramos won the match tiebreak, 10-4. The Trojans also had straight set wins at third and sixth singles.
The doubles point went quickly to USC with an 8-1 win at second doubles and an 8-0 win at No. 3. The No. 1 match pitted the unbeaten team of Chan and Dy, ranked sixth, against the 20th-ranked team of Sanchez and Kaitlyn Christian. Chan and Dy led 7-4 with two breaks of serve in hand, and then had two match points at 40-15, leading 7-6, but the Trojan pair came back to break and then won a tiebreaker, 7-3, to give the Husky pair their first loss in frustrating fashion.
Four of UW's losses have been to Top-20 teams. They now are 3-4 against Top-20 competition on the year.
Washington will have another challenge tomorrow when they visit 17th-ranked UCLA. First serve is scheduled for 12 noon.
Washington Women's Tennis
No. 15 USC 6, No. 20 Washington 1