Huskies Host UCSB and Ball State in Final ITA Indoor Tune-Up
Feb. 6, 2008
THIS WEEK: With just one week to go before the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championships hit Seattle, the Husky men's tennis team will play two matches this weekend, hoping to buld momentum. The 38th-ranked Huskies (2-2) host UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Feb. 8, at 5 p.m. and then tackle Ball State on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 12 p.m., both at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The Huskies have won 15 matches in a row at the Nordstrom, dating back to 2006.
SCOUTING UC SANTA BARBARA: The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara have played just one match heading into their meeting with the Huskies due to rain outs. They opened on the road in Hawaii and lost 4-3 to the Rainbow Wahine. UCSB went 6-19 in 2007 but came back from several injuries late in the year to win the Big West Conference Championships and qualify for the NCAA Tournament. UCSB lost to USC, 4-0, in the first round. Head coach Marty Davis, now in his ninth year, was named Big West co-Coach of the Year for the fourth time. Philip Therp was named Big West Freshman of the Year, and qualified for the NCAA Singles Championships, losing in the first round. Therp was ranked as high as 83rd in singles last year. Senior Anders Dalskov has also been a longtime force for the Gauchos, and was a Big West first team member last season. The Huskies lead the all-time series, 13-6.
SCOUTING BALL STATE: The Cardinals of Ball State come into Seattle having already been battle tested by some of the nation's top teams. Ball State lost 7-0 in its opener to eighth-ranked Illinois, the 2007 NCAA runner-up. The Cardinals also were swept by 21st-ranked Michigan, but have three sweeps of their own over IPFW, Valparaiso, and Indianapolis to even their record at 3-3. The Cardinals will play the Gauchos in a neutral match on Saturday before facing the Huskies on Sunday. Ball State fell to Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference championship match last season, 4-3. Junior Aaron Phillips, sophomore Jose Perdomo, and freshman Bret Berryman are all returning All-MAC selections from last season. Washington won the only previous meeting between the two schools.
ITA NATIONAL MEN'S TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: The nation's premier indoor team tennis event is just over a week away. Keep up to date with the latest information, including tournament seeding and match times as they become available by visiting the men's tennis page at www.GoHuskies.com. The 16-team tournament runs from Friday, Feb. 15 through Monday, Feb. 18 at both the Nordstrom Tennis Center and Seattle Tennis Club. The following teams will be on hand, ordered by their current ITA ranking: No. 1 Virginia, No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Baylor, No. 5 Mississippi, No. 6 USC, No. 7 Texas, No. 8 UCLA, No. 9 Notre Dame, No. 10 Alabama, No. 12 Illinois, No. 15 North Carolina, No. 20 Oklahoma State, No. 27 Boise State, and No. 39 Penn State, with the Huskies rounding out the field. There will be four matches at each venue from Friday through Sunday, with the final on Monday at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Ticket information is as follows:
Tickets are available at the door or in advance by calling the Husky Ticket Office at 206/543-2200. Tickets purchased in person and at the door are not subject to the $6.00 processing fee.
All sessions (4) adults - $15.00
All sessions (4) Under 18, Over 65 - $7.00
Single session adult - $7.00
Single session Under 18, Over 65 - $3.00
Group (single session - 10 or more people) - $3.00
LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies traveled to Texas last weekend for two major early season challenges at No. 4 Baylor and No. 22 Texas A&M. First up was Baylor, an NCAA Semifinalist last season. The Bears took control early, sweeping the doubles point, then went on to capture each singles match. Freshman Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan took the first set from 80th-ranked David Galic, 6-1, at No. 3 singles, but Galic came back to win 6-4, 7-5. At No. 1 singles, Patrik Fischer took multiple All-American Lars Poerschke to a first-set tiebreak, but the Baylor senior took the breaker and the second set, 6-3. Two days later, Washington lost to the Aggies, 5-2, but showed a good deal of resilience in its wins. After losing the first two doubles matches, Nedunchezhiyan and Andy Kuharszky kept fighting at No. 2 doubles, eventually pulling off an 8-7 win over Mike Beatty and Chris Chirico. In singles, the Aggies took the first, second, and fourth matches in straight sets to clinch. At No. 3 singles, Nedunchezhiyan again raced away with the first set, 6-0, over Jerry Makowski, but Makowski, a former Top-10 player, came back with a 7-6 win in set two and then earned Texas A&M's fifth point with a 6-3 third set win. The remaining Huskies did not wilt, however. Ryo Sekiguchi lost his second set in a tiebreaker, but then seized the momentum back and crushed Matt Bain, 6-0, in the third set for the win at No. 6 singles. Derek Drabble then finished off a marathon three-set win in a 12-10 third-set tiebreak, upsetting the 90th-ranked Chirico.
2007 IN REVIEW: The Huskies reached the NCAA Championships for the 13th-straight year in 2007, but were upset by Wisconsin in the first round, 4-3, in South Bend, Ind. and finished 16-7. It was only the second time in the last seven years that UW failed to make the Round of 16. Washington tied for third in the Pac-10 Conference standings for the 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. Despite the premature end to the team's run, senior Alex Slovic took a wildcard entry into the NCAA Singles tourney, and put on an amazing run to the semifinals by beating three Top-20 players. His run ended in three sets to Georgia's John Isner, a current young star on the ATP tour. Slovic earned his first career All-American honors for the effort, and finished as UW's career leader in combined singles and doubles wins with 184. He and fellow departed senior Daniel Chu finished tied with the all-time doubles wins record at 83. The Huskies finished the season ranked 35th in the nation, with Slovic ranked 25th nationally. Andy Kuharszky's 16-7 dual match record led the team, and the doubles team of Patrik Fischer and now-graduated Michael Ricks were a team-best 21-9 overall and 14-7 in dual matches.
UP NEXT: Washington plays host to the 2008 ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championships for the fifth time. The elite 16-team tournament begins on Friday, Feb. 15, at 8 a.m. at both the Nordstrom Tennis Center and Seattle Tennis Club. The Huskies opponent is not yet known, but they will play the final match of the day at Nordstrom at 5:30 p.m.
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