Washington's Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, California's Stephanie Kusano Named Pac-10 Tennis Players of the Week

Feb. 25, 2008

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - WASHINGTON freshman Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and CALIFORNIA senior Stephanie Kusano have been named Pac-10 Men's and Women's Tennis Players of the Week for Feb. 18-24, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.

Nedunchezhiyan, playing out of the No. 1 position for the first time in his young career, knocked off 95th-ranked Blake Strode of No. 62 Arkansas in straight sets 6-1, 7-6 (2). The move to the top of the Washington lineup marks the first time since 2002 that a freshman has held the top position. Nedunchezhiyan, with partner Patrik Fisher, also ascended to the top double's position and defeated Strode and partner Colin Mascall, 8-4.

Washington looks to solidify its resume as it heads to Eugene, Ore. to take on rival Oregon in a non-conference match Fri., Feb. 29 at 5 p.m. The Huskies will then face Denver in a neutral site match in Eugene on Sat., March 1 at 2 p.m.

Kusano was instrumental for the Golden Bears as she went undefeated over the week in the No. 5 and 6 positions in singles and teamed with partner Susie Babos for an undefeated week in doubles play as well. On Wednesday, Kusano rebounded from a tough first set to defeat No. 31 Carolyn McVeigh 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-3. The win was part of the Golden Bears' stunning 6-1 upset of No. 3 Stanford and her doubles team victory helped the Bears win the doubles point in the match as well.

Over the weekend, Kusano defeated Washington State's Jessica Gomez (6-2, 6-0) and Washington's Kelsey Anonsen (6-2, 6-1) in dominating fashion, dropping only five games in four sets. Kusano and Babos would also finish out the weekend with wins over Cougar and Husky doubles teams.

California, currently sitting at No. 11 in the ITA poll, remains on the road next week as it travels to No. 12 USC on Fri., Feb. 29 and UCLA on Sat., March 1.

This is the first Pac-10 Player of the Week award for Nedunchezhiyan and the first for Kusano. The award is the fourth for the Washington men's team and the fifth for the California women's team.

ALSO NOMINATED (MEN): Marcos Verdasco, ORE; Greg Hirschman, STAN.

ALSO NOMINATED (WOMEN): Nadia Abdala, ASU; Gabriela Niculescu, USC; Venise Chan, WASH; Ekaterina Burduli, WSU.

2008 PAC-10 MEN'S TENNIS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Feb. 5- Mathieu Dehaine, Sr., UCLA; Feb. 11- Kaes Van't Hof, Sr., USC; Feb. 18- Matt Brooklyn, So., ASU; Feb. 25- Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, Fr., WASH.

2008 PAC-10 WOMEN'S TENNIS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Feb. 5- Tara Simpson, Sr., WASH; Feb. 11- Danielle Steinberg, Jr., ARIZ; Feb. 18- Venise Chan, Fr., WASH, Feb. 25- Stephanie Kusano, CAL.

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