Men's Tennis Sets Out For San Diego

March 3, 2005

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- THIS WEEK: The Washington men's tennis team finally says goodbye to the Nordstrom Tennis Center, embarking on the first road trip of the season after 11 straight home matches. The Huskies (9-2) will face a pair of San Diego schools, starting on Sunday, March 6, with a 12 p.m. match against the San Diego State Aztecs. Monday, March 7, Washington goes against the San Diego Toreros at 1:30 p.m.

SCOUTING SAN DIEGO STATE: The Aztecs out of the Mountain West Conference are unranked but should still provide a tough test for the Huskies. San Diego State gave 17th-ranked USC a run for their money before the Trojans prevailed, 5-2, in the Aztecs' opening match. The Aztecs are currently 3-2 after posting an 11-9 record in 2004, good for third in the MWC. Senior Dontia Haynes is ranked 84th but usually plays lower in the singles line-up. Washington leads the all-time series, 11-10, with the last meeting coming in the second round of the 2003 NCAA Championships, where the Huskies won, 4-3, to advance to the round of 16.

SCOUTING SAN DIEGO: The Toreros are 50th in the latest ITA Rankings but have gotten off to a sluggish 1-3 start. Their three losses came at the hands of Pac-10 schools Stanford (7-0), California (4-2), and UCLA (6-1). Last season the Toreros finished second in the West Coast Conference and made the NCAA Tournament, losing in the first round. San Diego boasts a top-ten singles player in eighth-ranked junior Pierrick Ysern. Last year the Huskies scored a 5-2 win over the Toreros, with Alex Vlaski notching a straight-set win over Ysern at No. 1 singles. The Toreros hold a 10-5 edge in the all-time series.

LAST TIME OUT: Washington split a pair of home matches this past weekend, dropping a disappointing 4-3 decision to 56th-ranked Texas Tech before bouncing back to defeat the 48th-ranked Oregon Ducks, 6-1. Against Texas Tech, Washington fell behind when the Red Raiders scored the doubles point, winning the deciding No. 1 doubles match in a tiebreak. In singles play, UW's three seniors (Vlaski, Palmanshofer, Scharler) all came up with wins, but Texas Tech won the Nos. 2, 4, and 6 singles matches to hold off the Huskies. The sixth singles match between UW's Andy Kuharszky and Tech's Adrian Prpic came down to a third-set tiebreak, which Prpic won, 7-3. At No. 4 singles, Tech's Esat Tanik was tied with Daniel Chu, 4-4, in the third set before taking the final two games to clinch the upset. Two days later against the Ducks, the Huskies came out and took control from the start, taking the doubles point and the first five singles matches in straight sets. Oregon's only point came at No. 1 singles where 20th-ranked Sven Swiinnen gave Vlaski his first loss, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Palmanshofer and Scharler won both their singles matches over the weekend, while Alex Slovic and Kuharszky remain a perfect 7-0 as a doubles combo.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: After the upset loss to the Red Raiders, the Huskies fell to 21st in the latest ITA team rankings, back to where they started the year. The Huskies boast an impressive three players in the ITA top-40 led by sophomore Alex Slovic at No. 25. Slovic missed some action in recent months due to injury, causing his ranking to slip from his career-best No. 9. Senior All-American Alex Vlaski has worked his way back into the familiar confines of the singles rankings at No. 32 after taking the fall off to raise his world ranking. Senior Christoph Palmanshofer has been rock solid for UW in dual play, posting a team-leading 10-0 dual record that has helped to earn him a career-high No. 37 singles rank.

PLAYING LIKE SENIORS: The Huskies have been led in dual play by the likeliest of sources, their three seniors Alex Vlaski, Christoph Palmanshofer and Peter Scharler. The trio have posted wins in match after match in their final go-round with the Dawgs. So far the three have put together a phenomenal 27-2 combined dual record. Palmanshofer has led the way with a perfect 10-0 dual record, split evenly between second and third singles. He leads the team in overall wins with 16. Scharler has been solid as always, off to a 9-1 start after sitting out the fall season. Scharler has always been a force in dual play, ranking sixth on UW's career winning percentage list at .736. Senior Alex Vlaski is 8-1 in his senior campaign, with all eight wins coming in straight sets. Vlaski has already defeated six ranked opponents on the year and is just one win shy of his 100th career singles victory, a plateau reached only twice before by former Huskies Chet Crile and Matt Hanlin who share the career record with 108.

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

UP NEXT: The Huskies return home and will likely head outdoors to face the Idaho Vandals, Friday, March 11 at 5 p.m. at the Bill Quillian Stadium.

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