12th-Ranked Huskies Take Out 'Cats, 4-2
April 8, 2005
SEATTLE, Wash. - The 12th-ranked Washington men's tennis team continued its ascension up the Pac-10 ladder today, knocking off the Arizona Wildcats 4-2 at the Bill Quillian Stadium. Freshman Andy Kuharszky clinched the win at No. 5 singles, rallying from a first set loss to take the final two sets 6-0 and 6-1. The Huskies improve to 16-4 and 4-1 in conference play, maintaining their firm grip on second place.
Washington came out strong in doubles play, sweeping the Cats to take the 1-0 lead. Seniors Alex Vlaski and Christoph Palmanshofer moved to 5-0 in the No. 2 doubles position, defeating Daniel Andrus and Paul Warkentin 8-5. The doubles point was then clinched by Kuharszky and Mike Ricks at third doubles, where they defeated Claudio Christen and Bruno Alcala, 8-6. Closing out the doubles sweep was the 27th-ranked team of sophomores Daniel Chu and Alex Slovic, who knocked off the No. 19 team of Roger Matalonga and Colin O'Grady, 8-5, at No. 1 doubles. Chu and Slovic have now upset three top-20 teams in their last five matches.
Arizona quickly erased any thoughts of an easy Husky victory, taking four first sets out of the six singles matches. One Husky who continued to roll however, was No. 29 Slovic, who beat O'Grady at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-2 for his fifth straight win. Palmanshofer, ranked 57th, also had an impressive straight set win at No. 3 singles over Andrus. Palmanshofer won the first set easily, 6-1, but trailed 5-2 in the second set before fighting back to force a tiebreak, which he won seven points to three. It was the team leading 20th win for the senior.
The Huskies would need to turn the momentum in one of the four matches Arizona led to hold off the Wildcats, and Kuharszky stepped up to the challenge. Shaking off a 5-7 first set loss to Arizona's Alcala, he dropped only one game the rest of the match to secure the win. Kuharszky also clinched UW's win over Stanford on March 25 with a three-set comeback, and his three set win last weekend against USC was crucial in the Huskies' 4-3 win over the Trojans. Chu's No. 4 singles match was suspended once Washington clinched as Arizona needed to travel to Oregon.
19th-ranked Vlaski was upset by No. 55 Matalonga at the top singles spot, 6-2, 6-4, as he struggled with unforced errors. Arizona's second point came at sixth singles, where Christen downed senior Peter Scharler who has struggled with four consecutive losses recently after a 13-2 start in dual play.
'It was tight the whole time,' said Head Coach Matt Anger. 'It was down and up and down and up. We feel good because we won but there was no part of the match that was easy. Andy really got going, I was impressed with him the second and third sets. The guy Andy was playing is a very good player.'
'I want us to be a little better all the way through the line-up on Sunday. Our seniors could have done a little better today. Our guys are a little more well-rounded than we showed. We did not really show them how we can adapt,' said Anger.
The Huskies play their home finale this Sunday, April 10, against the Arizona State Sun Devils. The match is schedule for 12 noon at the Bill Quillian Stadium. Barring a selection to host the NCAA First and Second Rounds, it will be the final home appearance for seniors Palmanshofer, Vlaski, and Scharler.
Washington Men's Tennis vs. Arizona
4/8/05 - Bill Quillian Stadium - Seattle, Wash.
No. 12 Washington 4, No. 49 Arizona 2
1) (27) Chu/Slovic (UW) def. (19) O'Grady/Matalonga (UA), 8-5
2) Palmanshofer/Vlaski (UW) def. Andrus/Warkentin (UA), 8-5
3) Kuharszky/Ricks (UW) def. Alcala/Christen (UA), 8-6
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1) (55) Roger Matalonga (UA) def. (19) Alex Vlaski (UW), 6-2, 6-4
2) (29) Alex Slovic (UW) def. Colin O'Grady (UA), 6-3, 6-2
3) (57) Christoph Palmanshofer (UW) def. Daniel Andrus (UA), 6-1, 7-6 (3)
4) Daniel Chu (UW) vs. Paul Warkentin (UA), 4-6, 6-4 susp.
5) Andy Kuharszky (UW) def. Bruno Alcala (UA), 5-7, 6-0, 6-1
6) Claudio Christen (UA) def. Peter Scharler (UW), 6-4, 6-4
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 6, 3, 5, 4