No. 10 Men's Tennis Hosts No. 65 Oregon and No. 55 Purdue This Weekend
Feb. 27, 2003
THIS WEEK: Tenth-ranked Washington men's tennis (8-0) returns to action for the first time in two weeks as the Huskies host a pair of matches with Oregon and Purdue this weekend at the Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center. UW will face the Ducks, Friday, Feb. 28, at 4 p.m., before battling the Boilermakers, Sunday, March 2, at 12 p.m. Oregon and Purdue will also square-off Saturday, March 1, at 2 p.m. These two matches are the start of a five-match homestand for Washington that continues with three contests next weekend. The Huskies are on the verge of challenging their best-ever start in the program's history. UW's best start was a 13-0 run to open the 2002 campaign.
HUSKIES MOVE UP IN RANKINGS: Washington continues to climb up the national rankings, making its most recent jump to No. 10 where it has remained the past two weeks. This latest ranking is the highest for a Husky men's team since a No. 8 ranking on March 28, 2001. UW opened the season at No. 20 and stopped for a week at No. 12 before this latest rise. Individually, the UW lineup features three nationally ranked singles players. Sophomore Alex Vlaski is ranked eighth, while senior Matt Hanlin is the 14th-ranked singles player. Sophomore Peter Scharler made his debut in the national rankings this week at No. 116. On the doubles side, the pair of Vlaski and senior Ari Strasberg checks in at No. 55.
LAST TIME OUT: Washington won its own Great Northwest Shootout with a pair of victories over Tulane (5-2) and Clemson (6-1), Feb.15-16. With the victories, the Huskies improved their winning streak to eight-straight matches. Both Matt Hanlin and Peter Scharler remained undefeated in dual action with two singles wins each. Hanlin also won both his doubles contests with senior Dillon Ruby. Alex Vlaski suffered his first defeat in dual action, as No.23 Michael Kogan of Tulane pulled the upset of the fifth-ranked Vlaski.
THE OPPONENTS: A pair of streaks will be on the line when the Ducks and Huskies clash on Friday. Oregon has won six-straight matches and brings an overall record of 7-1 to Seattle. Oded Teig leads the Ducks with a No. 79 singles ranking, while a pair of freshmen, Thomas Bieri and Arron Spencer, are undefeated in dual singles action. A strength for the Ducks is their doubles play, led by Teig and Sven Swinnen, the 15th-ranked duo in the nation. The No. 55 Boilermakers are 4-2 this season and are led by the 53rd-ranked doubles team of Troy Havens and Scott Mayer who pair for a 4-1 dual record. Purdue does not have any ranked singles players.
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).
UP NEXT: The Huskies host three-straight matches with Fresno State (Friday, March 7), Santa Clara (Saturday, March 8) and San Diego (Sunday, March 9). Friday and Saturday's matches will be held at 2 p.m., while Sunday's match is slated for 12 p.m. All will be played at the Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center.