No. 16 Huskies Host Gonzaga This Friday

Feb. 16, 2005

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- THIS WEEK: Washington's 16th-ranked men's tennis team welcomes in-state rival Gonzaga to the Nordstrom Tennis Center this Friday, Feb. 18 for a 5 p.m. dual match. The Huskies (7-1) will look to rebound from their first loss of the year last weekend to Pepperdine and continue to build towards conference play down the road.

SCOUTING GONZAGA: The Bulldogs are 1-4 on the season after finishing 2004 with a 6-20 mark and an eighth-place finish in the West Coast Conference. Gonzaga has played one match against a team the Huskies are familiar with, the Oregon Ducks, who swept the Zags, 7-0. The Bulldogs do not feature any nationally ranked players. The Huskies lead the all-time series 5-0.

LAST TIME OUT: Washington suffered its first loss of the season last weekend, falling just short of 24th-ranked Pepperdine, 4-3, on Feb. 12. The Waves scored wins in two of the three doubles matches to take the doubles point that would prove to be decisive. UW's only doubles win was provided by Andy Kuharszky and Alex Slovic at No. 2 doubles, who improved to 4-0 as a duo. The Huskies would bounce back to earn three convincing singles wins but Pepperdine managed three wins of their own, albeit closely contested in each case. For Washington, Alex Vlaski defeated his fifth ranked opponent this spring, dispatching 13th-ranked Pedro Rico, 6-4, 6-1, to improve to 7-0 at No. 1 singles. Christoph Palmanshofer also stayed perfect in dual play with a 6-4, 6-2 win at third singles. Daniel Chu provided UW's first point of the day with a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 4 singles. However, ninth-ranked Alex Slovic was upset by No. 88 Scott Doerner, Andy Kuharszky lost a pair of 6-4 sets at No. 5 singles, and Peter Scharler fell to Alexis Rafidison in the deciding match at No. 6 singles, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Following the loss to the Waves, Washington fell two spots to 16th in the latest ITA rankings released Feb. 15. In the past ITA Individual rankings sophomore star Alex Slovic cracked the top-ten for the first time in his career, earning a No. 9 ranking. Slovic is 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 also checks in at No. 79.

LIVE SCORING: Live scoring updates will be made available for Washington home matches in 2005 at www.gohuskies.com.

2004 RECAP: The national spotlight shone brightly on Husky men's tennis in 2003-04. With his win in the All-American Championships, the first major of the college tennis season, junior All-American Alex Vlaski grabbed the attention of the tennis world and catapulted himself to an all-time Husky high No. 2 ranking. Shortly thereafter, the Huskies played host to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, featuring the nation's top teams including year-end NCAA champion Baylor and runner-up UCLA. A strong showing at the tournament propelled the Huskies to No. 10 in the rankings. The Huskies ended with a 15-9 record and a fourth-place Pac-10 finish. Washington's NCAA Championship run was ended by Stanford, 4-2, in the second round, but three Huskies would make the trip to the inviddual NCAA Tournament: Vlaski in singles and doubles, freshman Alex Slovic in singles and freshman Daniel Chu in doubles. To cap off the season, Slovic turned heads towards the Northwest once again, being named ITA National Rookie of the Year, and Vlaski became the first ever Husky to earn All-American honors in two seasons.

UP NEXT: The Huskies will conclude their 11-match opening homestand next weekend with a pair of non-conference duals. Friday, Feb. 25, the Dawgs will host Texas Tech for a 5 p.m. match. Sunday, Feb. 27, the rival Oregon Ducks pay a visit to the Nordstrom Tennis Center for a 2 p.m. showdown.

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