#19 UW 3, #21 Tulane 4

Darya Ivanov defeated Saskia Nauenberg 6-4, 6-3 to secure the match for Tulane as the 21st ranked Green Wave handed the 19th ranked Huskies a 4-3 defeat at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Huskies continue to slump down the stretch as they lost their second straight match. After beginning the season with a 10-1 record, they have now lost six of eight to drop to 12-7. Tulane won its sixth straight and improved to 14-5.

Losing a trio of three set singles matches in a 4-3 upset loss to #44 Sacramento State on Friday seemed to have a lingering effect on the Huskies on Saturday as they appeared uninspired in doubles. Tulane won the first match at #2 as Jenny Kuehn and Julie Smekodub defeated Mugette Ahn and Saskia Nauenberg 8-3. Dorottya Magas and Nancy Kockott followed with an 8-3 win over Monika Kolbovic and Tara Simpson at #3 to win the doubles point. The Huskies avoided the sweep with a win in the featured match as Dea Sumantri and Dinka Hadzic beat Darya and Maria Ivanov 9-8 (8-6).

In the opening game Hadzic and Sumantri broke but Tulane won four straight games to go up 4-1. The Huskies rallied to tie the set at 4 before Maria Ivanov held serve to put Tulane back on top 5-4. Then the Huskies regained the lead at 7-5 by winning the next three games. Just when it looked like the Huskies had the match under control with Hadzic still having a chance to serve for the match, the Ivanov sisters rallied for a 7-7 tie. An exchange of breaks sent the match to a tiebreak at 8-8. The Huskies led 6-3 and had three match points but a trio of winners by Darya Ivanov squared the set at 6 apiece. The Huskies got a fourth match point at 7-6 and converted it on a backhand volley winner by Hadzic.

If they seemed uninspired in doubles, the Huskies did not show it in singles. Sumantri cruised to a 6-0,6-0 double bagel of Kuehn at #1 singles to tie the match at a point apiece. Unfortunately, Tulane won the next three points and the match. At #6, Magas beat Alsion Rainey 6-4, 6-1. Maria Ivanov followed with a 6-4,6-1 win over Hadzic at #2 and Darya Ivanov slammed the door on any chance for a Husky victory with her win over Nauenberg.

The Huskies won the final two matches to make the score more respectable as Ahn defeated Smekodub at #3 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) and Simpson beat Kockott 7-6, 6-3 at #5.

Ahn fell behind 0-3 in the opening set but stormed back to tie the set at 3 apiece. Then, with the score knotted at 4, Ahn broke Smekodub to go up 5-4, coming back from a 40-15 deficit to force a pair of deuces. She got a break chance with a crosscourt forehand approach winner and cashed it in when Smekodub dumped a backhand into the net. Ahn had no trouble closing out the set on her serve as Smekodub committed three unforced errors.

In the second set Ahn led 5-3 and 5-4 and had a chance to serve for the match but Smekodub broke her to even the set. A pair of holds then sent the set to a tiebreak. Smekodub won the first point but Ahn came back to claim the next three and a 3-1 lead.After a Smekodub service winner made it 3-2, Ahn won the next four points and the match, finishing it on a forehand unforced error by Smekodub.

Moments later Simpson, leading 5-3 in the second set in her match, won it when Kockott netted a forehand half volley.

The Huskies look to end their slump when they return to Pac-10 action at Arizona on Friday, April 8 and Arizona State on Saturday, April 9.


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