No. 17 Huskies Visit Pacific In Final Tune-Up For Pac-10 Play

March 16, 2005

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- THIS WEEK: Hitting the road for the second time this year, the Washington men's tennis team wraps up its non-conference schedule this weekend with a match against the Pacific Tigers in Stockton, Calif. The Huskies (11-3) and the Tigers get underway at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 20.

SCOUTING PACIFIC: The Pacific Tigers just broke into the ITA Rankings in the March 15 edition, coming in at No. 73 on the strength of consecutive wins over Sacramento State and then-No. 52 Oregon. Pacific is 6-4 on the season, with Oregon being the only opponent with Washington thus far. The Huskies beat the Ducks, 6-1, while the Tigers earned a 4-3 victory. Junior Junior Arnar Sigurdsson leads Pacific with a 9-1 mark at the top singles position. Pacific owns strong doubles play, as Sigurdsson and sophomore Vladimir Zdravkovic boast an 8-2 record at No. 1 doubles. Senior Niclas Otte and junior Jorgen Vestli have teamed for a 9-1 mark at the No. 2 doubles position. The Huskies swept the Tigers, 7-0, in their meeting last year.

LAST TIME OUT: Washington played only once in the last week, turning in a dominating 7-0 sweep of the unranked Idaho Vandals. It was the third sweep of the year for the Huskies, who continue to take care of business against unranked opponents, improving to 5-0. Christoph Palmanshofer moved up to No. 1 singles for the first time in his career, and cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 over Michael Suttner. The Huskies did not lose a set at any position, and no Vandal player could manage to get more than three games in a set in singles. Alex Slovic, Daniel Chu, Andy Kuharszky and Peter Scharler were all easy winners at second through fifth singles, in order. Michael Ricks posted the fastest and most lopsided win at No. 6 singles, where he shut out Uriah Jones, 6-0, 6-0. Ricks also combined with Chu for a win at No. 1 doubles. Chris Floyd got into his very first doubles match of the season, teaming with Slovic at No. 2 doubles for an 8-3 victory.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Washington's only result since the last team rankings was last weekend's 7-0 sweep of Idaho. However, the Huskies still fell three spots in the March 15 rankings to No. 17. In the most recent ITA singles rankings (March 8), Alex Vlaski continued to rise to a new season high No. 26. Vlaski does not have the benefit of fall results to pad his ranking, as he took the fall off to play professionally in order to raise his world rankings. Alex Slovic comes in close behind Vlaski at No. 28, while Christoph Palmanshofer checks in at No. 62.

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 31-6 combined dual record. Palmanshofer and Scharler are tied for the team lead with twin 11-2 dual records. Palmanshofer leads the team in overall wins with 17. Scharler has always been a force in dual play, ranking seventh on UW's career winning percentage list at .733. Senior Alex Vlaski is 9-2 in his senior campaign, with all nine wins coming in straight sets. Vlaski has already defeated seven ranked opponents on the year and recently became the third Husky ever to amass 100 singles wins, joining former Huskies Chet Crile (1990-93) and Matt Hanlin (2000-03). His 100-27 career mark represents a .787 winning percentage which is the best in UW history. Vlaski needs eight more wins to tie the career singles wins record currently shared by Hanlin and Crile at 108.

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

UP NEXT: The meat of the Huskies schedule finally arrives next weekend, as they open up conference play at home against No. 9 Stanford and No. 29 California. Friday, March 25, the Huskies battle the Cardinal, with the Golden Bears lying in wait on Saturday, March 26. Both matches are slated for a 2 p.m. start and will be held at the Bill Quillian Stadium, weather permitting.

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