Huskies To Meet Oregon And Nevada In Eugene
Feb. 24, 2010
Friday, Feb. 26, 5 p.m., Eugene, Ore., Student Tennis Center
#23 Washington vs Oregon
Saturday, Feb. 27, 2 p.m., Eugene, Ore., Student Tennis Center
#23 Washington vs. Nevada
THIS WEEK: Owners of a four-match winning streak, the 23rd-ranked Washington men's tennis team begins its longest road stretch this week with a pair of matches in Eugene, Oregon. The Huskies (9-1) face Oregon (9-2) on Friday, Feb. 26, at 5 p.m. in the first of their two annual encounters. This first meeting will not count towards the Pac-10 standings. The next day, Washington will be back at Oregon's Student Tennis Center for a neutral site match-up with Nevada (2-3), set to start at 2 p.m.
The Huskies currently have their highest ranking of the season at No. 23. Washington is 4-0 against unranked opponents this season, 2-1 in road matches and 1-0 in neutral site matches. Doubles play will be a key to UW's success this weekend as they have gone 9-1 in the doubles point and are 9-0 when taking the early lead.
LAST TIME OUT: Three Huskies earned wins over ranked singles opponents last Saturday, as the UW turned back 36th-ranked Notre Dame, 4-3, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan upset 28th-ranked Casey Watt at No. 1 singles to lead the way and Washington (9-1) secured the win at 4-1 before the Fighting Irish earned the last two points in three sets. After taking the doubles point, Nedunchezhiyan was the first Husky to take a set, as he broke Watt's serve in the 10th game of the first set to grab the set, 6-4. From there he flowed through the second set, 6-1, to knock off his fourth ranked opponent of the dual season. A pivotal point in the match came at No. 5 singles, where junior Tobi Obenaus was looking to close out 105th-ranked Blas Moros in straight sets. Obenaus led 6-3, 5-3, and was serving for the match, but he had to fight off several break points that could have extended the match much longer. Ultimately Obenaus was able to hold on in that game to finish out the set at 6-3, and put the Huskies up 3-1. Freshman Kyle McMorrow knocked off another ranked Irishman at second singles to clinch the victory. McMorrow won the first set in a tiebreak, 7-2, over 123rd-ranked Stephen Havens. He was serving up 3-2 in the second before Havens broke back to get on serve, but McMorrow swung right back to take the final three games and finish off a 7-6 (2), 6-3 win. Washington dominated in doubles, with the closest match being 8-4 at the No. 2 spot.
SCOUTING OREGON: The Ducks currently own a 9-2 record and are coming off a 4-3 win over Cal Poly. Oregon had a seven-match win streak snapped recently by Arkansas as the Razorbacks pulled out a 5-2 win. Washington also faced the Razorbacks in the second match of the year and earned a 4-3 win. Last year the Huskies beat Oregon 5-2 in Eugene and 7-0 in Seattle to make it 11-straight wins in the rivalry. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan had straight sets wins over Marcos Verdasco at No. 1 singles in each meeting. The Ducks will be very tough in doubles as they have three different duos in the rankings. Nico Bjerke and Ric Mortera are ranked 45th, and are actually tied with Aaron Clissold and Jose Izquierdo. Marcos Verdaso and Alexander Cornelissen are ranked 58th as well. Cornelissen is ranked 121st nationally in singles. Nils Schyllander is in his fourth season coaching the Duck men.
SCOUTING NEVADA: The Wolf Pack comes into the weekend unranked with a 2-3 record but has played a couple ranked teams very close. On Jan. 23, Nevada nearly knocked off 27th-ranked Fresno State, falling 4-3 but winning the top two singles matches. They also fell by 5-2 scores to No. 40 Hawai'i and No. 57 UC Irvine. The Huskies also played Irvine back in January and defeated the Anteaters, 6-1. Washington last played Nevada in 2007, coming away with a 6-1 win. Sophomore Wessim Derbel has played every match at No. 1 singles for Nevada and is 3-2 in that spot while senior Laurent Garcin is 3-1 at No. 2 singles. The Wolf Pack are coached by Sylvain Malroux.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: In Tuesday's newest team rankings, the Huskies climbed up two spots to a new season-high of 23rd after fluctuating between 24th and 26th all season. The first set of individual rankings in more than a month were just released on February 4, and junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan jumped back from out of the rankings up to 51st nationally. Nedunchezhiyan was ranked 32nd in the preseason fall rankings but did not have many chances to earn points in the fall and consequently dropped out. But a number of wins over ranked opponents this spring has boosted the Chennai, India native back up the list. Also debuting in the doubles rankings for the first time is the junior pair of Alex Rosinski and Tobi Obenaus. The two are 5-1 at No. 3 doubles this year and 10-3 for the season.
NEDUNCHEZHIYAN GARNERS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Fresh off a 4-0 weekend in singles and doubles, Husky junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan was named Pac-10 Men's Tennis Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 18-24. Nedunchezhiyan helped the 26th-ranked Husky men's squad to a 7-0 win over Portland and a 6-1 win over UC Irvine. Playing in the No. 1 singles position, Nedunchezhiyan defeated Portland's Filip Zivkovic, 7-6 (5), 7-5, and UC Irvine's Fabian Matthews, 6-0, 6-3. In doubles play, Nedunchezhiyan partnered with freshman Kyle McMorrow and won both of their matches with ease in the No. 2 doubles spot. This is Nedunchezhiyan's third career Player of the Week award, and the seventh all-time for Washington.
FALL SEASON REVIEW: Washington got some good news to begin the fall as junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan earned a preseason No. 32 singles ranking and senior Derek Drabble and junior Martin Kildahl were ranked 11th nationally in doubles. However, Kildahl was recovering from foot surgery and would be unable to compete and back up the ranking until 2010 rolled around. Still, Nedunchezhiyan started off the year playing in the main draw of the ITA All-American Championships, where he lost his opener then went 1-1 in the consolation bracket. The first full team event for the Dawgs was Northwest Regionals. Washington had its most success in doubles, where juniors Alex Rosinski and Tobi Obenaus made the semifinals, and Nedunchezhiyan and new freshman Kyle McMorrow reached the quarters. Drabble made the Round of 16 in singles, as did McMorrow in his first college action. The Huskies showed their expected singles depth as Obenaus and Matt Stith both made the consolation semis. Washington hosted the inaugural PNW Intercollegiates to end official fall action, and dominated several local rivals including Oregon, Portland, Gonzaga, Idaho, and Boise State. Nedunchezhiyan captured the top singles flight over his teammate Drabble in the final. Junior Brad Bator made his fall debut by sweeping through to the title of the second flight, beating teammate Skyler Tateishi for the win.
UP NEXT: Washington will remain on the road for another week, heading to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota and New Mexico. First up will be the neutral site match with 61st-ranked New Mexico on March 6 at 10 a.m. Pacific time. March 7 the Huskies and 43rd-ranked Gophers will square off at 10 a.m. Pacific.
HEAD COACH Matt Anger REACHES 250 WINS: The turning point in modern Washington tennis came with the hiring of Matt Anger, now entering into his 16th season as head coach. Since his arrival, the Huskies have been a model of consistency, and consistently excellent at that. The winningest coach in Washington history, Anger's teams have never once missed the NCAA Championships and have been a fixture in the Top-25 with five runs to the NCAA Round of 16 in the last decade. With Washington's win at Arkansas in the second match of the 2010 season, Anger passed another milestone with his 250th victory. Under Anger's watch, Washington has posted a winning record in all of his 15 seasons, and won its first ever Pac-10 title in 2005 as Anger was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Furthermore, several of Anger's players have seen tremendous individual success, with seven of the top eight winningest players in UW history competing during his tenure. Five different singles players have earned All-American honors under Anger, 10 different players earned year-end Top-50 rankings, and Alex Vlaski captured the 2003 ITA All-American Championships, the first national title for a Husky since 1924. In addition, Anger has guided three different players to the NCAA Singles Semifinals. Anger played collegiate tennis at USC from 1982-84 and was a three-time All-American, while leading the team to a top-five finish three consecutive years. In 1983, he was a Pac-10 singles finalist and helped lead the Trojans to a third-place NCAA finish. The next season, Anger won the Pac-10 doubles championship and helped USC win the conference team title. At the conclusion of his junior season, Anger entered the pro ranks and played on the pro tour for eight years (1984-91). He earned his highest ATP singles ranking of No. 23 in the world in 1986. Starting with the Australian Open in 1985 through Wimbledon in 1987, no American won more Grand Slam singles matches. In that span, Anger reached the round of 16 at both the U.S. Open and Wimbledon in 1986.