Huskies Home To Take On Portland And No. 30 Texas A&M
Feb. 15, 2012
SATURDAY, FEB. 18 NORDSTROM TENNIS CENTER
SUNDAY, FEB. 19 NORDSTROM TENNIS CENTER
THIS WEEK: Winners in four of its first five matches, the new-look Husky women's tennis team has come together well in just three weeks of dual play, but another big test looms at home this weekend as UW hosts Portland and 30th-ranked Texas A&M. Washington, ranked 28th, has wins over three top-50 teams thus far, but a win over the Aggies, who bring three ranked singles players, would be the biggest yet. First up on Saturday at 11 a.m. is a young Portland squad. Sunday, the Aggies come to the Nordstrom Tennis Center for another 11 a.m. start.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Dawgs ended the 2011 season at 26th nationally and started 2012 one spot below that at No. 27 according to the Intecollegiate Tennis Association. A new set of team rankings came out eb. 2, with the Huskies remaining at 28th in the new poll. The only UW individual currently ranked is top-10 mainstay Denise Dy. The senior All-American was ranked fourth in the nation in singles at the start of the fall. Although Dy had another impressive fall, reaching the ITA National Indoor semifinals, she slipped to 10th in the first 2012 singles rankings. Dy ended the 2011 spring season ranked eighth nationally, the second-best year-end ranking in school history. She has been a near constant presence in the top-10 since 2010, her sophomore year, when she jumped from the fifties to No. 3 after a fantastic 2009 fall campaign.
NO DY-NYING DENISE: One of the greatest Huskies in history, the incredible career of Denise Dy is in its final act, but the senior from San Jose is still piling up the wins and looking to leave the program with a flourish. The only Husky to reach three national semifinals (the 2009 ITA National Indoors, the 2010 ITA All-Americans, and the 2011 ITA National Indoors), Dy has been a force in tournament play, but has been even greater in dual match play with a team point on her racquet. Dy has a career dual match record in singles of 58-12, and since the start of her sophomore year it is an even more incredible 39-4, a winning percentage of .907. An All-Pac-10 First Team selection last year, Dy continues to draw near the 100 win plateau for singles, currently owning 94 victories. She would be the fourth Husky to join that club, along with Kristina Kraszewski (111), former doubles partner Venise Chan (101), and Dea Sumantri (100). She has made both the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships each of the past two years, earning a top-16 seed in singles both times, and advancing to the doubles quarterfinals last year with Chan, matching the best finish ever by a Husky duo. Dy is looking to earn ITA All-America honors for the third year in a row. She picked up a singles All-America honor in 2010, and singles and doubles honors in 2011. Dy has been a fixture in the Top-10 of the national singles rankings for the past three years, with a career-best of No. 3 during her sophomore year, and highs of No. 4 as a junior and a senior.
SCOUTING PORTLAND: The Pilots are 1-2 early on this season, picking up their first win at home against Seattle U. by a 4-3 count. One of their losses came against Oregon by a 6-1 count, with Sabine Fuchs earning a win at No. 4 singles for the Pilots. The No. 1 player for Portland thus far has been Anastasia Polyakova, a freshman from Russia. Last season the Huskies notched a 5-2 win over the Pilots in Seattle. Washington holds a 21-0 edge in the overall series with UP. Coaching the Pilots is Susie Campbell-Gross, now in her 19th season.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M: The Aggies have a 2-1 mark thus far and will face Fresno State on Friday before heading up to Seattle. Texas A&M lost its opener to Ole Miss, 4-3, but has come back with 5-2 wins over Ohio State and LSU. The top half of Texas A&M's lineup stacks up well with anyone, as they have 11th-ranked Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and 105th-ranked Nazari Urbina atop the lineup. Urbina was ranked in the top-20 in 2011. Sun Wen is also ranked 61st in singles, making for a tough top three. Last year the Aggies went 15-9 and lost a first round match in the NCAA Championships. The Huskies visited College Station last year but the match was suspended due to rain during the early part of singles play. Texas A&M leads the all-time series, 2-0. Howard Joffe is in his first year coaching the Aggies, coming from Maryland where he spent the past two season. The Huskies knocked Joffe's Maryland squad out of the NCAA tournament last year in the first round.
LAST TIME OUT: Washington made its long-awaited home debut last Friday, facing 49th-ranked Sacramento State. The Huskies and Hornets had locked horns for seven straight seasons with the match ending in a 4-3 result one way or another every year. Washington was finally able to end that streak in a positive direction, taking a 6-1 victory. In doubles, freshmen Natali Coronel and Riko Shimizu came back from 0-4 down to post an 8-6 win, clinching the point after Denise Dy and Samantha Smith had eased to an 8-1 win. Dy finished quickly at No. 1 singles, beating Tatsiana Kapshai, 6-1, 6-2. Smith then completed a 6-2, 6-4 win over Rebeca Delgado at second singles, and sophomore Andjela Nemcevic clinched things with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Clarisse Baca at third singles. Capucine Gregoire bounced back from a rough end to the second set, taking down Sophie Lohscheidt, 6-0, 5-7, 6-2. Coronel lost a marathon third set super-tiebreak at fifth singles, 16-14, but Shimizu earned a 6-2, 7-6 victory at the No. 6 spot.
UP NEXT: Washington already reaches the end of non-conference play next weekend, with San Diego State and St. Mary's coming to visit the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The Aztecs are up first on Friday, Feb. 24, at 1:30 p.m., and then the Gaels come to town for an 11 a.m. start on Sunday the 26th.
HEAD COACH Jill Hultquist: Now in year seven of her tenure, head coach Jill Hultquist has ushered in a rebirth of the women's tennis program. In just four years, Hultquist took a 3-17 team and restored stability, added depth and an influx of talent, and brought the Huskies back to national prominence. The turnaround was made official when the Huskies reached the NCAA Round of 16 in 2009 with a stunning upset of Pac-10 Champion USC. Hultquist was named the Northwest Region Head Coach of the Year for her efforts in 2009, as the Huskies went 18-8 and finished the season ranked 27th. Washington has had unprecedented individual success over the past two seasons, as junior Venise Chan and sophomore Denise Dy eached made the semifinals of ITA national singles championships, and both earned All-America honors in 2010 in singles and again in 2011 in both singles and doubles. They became the first All-Americans for Hultquist and first for UW since 2004. Washington has now made four consecutive NCAA tournaments under Hultquist, reaching the second round the past two years after the 2009 round of 16 run. In 2008, Hultquist guided the Huskies back to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2005, and the Huskies climbed back into the ITA Top-40 after nearly a two-year absence. Hultquist is the fourth head coach in program history, and succeeded Patty McCain, whom Hultquist worked with as an assistant for five seasons from 1997-2002. During her first tour of duty at UW, Hultquist helped lead the Huskies to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances including a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2001. Hultquist was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in 2001. She was also selected as the ITA Northwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year in both 2000 and 2001. Before joining the coaching ranks at Washington, Hultquist played professionally on the WTA Tour from 1987-1997, winning more than 20 doubles titles. She ranked as high as sixth in the world in doubles and 64th in the world in singles. Hultquist teamed with McCain on the doubles circuit, and among their victories was a win over Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini in the semifinals of the 1988 U.S. Open. They also advanced to the finals of the 1989 Australian Open. Hultquist reached the mixed doubles finals of the French Open in 1995 and competed in the Olympic Games for Canada in 1984, 1988 and 1996. A native of Toronto, Canada, Hultquist and her husband Rich have two children, Jack (10) and Maggie (8).