Men's Tennis Hosts Texas Tech, Oregon This Weekend

Feb. 23, 2005

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- THIS WEEK: Washington's 15th-ranked men's tennis team puts the finishing touches on its 11-match opening homestand this weekend with a pair of duals. Friday, Feb. 25, the 56th-ranked Red Raiders of Texas Tech will test the Huskies at 5 p.m. Then, Washington (8-1) entertains the rival Oregon Ducks for a non-conference match on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. Both matches will be held at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.

SCOUTING TEXAS TECH: The Red Raiders boast an unblemished 7-0 record this season but have yet to play a ranked opponent. Texas Tech is currently No. 56 in the ITA Rankings. Last season, Texas Tech finished 12-12 and 2-5 in the Big 12 conference. Bojan Szumanski is the only ranked Red Raider at No. 26. Washington won both previous meetings against the Red Raiders.

SCOUTING OREGON: The Ducks are the 48th-ranked team in the nation and are off to a 7-4 start. Last season Oregon finished 9-11, struggling to a 1-7 Pac-10 performance. Senior All-American Sven Swinnen leads the Ducks with a 17-3 overall record and No. 20 ranking. Swinnen is 10-0 thus far in dual play. Last season the two teams split the season series, with the Ducks scoring a rare 4-3 upset in the non-conference match in Eugene before the Huskies responded with a 6-1 win in the Pac-10 rematch in Seattle. The Huskies have completely dominated the all-time series, leading 107-6-1.

LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies easily disposed of the Gonzaga Bulldogs last weekend, cruising to a 7-0 sweep in which they collected every set. Wsahington swept doubles play, using a pair of combinations for the first time this season, including Daniel Chu and Mike Ricks at No. 2 doubles and Peter Scharler and Chrisoph Palmanshofer renewing their partnership from past years with an 8-2 win at No. 3 doubles. Alex Slovic stepped into the No. 1 singles spot for the first time in his young career, taking out Dru Ernst 6-3, 6-4. Chu notched a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 2 singles. In the third through sixth singles slots, the Dawgs lost a grand total of four games over eight sets, winning five sets by 6-0 scores. Palmanshofer, Scharler, Andy Kuharszky and Ricks all breezed through their matches. Scharler was a 6-0, 6-0 winner at fourth singles.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Huskies moved two more players into the top-40 to join sophomore Alex Slovic in the latest ITA singles rankings released Feb. 22. Senior All-American Alex Vlaski has worked his way back into the familiar confines of the singles rankings after taking the fall off to raise his world ranking. Vlaski, ranked 32nd, still has only played seven collegiate matches this season but has not lost a set and six of the wins have come over ranked opponents. Senior Christoph Palmanshofer has been rock solid for UW in dual play, posting a team-leading 8-0 dual record that has helped to earn him a career-high No. 37 singles rank. Slovic missed some action in recent months due to injury, and as a result saw his career-best No. 9 ranking slip to No. 25 in the latest poll. As a team, the Huskies climbed one rung up the ladder to No. 15 over the past week.

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: Washington takes to the road for the first time this year, visiting San Diego State on Sunday, March 6 for a 1:30 p.m. match, then taking on No. 48 San Diego on Monday, March 7 also at 1:30 p.m.

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