Men's Tennis Opens Dual Season at Home

Jan. 17, 2006

THIS WEEK: The Washington men's tennis team will kick off its spring season facing two regional opponents this weekend. The Huskies, currently ranked 16th in the ITA rankings, will battle the Idaho Vandals on Friday, January 20, at 5:00 p.m. in the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle, Washington. On Saturday Washington will compete against its in-state rival, the Eastern Washington Eagles, the match will commence at 4p.m. also in the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The Huskies look to improve on the combined 56-1 all time record against the Eagles and Vandals.

A SEASON TO REMEMBER: The Huskies enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history last year, reaching the NCAA sweet 16 for the fourth time in five years and sharing the Pac-10 Conference trophy with UCLA - the eventual 2005 NCAA Champion. To start off the season the Huskies defeated two top 20 opponents to win the Great Northwest Shootout over Minnesota, Ohio, and Tulane. The tournament established Washington as one of the premier teams for the year, moving the Huskies up in the rankings. The Huskies began conference play with two wins over Stanford and California, the level of play continued throughout the season giving the Washington a 6-1 record in the Pac-10 and a piece of the conference title. In the NCAA Tournament the Dawgs were awarded the No. 15 seed and were chosen to host a regional for the first time in school history. Washington rallied off two consequtive wins to reach the round of 16 where they fell to the second -seeded Virginia.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: The Washington men's tennis team looks to continue their history of excellence against Idaho and Eastern Washington this weekend. The Huskies have a 53-1 record against the Vandals. Washington has only played Eastern Washington three times in school history, the Dawgs are 3-0 against the Eagles.

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: The Huskies open their spring season with six straight matches at home following with the ITA National Team Indoor Championship scheduled to occur in Washington's very own Nordstrom Indoor Tennis Center. Head coach Matt Anger believes the long homestand will be a good experience for the new members on the squad. 'Being at home that much does bode well for us and I think it's also good for our new guys to get a few matches under their belt with the college format,' Anger said. 'Then when we go out on the road they'll be much more prepared for it.' The highlight of the home matches should be the National Indoor Championships, marking the fourth time Washington has held the event. Among the various teams selected to compete are the defending NCAA Champions - UCLA, last year's runner-up Virginia, and last year's National Team Indoor Champion - Baylor. The first matches at home will be used as a catalyst to build towards the tournament, 'Every match is important to us, but I'd be lying if I said that we're not pointing towards the National Team Indoors on a number of levels,' states Anger. Following the tournament the Huskies will only play three of their next 11 matches at home, however they have the luxury of hosting their last three Pac-10 duals before entering postseason play. The men's tennis team utilized their home court to the fullest last season holding a 17-1 record in Bill Quilian Stadium and the Nordstrom Tennis Center.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Washington heads into their spring season holding the No. 16 ranking in the ITA. The ranking is a testiment to the Huskies strong play in the fall and their steller season last year. Junior Alex Slovic holds the top ranking in singles for the Dawgs at 32 in singles play, Slovic also will team up again with doubles partner Daniel Chu. The duo finish the season last year ranked 17th in the nation and plan to build on their preseason ranking of 45th in the ITA. Transfer student Klaus Jank, arriving from the University of Freibug in Germany is also ranked in the ITA at No. 80. Jank was also ranked in the Top-50 German Junior rankings.

FALL PLAY: In the fall season the Huskies showcased the veteran play of Alex Slovic and the various new -comers to the Washington men's tennis team. Slovic fell in the first round of the ITA All-American Championship, however he bounced back with four straight victories reaching the consolation finals, falling in a tight three set match. The Huskies had a strong showing at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic. Junior Mike Ricks reached the Flight B Singles Final Round where he suffered his first loss of the seaon in a grueling three set match. Two Washington doubles teams reached the Flight A Doubles Final Round at the Bulldog Classic, Daniel and David Chu faced off against there own teammates the Jank and Kuharszky blanking the competition. Daniel Chu and Alex Slovic also participated in the ITA National Indoor Championship, reaching the quarterfinals and losing to the number one seed.

UP NEXT: The Huskies will continue playing at home next weekend against the Portland Pilots on Saturday Jan. 28, at 1 p.m. Washington holds a 44-0 record over Portland.

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