2003 Dual Season Begins This Weekend For Men's Tennis

Jan. 22, 2003

The 2003 dual season gets underway for the 20th-ranked Washington men's tennis team (0-0) this weekend, as the Huskies play host to No. 59 New Mexico, Friday, Jan. 24, at 5 p.m. and Portland, Saturday, Jan. 25, at 3 p.m. Both matches will be held at UW's Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center.

The 59th-ranked New Mexico Lobos (2-0) already have two dual matches under their belt, picking up a pair of wins at the First State Bank/Comcast Invitational at home last weekend. UNM opened the season with a 7-0 win over San Francisco, before another 7-0 win over Northern Arizona. Portland (0-0) makes its season-debut at home vs. Eastern Washington, Friday, Jan. 24, before making the trek up I-5 to face the Huskies. Last year, the Pilots compiled an overall record of 10-11, and a conference record of 6-2 to finish fifth in the WCC.

Washington has yet to lose to Portland, leading the all-time series 41-0. The Huskies and Lobos have met less frequently, five times, with New Mexico leading that series 3-2.

As a team, the Huskies are ranked 20th in the nation. Individually, the UW lineup features two of the top singles players in the nation. Sophomore Alex Vlaski is ranked fifth, while senior Matt Hanlin is the 11th-ranked singles player. On the doubles side, the pair of Vlaski and senior Ari Strasberg check in at No. 18.

The Huskies' 2003 schedule features 16 teams ranked among the Top-75, including six in the Top-25. UW is slated to face No. 1 UCLA, No. 4 Stanford, No. 7 USC, No. 10 Cal and No. 16 Virginia Commonwealth. Washington's Great Northwest Shootout, held Feb. 15-16, will feature No. 31 San Diego State and No. 38 Tulane. Also on tap for UW this year will be dual matches with No. 26 North Carolina, No. 41 Arizona State, No. 43 Purdue, No. 49 San Diego, No. 60 Fresno State, No. 61 Arizona and No. 73 Oregon.

2002 RECAP:
Last year the Huskies compiled an overall record of 19-7 and tied for fifth in the Pac-10 with a 3-4 conference record. UW advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championships for the second-straight year, falling to Auburn 4-3. The Huskies defeated Tulane 4-2 in their first-round NCAA match, followed by a 4-3 upset of No. 6 Stanford in the second round. UW's win kept Stanford out of the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1987. The Cardinal had won five of the last nine national championships. Freshman Alex Vlaski, the 2002 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, advanced to the second round of the NCAA singles championships, before falling to Stanford's David Martin. UW did not lose a single letterwinner from last year's squad (nine) and has added two newcomers, sophomore transfer Fred Sundsten (Larvik, Norway/Murray State) and freshman Patrick MacKay (Menlo Park, Calif./Menlo HS).

The Huskies hit the road to compete in the TCU Invitational in Forth Worth, Texas, Saturday, Feb. 1 and Sunday, Feb. 2. The next time UW returns home will be to host the Great Northwest Shootout, Saturday, Feb. 15-16, at the Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center.

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