UW men's tennis team returns home to host two non-conference opponeents
March 1, 2006
THIS WEEK: The No. 10 Washington men's tennis team returns home from Oregon to host two non-conference opponents this week. UW willl face the Pacific Tigers on Friday, March 3 at 5:00pm. After enjoying one day of rest the Huskies will be at it again facing the Memphis Tigers on March 5th at 5:00 pm. Washington has yet to lose to Pacific, posting a 6-0 all time record. Sunday will mark the first meeting between the UW and the University of Memphis. Both matches will take place in front of Washington's home crowd in the Nordstrom Indoor Tennis Center.
SCOUTING THE TWO TIGERS: Pacific has compiled a 6-2 record during the 2006 dual season; the only two losses of the Tiger's season have come at the hands of Pac-10 opponents Arizona and Arizona State. No. 100 Pacific senior Jorgen Vestli was named Big West Conference Player of the Week for two straight weeks. Vestli has played the majority of the 2006 season in the number one position tallying up a 9-3 record in singles. The Tiger's No. 67 Arnar Sigurdsson defeated Wake Forest's Todd Paul in the first round of the All American Championships during the fall season of 2005; Paul is currently ranked eleventh in the nation. In the second round, the number one player in the nation Baylor's Lars Poerschke, knocked Sigurdsson out of the tournament. Memphis is 5-6 on the season with five of their six losses coming at the hands of nationally ranked opponents. Senior James Spence received a wild card entry into the qualifying singles draw of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships. Spence is a two-year letter winner at Memphis; and is a part of the Tigers' No. 1 doubles team that was ranked No. 8 in the country at the beginning of the spring season. Spence's doubles partner during the fall suffered an injury, and he has been playing No. 1 doubles with sophomore Sam Withell since January.
ON THE ROAD: The Huskies concluded their first road trip of the season by getting tough wins over two ranked opponents, the No. 75 Oregon Ducks and No.63 Fresno State. The Huskies defeated the Ducks in a 6-1 decission on Friday night in the UO Student Tennis Center. Washington took home two of the three doubles matches to win the first team point of the match. The No. 39 duo of Mike Ricks and Jean-Noel Insausti suffered their first defeat since breaking into the national rankings with great wins coming at the National Indoor Championship. Five of the six singles matches went to the Huskies including a three set marathon won by Daniel Chu in the fourth singles position. The sole loss came in the second singles position where senior Pierre Metenier was forced to retire after dropping a close first set. The following day the Washington men's tennis team played a grinding match where the Dawgs outlasted the Fresno State Bulldogs 4-3. For the second straight competition UW was able to win the doubles point, however the momentum from the early win could not transfer over to the singles court. Only three of the six singles matches were won by the Huskies. Co-captain Andy Kuharszky clinched the match in the fifth spot with a score of 6-3, 6-2 over Sam Tadevosian.
DAWGS ADVANCE TO QUARTERS: Washington was able to advance to the second round of the ITA Indoor Championships for the third time in the four years the Huskies have participated in the tournament. Seeded 12th, Washington faced off against the fifth seeded and No. 11 nationally ranked Virginia Cavaliers. After having lost to the Cavaliers in the NCAA Championships in 2005, the Huskies defeated their opponents in a 4-1 decision. Daniel Chu had key wins in singles and doubles where he clinched the match in the number five positions, with a three set victory over Virginia's No. 46 Marko Miklo. In the quarterfinals, Washington lost to the third seeded University of Illinois 4-1. The sole team point for the Dawgs came from Alex Slovic in the number one spot, with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over GD Jones. The Huskies lost seven tiebreakers throughout their run in the tournament, including a pivotal doubles match against Illinois that determined the first team point of the competition. In the consolation round, UW lost to Pac-10 rival UCLA with a score of 4-1. Senior transfer Metenier provided the only win of the day in the second singles position defeating Mohamed Abid 6-2, 2-6, 6-1. Washington experienced a crushing blow prior to the UCLA match due to an illness contracted by the number four player, Andy Kuharszky. Without the sophomore team captain, the doubles teams and the singles lineup were forced to be reshuffled.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Junior Alex Slovic holds the top ranking in singles for the Dawgs at No. 19. Slovic has also teamed up again this season with doubles partner Daniel Chu. The duo finish the season last year ranked 17th in the nation and plan to build on their current ranking of 37th in the ITA. Exchange student Jean-Noel Insausti has achieved a national ranking of No. 48 due to consistent play in the second and third singles positions. Insausti and junior Mike RIcks' chemistry on the court has been rewared with a national ranking of No. 39. Washington has maintained a national team ranking of No. 10 for the second straight week of play. The Huskies first achieved this honor after having upset the Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the ITA Indoor National Championships and have defended their ranking by defeating two ranked teams in the previous week. UW is the third Pac-10 team to be a part of the ITA top-10, Washington shares the honor with Stanford and UCLA.
UP NEXT: The Dawgs will host cross state rival Gonzaga next week on Friday March 10 at 5:00 pm. Washington has yet to lose to the Bulldogs, the all time record between the two programs stands at 6-0 in favor of the Huskies.