UW 5, #45 WSU 2

Aleksandra Malovic outlasted Amy Toth 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 to win her first career singles match as a Husky and cap a 5-2 Washington win over archrival and 45th ranked Washington State in the final home match for the Huskies on Saturday afternoon.

With the win in a five hour 10 minute marathon that began outdoors at Quillian Stadium and concluded indoors at the Nordstrom Tennis Center due to rain, the Huskies (4-16, 1-6 Pac-10) gave head coach Jill Hultquist her first Pac-10 win and improved their all time record against the Cougars (14-11, 1-7 Pac-10) to 44-8.

Malovic, a freshman playing in just her third dual match due to eligibility issues, dropped the first set of the match at second singles. In the second set the two players held serve to 5 all.

In the 11th game Toth gave Malovic a break chance with three unforced errors, including a double fault and then gave the break and the game away when she dumped a forehand overhead smash into the net. With Malovic then serving for the set, Toth led 30-40 and had a break point but a backhand unforced error brought the game back to deuce, and Malovic came up with a service winner and an ace to tie the match at one set each.

With the third set tied at 2 all and on serve, Toth gave Malovic double break point in the fifth game at 15-40 with three straight unforced errors, and lost serve when Malovic smacked a forehand return winner down the line in the ad court. However, Malovic could not consolidate the break and take control of the match at 4-2. Instead, she gave Toth two chances to break right back at 15-40, and Toth converted the first chance, drilling a forehand winner into the corner in the ad court to make it 3 all.

In the next game Malovic got another chance to break Toth and take a 4-3 lead but Toth managed to hold thanks to a service winner and a pair of errors by her opponent.

At that point Toth took a medical timeout that lasted several minutes and perhaps it affected Malovic in her next service game as she fell behind 0-40 and eventually got broken, making the third set score 3-5 in Toth's favor, with the Cougar then having the chance to serve for the match. Malovic, though, came up big, hitting four winners to break back to 4-5 and serve for 5 all. She faced a match point against her serve but managed to hold thanks to a couple Toth unforced errors and an ace down the center service line.

On the ace Toth called the ball out but the chair umpire overruled her, awarding the point to Malovic, and because it was the third overrule in the match, Toth got assessed a point penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and began the 11th game on her serve trailing 0-15. That proved to be crucial in the game as Malovic only needed one forehand volley winner and a Toth unforced error to get a break point.

Toth saved it when Malovic netted a forehand but gave the point back with a backhand into the net. This time Malovic made her pay, getting the break and a 6-5 lead when she drilled a backhand return winner down the line in the deuce court.

Serving for the match at 6-5, Malovic wasted no time getting to 40-0 and triple match point with three straight winners, including an ace. A pair of unforced errors made it 40-30 but finally Malovic put the match away with a backhand winner down the line.

Malovic's win marked the third three set match that the Huskies won against the Cougars on the day. Earlier, at sixth singles Melinda Wong rallied from a set down to defeat Aleksandra Stefanova 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Wong got off to a slow start, falling behind 0-4 in the first set, but won four of the next five games, and despite eventually losing the set, seemed to ride that momentum into the second and third sets.

At fifth singles, Rainey, like Wong, also dug herself a hole, losing the first set 1-6 against Bianca Selaru before coming back to win sets two and three by identical 6-3 scores. Wong's win tied the team match at 2 points each, and after Joyce Ardies gave the Huskies a 3-2 lead with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Marjolein van de Ven at third singles, Rainey's win clinched the win for Washington.

Washington took a 1-0 lead in the match, winning a hard fought doubles point by taking two of three matches. At the third position Malovic and Rainey won five of the final six games after trailing 3-4 to defeat Selaru and Toth 8-5. At the two, Wong and Tara Simpson lost the first four games of their match against Aleksandra Cekic and Stefanova but rallied to win 9-7.

The Cougars won the top doubles match as Ekaterina Burduli and Van de Ven overcame a 2-5 deficit and three match points to eventually defeat Mathilde Cor and Ardies, 9-8, 7-5 in a tiebreak.

The Cougars tallied their two points with wins at first and fourth singles. At one, Burduli beat Cor rather handily 6-2, 6-1 and Cekic overcame a 2-5 first set deficit to triumph over Simpson 7-5, 6-3.

Following the long win, the Huskies got on a plane for Eugene to face Oregon in their regular season finale at 12 p.m. on Sunday, April 22.

Dawgman.com Top Stories