No. 26 Washington Men's Tennis to Play in Pepperdine Invitational

March 21, 2002

This Weekend: The No. 26 Washington men's tennis team (13-0, 0-0) will compete in the Pepperdine Invitational in Malibu, Calif., this Sat. and Sun., March 23 and 24, respectively. Along with the host Waves, the Huskies will compete against No. 31 Texas Christian and No. 33 Arizona State. Last season marked the first time these four schools played in the annual tournament, first hosted by UW. Washington came away from the weekend with a 1-1 record, upsetting 12th-ranked Pepperdine, 4-1, but losing a close 4-3 match to 7th-ranked TCU.

Last Matches: The Huskies concluded their second road trip of the year with a 2-0 mark, defeating unranked Ball State and No. 49 Purdue. The team dropped only one set during six singles matches to defeat Ball State, 7-0. Alex Vlaski, playing No. 1 singles, defeated Jason Pressel, 6-3, 6-3, while junior Ari Strasberg beat Kevin Burnett, 7-6, 6-2. UW lost the doubles point against the Boilermakers to go down 0-1, but fought back with wins from Matt Hanlin, Vlaski, Christoph Palmanshofer, Peter Scharler and Nick Weiss to claim the match, 5-2.

Undefeated: With their 12th win on the year over Ball State, the 2002 Washington men's tennis team has gotten off to the best start in school history. The Dawgs remain undefeated at 13-0, all of which comes in non-conference action. The Huskies also remain perfect in the No. 1 and No. 6 singles positions, posting 12-0 marks in both spots. Four players are also undefeated for UW in dual action, including Dillon Ruby (10-0), Nick Weiss (8-0), Scott Felsenthal (2-0) and Matt Leon (1-0).

Conference Play: During the offseason, the Pac-10 streamlined all conference play so that competition would come at the end of the season, gearing teams for postseason play. This year, the Huskies will head south to face California and Stanford in late March, only to come home to host Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, USC and Oregon in a five-match stretch through April.

Ranking Rights: Freshman Alex Vlaski and junior Matt Hanlin have remained in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's top-120 poll throughout the season. Vlaski peaked on Feb. 22 when he came in at No. 30 on the national charts. He has also been ranked 53rd (Dec. 11), 61st (March 6) and currently 39th. Hanlin's peak came on Dec. 11 when he placed 44th, according to the national ranking committee. He has also been ranked 52nd (Feb. 22), 57th (March 6) and currently 84th.

Last Season: The 2000-01 Washington men's tennis team made history in the school record books. The team finished the year with a 20-8 overall record, and a 3-4 mark in conference play, good enough to tie them for fourth place in the Pac-10. The 20 wins were the most since the 1986 team tallied 26 victories. The Huskies earned their highest ranking ever, coming in at No. 6 following wins over No. 4 Georgia (4-3) and No. 8 Florida (4-1) in the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships. They claimed the sixth spot from Feb. 21-March 20. After an impressive regular season, Washington had an even better postseason, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. The Huskies ended their season with a 4-1 loss to conference opponent, UCLA. Matt Hanlin earned the lone point for Washington with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, win over 13th ranked Jean-Julien Rojer.

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