UW Women netters slam Wildcats

Darija Klaic smacked a forehand overhead winner to finish off a 6-4,6-0 straight set victory over Arizona's Dianne Hollands and clinch the match as the ninth ranked Huskies defeated the #45 Wildcats 5-2 in women's Pac-10 tennis at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.

Fortunately for those in attendance, the Huskies and Wildcats took to the courts of the Tennis Center rather than the icy, wet courts of Quillian Stadium, and when the match concluded three plus hours after it began, the Huskies showed that they had the depth to overcome losses by their top two singles players, Claire Carter and Dea Sumantri, and their top doubles team of Carter and Klaic.

After Colleen Gray and Sumantri defeated Debbie Larocque and Kristy Randono in #2 doubles, 8-3, and Erin Boisclair and Erin Hoe clinched the doubles point for Washington with a 8-6 win over Kelly Perry and Hollands in the #3 position, attention shifted to Carter and Klaic to see if Washington could sweep all three doubles matches. Arizona's top duo of Emilie Scribot and Maja Mlakar determined otherwise, overcoming five match points to eventually outlast Carter and Klaic in a tiebreaker 9-8.

Carter and Klaic broke Mlakar's serve to begin the match and it looked as if that one break would be enough for them to win the match as no breaks of serve took place from that point on. The Huskies had a chance to break Mlakar for a second time in the 13th game and by doing so, would wrap up the victory. They got up 15-40 on Mlakar's serve and had two match points, but the Wildcats saved one match point on a slice backhand unforced error into the net by Carter and saved the second with a Mlakar service winner. Carter and Klaic still had two more match points in the same game, but Mlakar saved one with a service winner down the center line and Scribot saved the other with a backhand volley. Scribot then gave Arizona a game point with a forehand overhead, but Klaic countered with a backhand volley winner to force the fourth deuce of the game. After another Scribot forehand overhead winner gave Arizona a second game point, Mlakar finally held to make it 7-6 in favor of the Huskies when a Klaic forehand sailed long. With Carter serving in the next game, Scribot hit a forehand volley winner to break and even the set at seven games apiece. It looked as if Carter and Klaic would yet win the match when they broke Scribot's serve to take an 8-7 lead and had a game point in the 16th game following a Klaic ace, but Scribot sandwiched two backhand winners around a Klaic double fault and the match went to a tiebreak.

It looked as if Scribot and Mlakar would coast in the tiebreak when they jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but the Huskies closed to 4-5 on two Arizona unforced errors and a Carter forehand overhead. Arizona took a 6-4 lead and had one match point when Scribot hit a backhand winner at Carter, and the match finally concluded when Mlakar drilled a forehand at Carter, who managed to react in time for a volley, but it sailed long.

The momentum from their doubles victory carried over into singles for Scribot and Mlakar. Scribot won 16 of the first 17 points in her match with Carter and capitalized on 34 total unforced errors by Carter to cruise to a 6-2,6-2 victory in the #1 singles position and even the match at one point apiece. Mlakar defeated Sumantri 6-1, 6-4 in the #2 position, but by the time that match ended the Huskies already led 5-1. Boisclair put Washington up 2-1 with a 6-1,6-3 win over Larocque in the fourth slot, and Gray put the Huskies up 3-1 with a 6-1,6-1 victory over Perry in the #5 position, setting the stage for Klaic's clincher. Hoe gave the Huskies their final point with a 6-1,6-0 rout of Zorica Zasova in the #6 position.

With the win, Washington improved to 3-2 in the Pac-10 and 14-3 overall, while Arizona dropped to 1-9 in conference and 6-10 overall. Following their sweep of Arizona and Arizona State, the Huskies continue their season ending five match homestand when they welcome in two powerhouses from Los Angeles, #1 USC on Friday, April 11 and #7 UCLA on Saturday, April 12.

Both matches begin at 12 p.m at Quillian Stadium, weather permitting.

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