No. 10 Washington Begins Pac-10 Play

Feb. 22, 2006

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THIS WEEK: The No. 10 Washington men's tennis team will begin their Pac-10 season against the No. 75 Oregon Ducks in Corvallis on Friday, February 24th at 6:00pm. The Huskies are looking to match their performance of last season where they compiled a 6-1 record in conference play and shared a piece of the Pac-10 title with UCLA, the eventual NCAA Tournament Champions. Washington is 109-6-1 all time against Oregon; the northwest rivalry is the most prolific in UW's history with the dual series spanning nearly a century. Last season the Dawgs defeated the Ducks 6-1, sweeping the singles matches. After traveling to Corvallis to face the Ducks, Washington will play the No. 67 Fresno State Bulldogs on Sunday in Oregon's Student Tennis Center on Sunday, February 26th at 3:00pm.

SCOUTING REPORT: Oregon is currently tied for 75th in the current ITA college tennnis rankings. The Ducks have a 5-2 record on the season, dropping their last two matches after stringing off five straight victories to start the season. University of Oregon senior Markus Schiller reached the second round of the USTA/ITA Honolulu Futures Tournament, falling to Stanfords Sam Warburg 2-6, 2-6. At the ITA/Northwest championships in the fall of 2005, Oregon's Thomas Bieri reached the round of 16. Fresno State is slated at No. 63 in the ITA rankings, gaining four spots since the previous evaluation. The Bulldogs are 5-2 early in the season, notablly defeating the No. 59 Running Rebels of UNLV 6-1. Fresno State competed against two Pac-10 teams already in the season, Arizona and UCLA defeated the Rebels 6-1, 7-0 respectivly. Fresno State Senior Sergiu Modoc was named WAC Men's Tennis Player of the Week after helping his team clinch a win over USF 4-3, by winning a marathon singles match. Modoc won the Bulldogs' fourth team point by defeating USF's Falko Huettenberger 7-6(12), 6-3. The Bulldog's Jakub Cech reached the quarterfinals of the ITA/Northwest Championships before falling to Washgington's Slovic. Modoc also teamed up with junior Charles Irie in doubles to reach the quarterfinals where they lost to the eventual tournamen champions, Slovic and Daniel Chu of UW.

ITA NATIONAL INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP: The Huskies played host to the prestigious National Indoor Tournament during the previous week, where No. 2 Georgia beat the top programs in the nation to take home the championship. The Georgia Bulldogs swept the Pepperdine Waves in the tournament's final with a score of 4-0. Junior John Isner and Strahinja Bobusic lead the team with key wins in doubles and singles throughout the tournament. Isner, currently No. 2 in the ITA rankings, won the ITA All-American National Championship in the fall of 2005 becoming the first player from Georgia to win the tournament since John Roddick in 1997.

DAWGS ADVANCE TO QUARTERS: Washington was able to advance to the second round of the ITA Indoor Championships for the third time in the four years the Huskies have participated in the tournament. Seeded twelfth, Washington faced off against the fifth seeded and No. 11 nationally ranked Virginia Cavaliers. After having lost to the Cavaliers in the NCAA Championships in 2005, the Huskies defeated their opponents in a 4-1 decision. Daniel Chu had key wins in singles and doubles where he clinched the match in the number five positions, with a three set victory over Virginia's No. 46 Marko Miklo. In the quarterfinals, Washington lost to the third seeded University of Illinois 4-1. The sole team point for the Dawgs came from Alex Slovic in the number one spot, with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over GD Jones. The Huskies lost seven tiebreakers throughout their run in the tournament, including a pivotal doubles match against Illinois that determined the first team point of the competition. In the consolation round, UW lost to Pac-10 rival UCLA with a score of 4-1. Senior transfer Pierre Metenier provided the only win of the day in the second singles position defeating Mohamed Abid 6-2, 2-6, 6-1. Washington experienced a crushing blow prior to the UCLA match due to an illness contracted by the number four player, Andy Kuharszky. Without the sophomore team captain, the doubles teams and the singles lineup were forced to be reshuffled.

HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS:Junior Alex Slovic holds the top ranking in singles for the Dawgs at No. 19; Slovic has also teamed 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 current ranking of 37th in the ITA. Exchange student Jean-Noel Insausti has achieved a national ranking of No. 48 due to consistent play in the second and third singles positions. Insausti and Junior Mike RIcks' chemistry on the court has been rewared with a national ranking of No. 39. After a first round upset in the ITA Indoor National Championship over No. 11 Virginia, Washington has moved up the team rankings four positions to No. 10. UW is the third Pac-10 team to be a part of the ITA top ten, Washington shares the honor with Stanford and UCLA.

UP NEXT: The Dawgs will return from their road trip next week to face two nonconference opponents at home in the Nordstrom Indoor Tennis Center. On Friday, March 3rd the Huskies will match up against the Pacific Tigers, UW is 6-0 when facing the Tigers in dual play. Washington will round out the weekend by competing against Memphis on Sunday, March 5th. This will mark the first meeting between the two tennis programs.

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