No. 18 Men's Tennis Host Eastern Washington, Idaho
Jan. 17, 2007
THIS WEEK: The Washington men's tennis team will open it's 99th season of action this Friday and Saturday at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The Huskies will face Eastern Washington on Friday at 4:00 p.m. and then take on Idaho on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Live stats and live video will be available for both matches.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: The Eastern Washington Eagles will be opening their second season under head coach Patrick Dreves in Seattle on Friday. Last season, the Eagles were 10-8 overall and 3-3 in Big Sky Conference action. Eastern Washington had gone 10-60 over the previous five seasons before breaking out with its highest win total since 1985. The Eagles return a trio of athletes who earned Big Sky Conference honors at the end of the season--Pannhara Mam, Patrick Millican and Kyle Schraeder. The Eagles have three members of their roster that hail from the state of Washington. Idaho is under the direction of first-year coach Jeff Beaman, who was previously an assistant at TCU. The Vandals trek to Seattle will mark their season opening match. The Vandals have only one senior on their roster and two athletes that hail from the state of Washington.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Washington will begin the season ranked No. 18 nationally, the same ranking they achieved in the final 2005-06 ITA Poll. Alex Slovic was ranked No. 24 in the fall poll in singles before dropping to No. 98 in the poll released in January. The only other Huskies' ranked nationally is the doubles team of Patrik Fischer and Michael Ricks, who will begin the season No. 35. Regionally, several Huskies cracked the rankings in the West. Slovic in No. 5 in singles, while Andy Kuharszky is No. 21 and Fischer is No. 30. The doubles team of Slovic and Daniel Chu is ranked No. 7 in the West Region, while Derek Drabble and Kuharszky come in at No. 9.
RECAPPING 2006: The 2005-06 season for Washington men's tennis will go down as one of the best in school history. Not only did the Huskies advance to their fifth NCAA Round of 16 in six years, they recorded their second-consecutive season with 20 wins. The last time the Huskies recorded back-to-back 20 win seasons was exactly 20 seasons prior in 1985 (20-8) and 1986 (26-7). Washington finished the year with a 20-6 record, its six losses coming to Top-25 opponents. The 20-win season marked the third under head coach Matt Anger and eighth in school history. The Huskies earned their way into the NCAA Sweet 16 with regional wins over Penn State and Virginia Commonwealth University, before falling to the fourth-ranked and fifth-seeded Baylor Bears.
HOW SWEET IT IS: Washington is one of eight Division I teams to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 in five of the last six years. The Huskies won on the road against Penn State and VCU in the NCAA first and second round before falling to Baylor in the Sweet 16 last season. While the Huskies have the most road victories of any school in the NCAA first and second round since 1999, they have yet to make it past the Round of 16 in school history. Additionally, the Huskies have qualified for the NCAA Tournament every year that Matt Anger has coached the squad.
ANGER REACHES 200: Husky head coach Matt Anger reached the 200 win plateau during the 2006 season. The Huskies beat UCLA for just the second time in school history to give Anger No. 200. He is now 203-93 (.686) all-time in 12 seasons at Washington. His win total is tops among all-time UW tennis coaches and his winning percentage is third best among coaches.
CHASING RECORDS: Senior Alex Slovic is approaching some historic records in Husky tennis history. In doubles and singles Slovic is ranked in the top 10 for winning percentage. The senior needs just four wins to become Washington's all-time doubles wins leader and is currently seventh all-time with 81 singles wins. His combined doubles and singles total of 150 wins is fifth all-time in Husky history. Teammate Daniel Chu is also heading to the top of the career doubles wins list with 66, tying him for seventh all-time in UW history.
UP NEXT: The Huskies will face a stiff road test as they head to No. 3 Ohio State on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 9:00 a.m. The Buckeyes possess the No. 1-ranked player in the nation, sophomore Steven Moneke, and have five other players ranked in the top 100.