Huskies Return To Ojai For Pac-10 Championships
April 21, 2010
THIS WEEK: Washington men's tennis heads into the postseason with the annual Pac-10 Championships held in Ojai, California. The individual tournament crowns the conference's singles and doubles champions, and is the highlight of the Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, now in its 110th season. The 25th-ranked Husky men will send a full squad to compete at Libbey Park in Ojai, with singles play running from Thursday, April 22, until Sunday, April 25. Doubles action starts on Friday and goes until Sunday. The tourney will provide an excellent tune-up for UW as it looks ahead to NCAA tournament action in May.
THE DRAW: The 32-player men's singles draw consists of four student-athletes from each school and four wild cards selected at the discretion of the draw committee. The 16-team men's doubles draw consists of two doubles teams from each school and two wild card teams selected by the committee. In addition to the main draw, there is a second 32-player and 16-team invitational section. Matches begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday, with two rounds of singles on opening day. One round of singles and two rounds of doubles will be played on Friday. The men's singles final will be Sunday at approximately 11 a.m., following the women's singles final, with the men's doubles championship at 2 p.m.
WASHINGTON FIRST ROUND MATCHUPS
Main Singles Draw (Thursday)
Martin Kildahl vs. Matt Kecki (USC), 8 a.m.
Kyle McMorrow vs. Geoff Embry (Arizona), 9:30 a.m.
Tobi Obenaus vs. Kallim Stewart (UCLA), 11 a.m.
Derek Drabble vs. Alexander Cornelissen (Oregon), 11 a.m.
(6) Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan vs. Greg Hirshman (Stanford), 12:30 p.m.
Invitational Singles Draw (Thursday)
Matt Stith vs. Daniel Gliner (USC), 9:30 a.m.
Skyler Tateishi vs. Walker Kehrer (Stanford), 12:30 p.m.
Alex Rosinski vs. Giger (USC) or Lee (UCLA), 2 p.m.
Brad Bator vs. Higuchi (Oregon) or Lankenau (USC), 2 p.m.
Main Doubles Draw (Friday)
(3) McMorrow/Nedunchezhiyan vs. Lovill/Katsarov (Cal), 9 a.m.
Drabble/Kildahl vs. Brigham/Seguso (UCLA), 10 a.m.
Invitational Doubles Draw (Friday)
Stith/Tateishi vs. Izquierdo/MacDonald-Korth (Oregon), 9 a.m.
Obenaus/Rosinski vs. Giger/Lankenau (USC), 4 p.m.
HUSKIES AT THE OJAI: The Huskies will look to build on their impressive history at the Pac-10 Championships this week. Four Huskies have advanced to at least the singles semifinals, most recently Alex Slovic who reached the title match in 2007. Slovic was the second Husky to reach the final match. Former Husky Alex Vlaski was a three-time finalist (2002, 03, 05) and made the semis in his other appearance (2004). Matt Hanlin (2002) and Eric Drew (1998) both reached the final four of the tournament as well. Washington's best doubles performance was turned in by Slovic and Daniel Chu, as they made the finals in 2005. In 2009, Washington's week was highlighted by Derek Drabble and Martin Kildahl, who advanced the main doubles draw semifinals before falling to Stanford's eventual champion Thacher and Klahn. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan reached the second round but was upset. Senior Derek Drabble advanced to the Invitational Draw singles final during his freshman year, and also won the Invitational title in doubles with Andy Kuharszky.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Washington remains in the Top-25 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll for the twelfth rankings period in a row, coming in at No. 25 this week. The Huskies have been ranked has high as 18th this year, which is the highest that the men have been since the 2007 season. In the most recent singles rankings which came out April 20, junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan comes in at No. 75, having been ranked as high as No. 51 this season. Nedunchezhiyan owns wins over current Top-50 players Casey Watt of Notre Dame (47th) and James Meredith of Boise State (45th). Nedunchezhiyan and freshman Kyle McMorrow also moved back into the doubles rankings this week, also at No. 75 out of 90 ranked teams. They have been as high as 50th this season.
LAST TIME OUT: The 24th-ranked Husky men's tennis squad closed out its regular season on a high note Saturday, as they overwhelmed Oregon, 6-1, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. This was the 13th win in a row for the Huskies over the Ducks, and completed a series sweep, as Washington also won 5-2 in Eugene back in February. Senior Derek Drabble was honored before the match as it was his final home appearance. Washington was 14-0 this season when it won the doubles point, so the Huskies were looking good after taking two of three doubles matches for a 1-0 lead. Freshman Kyle McMorrow posted the first singles point with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Marcos Verdasco at No. 2 singles. 73rd-ranked junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan got some revenge on UO's Alexander Cornelissen, who edged Nedunchezhiyan back in Eugene. Today was a different story, as Nedunchezhiyan rolled, 6-2, 6-2. The match was clinched by junior Martin Kildahl, who earned his fourth-straight Pac-10 win, 6-3, 7-5 over Ric Mortera at No. 3. Junior Tobi Obenaus stopped Jose Izquierdo, 6-3, 7-5 at No. 5 singles, and junior Alex Rosinski came back to beat Aaron Clissold in a third-set tiebreak at No. 6, 3-6, 6-1, (10-5) for Washington's final point.
DAWG BITES: Senior Derek Drabble has placed his name on the UW career top-10 list for the first time, moving up to eighth-place in career doubles wins with 69 career wins; only seven Huskies have 70 doubles wins ... junior Martin Kildahl has upped his play of late, winning his last four Pac-10 matches over Jason Zafiros of Arizona, Denis Lin of Stanford, 116th-ranked Jonathan Dahan of Cal, and Ric Mortera of Oregon ... at 15-1, Washington set a new benchmark for the best start in school history through sixteen matches ... Washington's season-high ranking was 18th on March 9; that was UW's highest ranking since 2007 when they were ranked as high as 15th ... the Huskies have clinched a winning season for the sixteenth-straight year, coinciding with the beginning of Coach Anger's tenure ... freshman Kyle McMorrow had an eight-match win streak from Feb. 12 through Mar. 23 and won 16 of 17 sets in the run ... Nedunchezhiyan has gone 6-6 against ranked players at No. 1 singles with his best win coming over then-No. 28 Casey Watt of Notre Dame; against unranked opponents he is 14-1 this year ... Tobi Obenaus leads the team with 22 overall singles wins this season, including two wins over ranked players, and has easily surpassed the 16 wins from his first two years combined.
NCAA INFO: Washington will wait to learn of its NCAA fate on May 4 when the selection show airs on ESPNNEWS. Should the Huskies make the field, they will start at a four-team regional site on May 14-15 or May 15-16. With wins in their first two matches, the Huskies would advance to Athens, Ga. for the Round of 16, which begins on May 21. The NCAA Singles tourney starts on May 26 and the doubles championship starts May 27.
HEAD COACH Matt Anger REACHES 250 WINS: The turning point in modern Washington tennis came with the hiring of Matt Anger, now entering into his 16th season as head coach. Since his arrival, the Huskies have been a model of consistency, and consistently excellent at that. The winningest coach in Washington history, Anger's teams have never once missed the NCAA Championships and have been a fixture in the Top-25 with five runs to the NCAA Round of 16 in the last decade. With Washington's win at Arkansas in the second match of the 2010 season, Anger passed another milestone with his 250th victory. Under Anger's watch, Washington has posted a winning record in all of his 15 seasons, and won its first ever Pac-10 title in 2005 as Anger was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Furthermore, several of Anger's players have seen tremendous individual success, with seven of the top eight winningest players in UW history competing during his tenure. Five different singles players have earned All-American honors under Anger, 10 different players earned year-end Top-50 rankings, and Alex Vlaski captured the 2003 ITA All-American Championships, the first national title for a Husky since 1924. In addition, Anger has guided three different players to the NCAA Singles Semifinals. Anger played collegiate tennis at USC from 1982-84 and was a three-time All-American, while leading the team to a top-five finish three consecutive years. In 1983, he was a Pac-10 singles finalist and helped lead the Trojans to a third-place NCAA finish. The next season, Anger won the Pac-10 doubles championship and helped USC win the conference team title. At the conclusion of his junior season, Anger entered the pro ranks and played on the pro tour for eight years (1984-91). He earned his highest ATP singles ranking of No. 23 in the world in 1986. Starting with the Australian Open in 1985 through Wimbledon in 1987, no American won more Grand Slam singles matches. In that span, Anger reached the round of 16 at both the U.S. Open and Wimbledon in 1986.
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