No. 4 Tar Heels End UW's Season In Second Round
May 14, 2011
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS FIRST & SECOND ROUNDS
FRIDAY, MAY 13 - FIRST ROUND
SATURDAY, MAY 14 - SECOND ROUND
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The Husky women's tennis team had its season ended in the second round of the NCAA Championships today with a 4-1 loss at fourth-ranked North Carolina. For the second straight day, Washington showed great competitiveness throughout the singles lineup, something that was not always there against the top teams during a roller coaster regular season. But the Tar Heels (25-5) were too tough and earned a bid to the round of 16 while UW finishes the season at 13-11.
For the second year in a row, the Huskies had to play one of the tournament's top four seeds in the second round just to make it to the round of 16. Last year UW fought well but lost to eventual NCAA finalist Florida. The story was similar today, as the Huskies hung tough on all courts, but couldn't do quite enough to produce the upset.
"We were right there in most matches and we definitely had our chances but there were too many big points that went against us and we missed some volleys," said Head Coach Jill Hultquist, who has led UW to four-straight NCAA tourneys. "But with everything we've dealt with this year in terms of injuries I am proud and happy with the season we were still able to have."
Washington was undefeated this season when winning the doubles point, and took the point in Friday's first round win over Maryland, but today the Tar Heels gained the early advantage with wins at second and third doubles. 63rd-ranked Denise Dy and Aleksandra Krsljanin lost for just the second time this year, 8-3, to Jelena Durisic and Tessa Lyons to clinch the point for UNC.
In singles, UW took two first sets but North Carolina got the first point when Lauren McHale defeated Krsljanin, 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 singles to make it 2-0. Washington's chances then took a hit when fourth-ranked Denise Dy lost just her second dual match of the year at No. 1 singles, falling 6-1, 7-5 to 13th-ranked Zoe De Bruycker. Dy had rallied from 2-3 down to take a 5-4 lead in the second set, but then lost the final three games. She had also beaten De Bruycker in straight sets earlier this season, but the Tar Heel played at a higher level on her home courts. The loss snapped a 10-match win streak for Dy.
"Denise just wasn't herself today. She wasn't as sharp as usual and couldn't do the things she needed to do to control the points," said Hultquist.
16th-ranked senior Venise Chan then put Washington on the board with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Durisic, ranked 108th. Chan wraps her dual season campaign with a brilliant 22-1 record, and now has 99 career wins with the NCAA Singles Championships still to come. That cut UNC's lead to 3-1.
North Carolina clinched at fifth singles, where junior Adrijana Pavlovic was looking to force a third set but dropped the final two games to Gina Suarez-Malaguti, who won 6-3, 7-5. Senior Vanja Radunovic was heading into a third set at sixth singles after splitting sets with Lyons, and junior Samantha Smith trailed 74th-ranked Shinann Featherston by a set and a break at third singles when the match was stopped.
Krsljanin and Radunovic played their final Husky matches today, and Chan will have the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships awaiting her. The Huskies battled through a lot of adversity this season, and had some great highs, such as qualifying for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the first time since 2005, and the still ongoing All-American seasons for Dy and Chan.
The NCAA individual tournament begins May 25 at Stanford.
Washington Women's Tennis
No. 4 North Carolina 4, No. 28 Washington 1