No. 12 Men's Tennis Hosts Great Northwest Shootout This Weekend

Feb. 12, 2003

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Washington men's tennis (6-0) returns home for the first time in three weeks to host the Great Northwest Shootout Saturday, Feb. 15, through Sunday, Feb. 16. Still undefeated this season, the Huskies continue their climb up the national rankings where they are currently 12th. Competing in the four-team tournament will also be No. 37 Clemson, No. 27 Tulane and No. 33 San Diego State. Tulane and San Diego State face-off Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by Washington's 3 p.m. match with Clemson. Sunday, win or lose, the Huskies will play at 2 p.m. and their opponent will be determined by the outcome of Saturday's first match. Clemson will face with Tulane or San Diego State at 10:30 a.m. All matches will be held at the Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center on the UW campus.

After beginning the season at No. 20, the Huskies have climbed as high as 12th in this week's Omni Hotels Intercollegiate Tennis Rankings. It is the highest national ranking for a Husky men's team since a No. 12 ranking on April 4, 2001. 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.

Washington swept a pair of matches in North Carolina, defeating then-No.19 Virginia Commonwealth 4-3 and then-No. 21 North Carolina, 6-1. Sophomore Peter Scharler clinched the match for the Huskies vs. Virginia Commonwealth with a dramatic 6-7, 7-6, 6-0 win over Francesc Lleal. Scharler is one of three undefeated Huskies in dual matches, with a 5-0 record. Vlaski (5-0) and Hanlin (6-0) have yet to lose a dual singles match this season.

Clemson, ranked 37th in the latest national rankings, is 6-2 this season, following a 1-2 showing at the Harvard Classic last week. The Tigers defeated Boise State (5-2), but fell to Harvard (4-3) and Minnesota (5-2). No. 27 Tulane is 2-1 this season, having defeated SMU (6-1) and Mississippi State (4-1) and lost to Minnesota (2-4). No. 33 San Diego State is coming off a 4-3 upset of 15th-ranked Pepperdine last Saturday. The Aztecs are 1-1 coupled with their season-opening loss to Arizona (4-3), Feb. 2.

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 host No. 69 Oregon, Friday, Feb. 28, at 4 p.m. at the Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center.

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