#8 UW 6, #45 Illinois 1

Saskia Nauenberg beat Brianne Knue 6-4,3-6,6-3 as the eighth ranked Huskies swept the singles and defeated the 45th ranked Illinois Illini 6-1 in women's tennis at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.

After spending the last month on the road the Huskies made their only February home appearance and improved to 9-1, while the Illini dropped to 5-5.

Nauenberg and Knue split the first two sets at #$ singles, and in the third, Nauenberg took a 4-3 lead on serve. In the eighth game Knue looked as if she would hold serve fairly easily when she won the first two points for a 30-0 lead, but then Nauenberg won the next three points, the first on a forehand approach and the next two on Knue unforced errors, to gain a break point. She squandered it with an unforced error but came back to win the next two points and indeed break Knue's serve.

In the next game, Nauenberg served for the match but Knue looked like she would force the match back on serve when she had two break chances at 15-40. However, Nauenberg saved them both, the first one on a Knue forehand error and the second on a service winner. Nauenberg then struck a forehand crosscourt approach winner and Knue netted a backhand to end the match.

Illinois took a 1-0 lead by winning two of three doubles matches. At #2, Knue and Macall Harkins won the last four games to defeat Mugette Ahn and Tara Simpson 8-3. Moments later, at #3, Momei Qu and Anastasia Sokolova defeated Nauenberg and Stephanie Svanfeldt 8-3.

Washington's Dea Sumantri and Dinka Hadzic prevented a sweep, making a break in the fifth game stand up as they defeated Cynthya Goulet and Emily Wang 8-6 in the top doubles match.

When play shifted to singles, the Huskies dominated. Simpson got the first point on the board for the Huskies, rolling to a 6-1,6-1 win over Sokolova at #5. Ahn made it 2-1 Washington with a 6-1,7-6(1)win over Harkins at #2.

In the second set tiebreak a pair of winners and four unforced errors by Harkins gave Ahn a 6-0 lead and six match points. Harkins got on the board with a service winner but Ahn closed her out with a crosscourt topspin forehand lob winner.

Sumantri gave the Huskies a 3-1 lead, winning the last four games to defeat Goulet in the top singles match 6-3,6-4. Then Hadzic secured the win for the Huskies with a 7-5,6-3 win over Qu at #3. At #6, Alison Rainey won a three set duel with Paulina Akritas 6-1,2-6,6-3.

Following their brief return home the Huskies return to the road for matches at San Diego on Friday, March 4 and San Diego State on Saturday, March 5.


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