No. 21 Huskies Open Dual Play Hosting Portland and San Francisco

Jan. 19, 2005

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- THIS WEEK: The 21st-ranked Washington Huskies (0-0) open their 2005 season with the first of 11-straight home dates this weekend against a pair of West Coast Conference foes. The Huskies will face the Portland Pilots (0-0) on Friday, Jan. 21 at 4 p.m., then challenge the San Francisco Dons (0-0) on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. Both matches will take place at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.

THE OPPONENTS: The Porland Pilots are coming off a 9-12 mark in 2004 and a fifth place finish in the WCC. Junior Matthew Loucks is ranked at No. 111 for Portland in singles. Washington defeated Portland 7-0 in the seventh match of last season without dropping a set. The Huskies have never lost to the Pilots, owning 43 wins to no defeats. San Francisco will be taking the court for the first time this year against the Huskies. The Dons also struggled last season, compiling a 9-15 record and losing to Portland in the WCC Tournament fifth-place match. Washington will seek to even up the all-time series with the Dons, which they trail with one win in three meetings.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Huskies currently reside just out of the top-20 in 21st place in the latest ITA Rankings. The ranking is up five spots from where the Huskies closed out the 2004 season at No. 26. Sophomore star Alex Slovic cracked the top-ten for the first time in his career, earning a No. 9 ranking. Slovic becomes just the third Husky ever to reak into the top-ten, joining senior teammate Alex Vlaski and former Husky Robert Kendrick, who rose to third in 1999. Vlaski was the second-ranked player in the country last season, however does not appear in the 2005 rankings because he took the fall season off to compete in professional tournaments. Christoph Palmanshofer is No. 79 entering his senior season.

LIVE SCORING: Live scoring updates will be made available for most Washington home matches in 2005 at Check the website on Friday for live scoring of the Huskies first dual of the season against the Portland Pilots.

2005 SCHEDULE: Washington's 2005 slate features 16 opponents ranked in the preseason top-75 including the three participating Great Northwest Shootout teams--No. 44 Minnesota, No. 11 Ohio State, No. 19 Tulane--of which the Huskies will play two. The Pac-10 schedule is the most daunting section, starting at home against seventh-ranked Stanford and including a trip to No. 2 UCLA and No. 8 USC. The Huskies host their first ten matches and will also benefit from home court avantage in four of their seven Pac-10 match-ups.

UP NEXT: Washington continues its season-opening homestand with dual matches against New Mexico and Michigan State. The Huskies face the Lobos on Jan. 28 at 4 p.m., then host the Spartans on Jan. 30 at 2 p.m., both at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.

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