Huskies Set To Face Penn State In NCAA First Round
May 10, 2006
2006 NCAA Men's Tennis Regional
Thalhimer Tennis Center Virginia Commonwealth Richmond, Va.
Saturday, May 13 -
#12 VCU (12-4) vs. Richmond (16-13) 6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET
#21 UW (18-5) vs. #45 Penn State (17-6) 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET
Sunday, May 14 -
Winner Match #1 vs. Winner Match #2 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET
THIS WEEK: The 21st-ranked Huskies (18-5) will head to Richmond, Va. and the campus of Virginia Commonwealth this week to compete in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships. UW will take on 45th-ranked Penn State (17-6) in the first round, Saturday, May 13, at 9 a.m. PT. If the Huskies advance, they will play either host Virginia Commonwealth (12-4) or Richmond (16-13), Sunday, May 14, at 10 a.m. PT, for the right to travel to Stanford for the 16-team finals, May 20-23. Live scoring for all matches held at VCU's Thalhimer Tennis Center will be available at www.vcurams.vcu.edu.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Washington has been an NCAA tourney participant every season since 1995, marking 12 straight appearances for the Huskies under head coach Matt Anger. UW enters the championship as one of eight NCAA Div. I teams to have advanced to the Sweet 16 in four of the last five years. Eight of the past nine years the Huskies have advanced at least to the second round, only losing in the first round in 2000. From 2001-03, the Huskies reached the Round of 16 each year, their best finish to date. In that span, the Huskies won their regionals in Boston, Mass., Stanford, Calif., and San Diego, Calif., respectively. In 2004, the Huskies won their opener against New Mexico (4-0) before falling to host-school Stanford in the second round (4-2). Last year the Dawgs hosted the NCAA Regional for the first time in school history. Washington defeated Oral Roberts in the first round (4-0) and then edged Pac-10 rival USC (4-3) in the round of 32. In the Sweet 16, UW had its tournament run cut short by the Virginia Cavaliers who defeated the Huskies,4-0. Washington is 12-11 all-time in NCAA dual matches.
SCOUTING PENN STATE: Saturday's meeting between Washington and Penn State will be the first in program history. The Nittany Lions were 17-6 on the season and 5-5 in Big Ten play, good for sixth in the conference standings. Penn State reached the Big Ten's Conference Tournament semifinals, eventually falling to No. 2 seed Illinois. This year marks Penn States' third appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the team's first appearance since its consecutive appearances in 1997 and 1998. The Nittany Lions are led by senior, Mark Barry who is currently slated at No. 76 in the most recent ITA singles rankings.
SCOUTING VCU: The 12th-ranked Rams of Virginia Commonwealth finished the regular season 25-4 and posting 15 straight dual match wins, marking the fourth time the Black and Gold have reached the 25-win plateau. The Rams won the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament for the 10th time in 11 trips and will participate in the NCAA Tournament for the 14th consecutive year. This year marks the third time VCU has hosted an NCAA Regional, having also done so in 1998 and 2004. The Rams are lead by No. 15 Arnaud Lecloerec, who has posted a 23-9 record overall and is 17-6 in dual matches. Locloerec is 10-4 against ranked opponents including a straight set win against Baylor's top-ranked Lars Poerschke. Arnaud Lecloerec has also paired up with teammate Petr Oslak to achieve a national ranking of No. 57 in doubles. UW is 1-0 all-time against Virginia Commonwealth.
SCOUTING RICHMOND: The Richmond Spiders are 16-13 on the season having won their third consecutive Atlantic-10 Conference Title and fourth in the last five years. This year marks the team's fourth-ever NCAA appearance and second consecutive. Last season, the Spiders fell to No. 2 Virginia in the first round of play. Bobby McNally and Doug Banker were named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Team and Head Coach Steve Gerstenfeld was tabbed the A-10 Coach of the Year for the third time since entering league play. McNally is 12-13 on the season having predominantly played in the No. 2 position. Banker garnered his second straight All-Conference accolade in just his sophomore season after compiling a 7-15 record in the No.1 singles position and is 13-6 in doubles on the season. UW and Richmond have never faced each other.
SLOVIC TO REPRESENT UW AT NCAA SINGLES CHAMPS: Regardless of whether the Huskies travel to Stanford as a squad to the NCAA 16-team finals, junior Alex Slovic will be representing UW in the 64-player singles championship. Slovic, who will be vying for his first All-America honors, was selected for the singles draw for the third time in his career. The NCAA singles competition gets underway following the team championship, May 24-29.
SLOVIC, METENIER EARN ALL-PAC-10 ACCLAIM: Junior Alex Slovic was named to the All-Pac-10 first-team and senior Pierre Metenier earned honorable mention honors when the conference announced its award winners, May 8. It was the second first-team nod for Slovic who also earned the honor as a freshman. He was a second-team pick in 2005. It was the first career honor for Metenier.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Junior Alex Slovic is the only Husky ranked in either doubles or singles. Slovic begins this week ranked 44th in singles, advancing from his previous ranking of 58th. The new position is attributed to Slovic's win over No. 6 Conor Niland who was previously undefeated at the time of the match. As a team, the Huskies dropped from No. 20 to No. 21 after falling to California (4-3) on April 26.
PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIP WRAPUP: Nearly two weeks ago, the Huskies last competed at the Pac-10 Individual Championships in Ojai, Calif. The lone bright spot in the singles main draw was Alex Slovic who advanced to the quarterfinals before falling in a third-set tiebreak to Stanford's James Wan. The other three players - Pierre Metenier, Daniel Chu and Jean-Noel Insausti - in the singles main draw won their first round matches but failed to advance past the second round. UW struggled in the doubles main draw, with both teams (Chu/Slovic and Jank/Kuharszky) suffering first round defeats. In the invitational draw, Klaus Jank and David Chu advanced to the singles quarterfinals, while the doubles team of Insausti and Mike Ricks made it all the way to the final before falling to the Stanford team of James Wan and Jon Wong.
DAWG BITES: The Huskies have won five of their last six matches, but are coming off a 4-3 loss to Cal in their Pac-10 finale April 26...UW's victories over Arizona and Arizona State in the desert marked the first-ever road sweep of those schools...UW also swept USC and UCLA for the first time in program history when they posted back-to-back 4-3 wins against the LA schools in Seattle (April 14-15)...UW is 16-0 versus teams outside the Top-25 rankings (at time of match)...Three of UW's five losses came to Top-10 opponents: No. 2 Pepperdine, No. 3 Illinois and No. 7 UCLA (rankings at time of match)...Daniel Chu's loss to James Pade (Stanford) in the Pac-10 singles main draw snapped a six-match win streak...Chu wasn't the only Husky to have a win streak snapped at Ojai as Pierre Metenier's second round singles loss halted his seven-match streak.
SLOVIC MOVING UP CAREER RANKINGS: Junior Alex Slovic is having another outstanding season, leading the team with a singles record of 26-13 while also compiling a doubles mark of 22-7. With still one more season to play for Washington, Slovic is already moving up a few UW career lists. He ranks fifth in doubles winning percentage (.750/66-22), tied for sixth in doubles wins (66), eighth in combined doubles and singles wins (140), tied for eighth in singles winning percentage (.725/74-28) and ninth in singles wins (74). Slovic has played all season in the No. 1 singles and doubles positions. In singles, he has nine wins over ranked opponents.
CHU EXCELLING IN DOUBLES: Junior Daniel Chu leads the team with 25 doubles victories, good for second on Washington's all-time list for doubles wins in a season. Robert Kendrick holds the school record with 28 doubles wins during the 1998-99 season. Much of Chu's success has come partnered with Alex Slovic. The pair has an overall record of 22-6, including a 16-5 mark in the No. 1 spot in dual matches. Slovic and Chu won the 2005 ITA Northwest Regional title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Indoor Championships this past fall. Chu also went 3-3 playing doubles with his younger brother David in fall tournaments.
FRENCH CONNECTION: Much of the Huskies' success this year can be credited to the addition of French transfers Pierre Metenier and Jean-Noel Insausti. The pair joined the team in January and made contributions immediately, stepping into the second and third positions in the singles lineup. Insausti is 17-6 in singles this season, going 6-0 in the No. 2 position and 10-5 at No. 3. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week after picking up back-to-back third-set tiebreak wins versus USC and UCLA, including an upset over No. 78 Mathieu Dehaine to clinch UW's win over then-No. 7 UCLA. Insausti has also impacted the doubles lineup, pairing with Mike Ricks to solidify the third position in the lineup, going 13-11 overall. Metenier is 13-6 overall in singles, including an 11-4 mark in the No. 2 slot. He has won seven of his last eight matches including two wins over ranked opponents.
UP NEXT: The NCAA Team and Individual Championships will take place on the campus of Stanford University, May 20-29.