Huskies Suffer 5-2 Setback at No. 22 Texas A&M
Feb. 3, 2008
WACO, Texas - Despite gritty three set wins from Ryo Sekiguchi and Derek Drabble, the 37th-ranked Washington men's tennis team could not overcome No. 22 Texas A&M, losing 5-2 today at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
The Huskies (2-2) showed marked improvement today versus a sweep suffered Friday at fourth-ranked Baylor, and showed why depth is one of the team's biggest strengths by going three sets at third, fifth, and sixth singles, and winning the latter two. But Texas A&M was too tough at the top of their lineup.
The Aggies took the No. 1 and 3 doubles matches to sew up the doubles point, but Washington showed considerable determination as they would again later in singles. Andy Kuharszky and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan fought back at No. 2 doubles against Chris Chirico and Mike Beatty, forcing a tiebreak which they would win. Still, the Aggies had the 1-0 edge and would need only three singles wins.
Texas A&M quickly earned those three wins to clinch the match. Husky freshman Tobi Obenaus had a rough day, losing 6-1, 6-0 to Austin Krajicek at No. 4 singles. Kuharszky then fell 6-2, 6-2 at second singles to Wil Spencer, and junior Patrik Fischer lost to 23rd-ranked Conor Pollock, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1.
From that point, the remaining Huskies dug in. Junior Ryo Sekiguchi, who had won his first set at No. 6 singles with Matt Bain, 7-5, lost the second set in a tiebreak, which can often lead to the second set winner running away with the third. Just the opposite was the case, as Sekiguchi routed Bain, 6-0, in the third set to put UW on the board.
Sophomore Derek Drabble then turned in his biggest win of the season, coming back from a set down to upset 90th-ranked Chris Chirico in a third-set tiebreaker that went all the way to 12-10 before Drabble finished him off to end the match.
For the second match in a row, freshman Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan drilled his opponent in the first set at third singles, only to lose that momentum and eventually the match. Still, it shows the potential of Nedunchezhiyan that he can hand a 6-0 first set to a player the caliber of Texas A&M's Jerry Makowski, an All-American and former Top-10 player. After the first set loss, Makowski came back and took the second set in a tiebreak, then won the third, 6-3.
The Huskies return home now for a home match against UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
Washington Men's Tennis
2/3/08 - Waco, Texas
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
No. 22 Texas A&M 5, No. 37 Washington 2
No. 1 Pollock-Krajicek (A&M) def. Drabble-Fischer (UW), 8-3.
No. 2 Kuharszky-Nedunchezhiyan (UW) def. Mike Beatty-Chirico (A&M), 8-7.
No. 3 Bain-Spencer (A&M) def. Brad Bator-Martin Kildahl (UW), 8-3.
No. 1 (23) Conor Pollock (A&M) def. Patrik Fischer (UW), 6-2, 6-3.
No. 2 Wil Spencer (A&M) def. Andy Kuharszky (UW), 6-2, 6-2.
No. 3 Jerry Makowski (A&M) def. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (UW), 0-6, 7-6, 6-3.
No. 4 Austin Krajicek (A&M) def. Tobi Obenaus (UW), 6-1, 6-0.
No. 5 Derek Drabble (UW) def. (90) Chris Chirico (A&M), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10).
No. 6 Ryo Sekiguchi (UW) def. Matt Bain (A&M), 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-0.
ORDER OF FINISH
Doubles: 1, 3, 2
Singles: 4, 2, 1*, 3, 6, 5