No. 22 Huskies Face Lobos, Gophers In Minnesota
March 3, 2010
THIS WEEK: Winners of six-straight matches, the 22nd-ranked UW men's tennis team makes its final trip away from the West Coast this week, heading for two dual matches in Minneapolis. The Huskies (11-1) will have a neutral site match-up against New Mexico on Friday, March 6, before facing Minnesota on its home courts on Saturday, March 7. Both matches should be a considerable test for the Dawgs, as New Mexico has moved up to 54th in the national rankings and Minnesota comes in at No. 46. The Huskies are 5-1 this season against ranked opponents and their No. 22 ranking is a season-high.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: On Tuesday the Intercollegiate Tennis Association made the annual switch with its national rankings to a computer-generated system that typically results in a lot of movement for the first week. The Huskies however moved up just one place to 22nd, a new season-best. New singles and doubles rankings also were unveiled this week. Junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan comes in at No. 56, down just a bit from his season-high of 51st. Nedunchezhiyan owns wins over current Top-40 players Casey Watt of Notre Dame (19th) and James Meredith of Boise State (36th). Nedunchezhiyan also has worked his way into the doubles rankings along with freshman Kyle McMorrow this week. The two are currently 50th after an 11-2 start to the season. Also ranked for the second-straight period is the junior pair of Alex Rosinski and Tobi Obenaus. The two are 12-4 for the season and ranked 58th.
LAST TIME OUT: Washington headed down to Eugene last weekend for its annual non-conference meeting with the Ducks, followed by a neutral site match against Nevada. On Friday against the Ducks, Washington lost the doubles on a tiebreaker in the final match but then came back to take five of six singles matches to get the 5-2 win. Tobi Obenaus and Kyle McMorrow started with straight-set wins, then Martin Kildahl earned a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Ric Mortera at third singles. Derek Drabble clinched next with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Nico Bjerke at the four spot and Alex Rosinski added a win in a super-tiebreak. The next day, Washington rolled past the Wolf Pack, winning all of a possible fifteen sets in singles and doubles. No set in singles went past 6-4, and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bounced back well from a third-set super-tiebreak loss on Saturday with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Nevada's No. 1, Laurent Garcin.
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO: The Lobos head to Minnesota with a 3-4 record and are ranked 54th nationally. They've beaten a pair of ranked teams in No. 58 Texas A&M Corpus Christi and No. 57 Middle Tennessee State, and two noteable losses came at No. 3 Ohio State (7-0) and No. 30 Notre Dame (4-1). Washington also played the Fighting Irish, earning a 4-3 win two weeks ago. New Mexico lost a tough 4-3 decision at 59th-ranked New Mexico State in its last match. The Lobos have a strong sophomore class with Ben Dunbar and Carl Ho at the top of the singles lineup, and Phil Anderson who has gone 5-2 at fourth singles. Washington holds a 5-3 advantage in the overall series.
SCOUTING MINNESOTA: The Huskies and Gophers met a year ago in Seattle, with UW earning the 5-2 victory. In that match, the Huskies took the doubles point and won the top three singles matches with Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan defeating Tobias Wernet and Martin Kildahl overcoming Sebastian Gallego. Wernet is now ranked 111th in singles while Gallego has climbed to 77th. Minnesota is ranked 46th and has a 4-4 record overall. Three of their four losses have come to current Top-25 teams including Louisville, Wake Forest, and Oklahoma. Wernet and senior Dino Bilankov are both a team-best 5-3 in dual singles play. The Huskies lead the all-time series, 6-3.
UP NEXT: The Huskies will be back home next week for one dual match before taking a break for finals week. Eastern Washington will be in town for a dual on Friday, March 12, at 2 p.m. That match will be UW's first on the outdoor Quillian Courts this season.
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.