The Washington women’s tennis team could’ve scheduled an earlier flight back to Seattle on Sunday afternoon, breezing swiftly through the doors of George S. Eccles Tennis Center to wrap up a brief mid-season road trip with a 4-0 sweep of Utah.
The Huskies (12-6, 4-5) easily dispatched the Utes (7-11, 0-8) for their most decisive Pac-12 victory this season, only needing three singles victories to effectively put a stamp on a week-and-a-half of travel.
Top singles player, senior Vanessa Wong, whose individual victory concluded the match, defeated Utah’s top player in a second-set tiebreak 7-6 (9), and the Huskies made an early exit to the buses.
It was Wong’s first victory since reaching a top-30 national ranking after taking down Cal’s top player during the team’s matchup in Berkeley to start off the road trip. She’d fallen to unranked opponents against Stanford and Colorado before righting the ship Sunday against Utah.
Freshman Sarah-Maude Fortin kept her momentum going after a win on Friday. Fortin’s match, a clean 6-3, 6-3 performance, ended before any of the rest and marked the Montreal native’s second-straight victory.
Some of the UW women never got the chance to add a victory to their season statsheet. Quick victories from her teammates barred junior Sedona Gallagher from finishing either of her matches, both in doubles and singles.
After dropping the first set, she led 5-2 in the third before Wong’s match handed the Huskies a merciful victory over the Utes.
In her second day of competition since returning from Slovenia, junior Nika Zupancic remains undefeated on the season — a perfect 1-0. Of course, knotted with her opponent at a set apiece, she didn’t get the chance to play out a third-set tiebreaker and add to her record.
Perhaps the Huskies’ two-match spurt to conclude their travel is just what the team needed. With a sputtering start to conference play, they carry home a losing record before their two final regular-season matches.
The win against Utah on Sunday offers an opportunity for some much-needed confidence-building, as Washington has five days to prepare for Oregon at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on Friday.
With their quick, resounding victories, Wong and the entirety of the UW roster gave themselves a shot of energy before their flight home. Now, less than three weeks away from the postseason, they’ll look to keep that momentum moving forward.
Reach senior staff reporter Nick Mendro at email@example.com. Twitter: @m_mendro
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