Husky Men's Tennis Take on Wisconsin in NCAA First Round
May 7, 2007
2007 NCAA Men's Tennis Regional
Eck Tennis Pavilion Notre Dame University South Bend, Ind.
Friday, May 11:
Butler (14-9) vs. #5 Notre Dame (24-3), 8 a.m. PT
#32 Washington (16-6) vs. #38 Wisconsin (15-10), 11 a.m. PT
Saturday, May 12:
Winner Match #1 vs. Winner Match #2, 12 p.m. PT
THE SCHEDULE: The No. 32 Huskies (16-6 overall, 4-3 Pac-10) will head to South Bend, Ind. and the campus of the University of Notre Dame to compete in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships. UW will take on another UW, the University of Wisconsin (15-10), in the first round, Friday, May 11 at 11 a.m. PT. If the Huskies advance, they will play either host Notre Dame (24-3) or Butler (14-9) on Saturday at 12 p.m. PT, for the right to travel to Athens, Ga. and the University of Georgia for the 16-team finals, May 23-28. Live scoring of all matches from Notre Dame will be available at:
TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Washington has been an NCAA tourney participant every season since 1995, marking 13-straight appearances for the Huskies under head coach Matt Anger. The Huskies have the most road victories (10) of any school in the NCAA first and second round tournament action since 1999. Nine of the last 10 years the Huskies have advanced at least to the second round, only losing in the first round in 2000. UW enters the championship as one of eight NCAA Division I teams to have advanced to the Sweet 16 in five of the last six years. In that span, the Huskies have won their regionals in Boston, Mass., Stanford, Calif., San Diego, Calif., Seattle, Wash., and Richmond, Va. Last year the Huskies beat Penn State (4-2) in the first round and then upset 12th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth (4-0) in the round of 32. In the Sweet 16, UW was denied its first trip to the Elite Eight by No. 4 Baylor (4-1).
SCOUTING WISCONSIN: The Wisconsin Badgers (15-10), ranked 38th in the nation, are one of six teams from the Big Ten Conference that qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin had not earned an NCAA tournament bid since 1998. This season will mark the third time that Wisconsin has reached the national tournament, though the Badgers have never advanced beyond the first round. Wisconsin and Washington faced several common opponents this season. The Huskies fell to Minnesota 5-2, a team that Wisconsin defeated 5-2. In addition, both teams dropped matches to Ohio State and Notre Dame. The Badgers and Huskies have never faced each other on the tennis court before. Wisconsin is led by German native Moritz Baumann, who joined the squad in January. The freshman earned All-Conference honors and is ranked #108th in the latest ITA singles poll.
SCOUTING NOTRE DAME: No. 5 Notre Dame (24-3), BIG EAST Conference champions, gained an automatic bid to participate in this year's NCAA Championship. The Irish have been invited to 16 of the last 17 NCAA Tournaments, making them one of just 12 schools to have accomplished that feat. Notre Dame has reached the round of 16 in the NCAAs on six occasions, highlighted by a 1993 quarterfinal result and a runner-up finish in `92. The Irish lost in the opening round in both 2004 and `05, but reached the round of 16 last season. The Irish have two players ranked nationally in singles (#8 Stephen Bass & #59 Sheeva Parbhu) plus have two doubles teams ranked (#28 Bass/Ryan Keckley & #31 Keckley/Parbhu). The Huskies and Irish faced each other this season on March 4, with 8th-ranked Notre Dame winning 6-1. Daniel Chu and Alex Slovic were able to pull off the doubles win over Keckley and Parbhu and earned their only singles win at No. 6 where Michael Ricks beat Andrew Roth in three sets.
SCOUTING BUTLER: Butler, in the national tournament for the sixth-straight season, enters post-season play with a 14-9 overall record, including wins in its last eight matches. The Bulldogs finished their Horizon League slate with another perfect 5-0 mark in the regular season before notching two-straight wins in the league tournament. The Bulldogs are led by senior No. 1 player James Low, who earned the Horizon League's Athlete of the Year recognition after going 13-9 in dual meet singles play. Junior Eric Breitenbach also finished at 13-9 in singles playing mostly at No. 2, while senior Evan West touted a 14-8 mark at No. 3. Freshmen Ben Raynauld and Sandy Berry and senior Scott Newmark round out the Bulldog lineup.
REGULAR SEASON IN A NUTSHELL: The Huskies tied for third in the Pac-10 Conference standings for a second year in a row. Since the Pac-10 Northern and Southern divisions merged into one on 1998, the Huskies have finished third or better only three times, all in the past three seasons. The Huskies finished the regular season ranked 32nd in the nation, with Alex Slovic ranked 64th nationally in singles. Junior Andy Kuharszky leads the Huskies with a 24-8 overall record and 16-6 dual match record. The doubles team of Patrik Fischer and Michael Ricks are a team-best 20-9 overall and 13-7 in dual matches. Slovic and Kuharszky were the only two Huskies with 20+ singles wins, while four players each eclipsed the 20-win plateau in doubles.
PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP: Alex Slovic lost in the Championship singles final to Stanford's Matt Bruch. Slovic's appearance in the final was the fourth in the last six years by a Husky. Alex Vlaski made it to the finals in 2002, 2003, and 2005, but lost all three matches. The Huskies fared well in the Pac-10 Invitational Bracket. Derek Drabble advanced to the finals, but lost to USC's Jason McNaughton. Drabble did bounce back to win the Invitational doubles championship with Andy Kuharszky.
END OF AN ERA APPROACHING: The careers of the Huskies' three seniors is quickly coming to a close. Daniel Chu, Michael Ricks and Alex Slovic have all left their marks on the Husky program in many ways. The trio have been an intergal part of teams that have made four NCAA appearances--including two Sweet 16's, won the school's first Pac-10 Conference title in 2005, and posted consecutive 20 win seasons in 2005 and 2006. Slovic will leave the UW as the all-time record holder for most combined doubles and singles wins and tied for most doubles wins with Chu. Chu is one win shy of cracking into the Husky top-10 list for singles victories.
PAC-10 HONORS: The Huskies earned two Pac-10 Player of the Week honors during the season. Alex Slovic was named the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week on April 9 for singles wins over top-notch foes. Slovic beat 27th-ranked Pierre Mouillon of Cal and defending Pac-10 singles champion Matt Bruch. He notched his 90th career singles win against Bruch, just the fifth Husky to reach the 90 win plateau. The honor is the second this season for Slovic. He and Daniel Chu won as a doubles team back on March 26.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Washington is ranked No. 32 nationally in the latest ITA Poll. Slovic was the 24th-ranked singles player in the fall poll before dropping to No. 98 in the January rankings. He is currently ranked 64th, his highest ranking since preseason. His career best singles ranking was No. 9, achieved in 2005. Andy Kuharszky is the only other Husky to reach the singles rankings this season, earning a spot at #122 in the March 6 poll. Daniel Chu and Slovic have been in and out of the doubles rankings, reaching as high as No. 31 during the season. The doubles team of Patrik Fischer and Michael Ricks spent several weeks ranked 35th.
Matt Anger, in his 13th year as the Husky head coach, is the UW's all-time winningest coach with a 218-99 record. The next highest win total by a UW coach is 173 by Doug Ruffin.
Alex Slovic is currently 64th nationally in singles. He was ranked No. 24 in the pre-season singles poll. Slovic is 9-1 over his last 10 matches, only losing in the Pac-10 Championship final during that streak.
Andy Kuharszky was undefeated in singles at home, going 14-0.
Derek Drabble is 7-1 in his last eight matches and 10-4 over his last 14 matches.
Daniel Chu and Alex Slovic are 47-20 as a doubles team in their career. The duo shares the UW all-time record with 83 doubles victories. Slovic is 83-31 (.735) and Chu is 83-44 (.659).
Washington is 12-0 at the Nordstrom Tennis Center, 1-1 at Bill Quillian Tennis Stadium and 2-5 on the road this season. All five of the road losses were against teams ranked in the top-25. The last win on the road against a ranked opponent was May 14, 2006 when the UW beat #12 VCU in the NCAA Second Round.