SEATTLE – UCLA and USC couldn’t handle the Washington reign. The Husky women’s tennis team backed up its big win over UCLA on Friday by making more history today, knocking off USC at the Nordstrom Tennis Center for just the second sweep of the SoCal schools in UW history, and the first since 2003.
Four singles matches went into third sets today, and Washington came out on top in all four, to post the 5-2 victory and improve to 10-3 and 2-0 in Pac-12 play. The clincher came on court two, where Sarah-Maude Fortin broke out of some recent struggles and pulled away in her third set to topple 24th-ranked Eryn Cayetano, 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-2.
“If there’s a team to do it, it’s this one,” said Head Coach Robin Stephenson. “They believe in themselves. They want it. They are just buying in to the culture and how much they care and how hard they work. It shows; they’re playing for each other out there. I don’t honestly even think we’re playing our best tennis yet, we’re just competing and fighting and finding ways. Beating UCLA and USC back to back is not easy, but we have a lot to play for. The girls set some high goals and they’re going after them.”
So long, SoCal ??
The Huskies are 2?-0? in the Pac#GoHuskies pic.twitter.com/Oke8CoInu5
— Washington Women’s Tennis (@UW_WTennis) March 6, 2023
After winning the doubles point for the second time this weekend, the Dawgs wore down USC with wins from the Columbia Lions turned Huskies Jennifer Kerr, and Melissa Sakar, both in third sets. After Fortin sealed it, Astrid Olsen rallied back from 3-5 down in her third for another big ranked win over the nation’s No. 43 Snow Han.
Fortin, called “Smiff” by coaches and teammates, was the match that stood out most to Stephenson.
“Today was a full team effort from the first moment in doubles, but ‘Smiff’ has been having a hard time and fighting herself a lot and not had the results she’s wanted,” said Stephenson. “We’ve been working on her not losing belief, and she wants it so bad, and she came out today with a fresh mindset and trusted herself. For her to clinch the match, and beat one of the best players in the country who she’s never beat before, is unbelievable for her and the team.”
The Huskies secured the doubles point and took the early 1-0 lead. Zehra Suko and Hikaru Sato set the tone by upsetting 19th-ranked Han/Cheong, 6-3, at No. 1 doubles. Fortin and Erika Matsuda clinch the point for the Dawgs with a 6-4 win at No. 3 doubles. UW also had a…
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