Huskies Close Non-Conference Slate At UC Santa Barbara
March 22, 2010
THIS WEEK: The 19th-ranked Husky men's tennis team darts down to Santa Barbara and back this week for its final non-conference match on Tuesday, March 23, before Pac-10 play begins later this weekend. Washington will face the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara at 11 a.m. Tuesday afternoon. The 14-1 Huskies can establish a new benchmark for the best start in program history with a win on Tuesday. Through fifteen matches the team is even with the 2003 squad which went 14-1 to start the year but then lost its next match. Currently the Dawgs are carrying a nine-match winning streak but have been off for the past ten days for finals week.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Washington remains in the Top-20 for the second-straight week, coming in at No. 19 in the March 16th ITA poll. One week prior UW was at 18th, which was the highest that the men have been since the 2007 season. New singles and doubles rankings were unveiled last week. Junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan comes in at No. 54, up two spots from the last set, and down just a bit from his season-high of 51st. Nedunchezhiyan owns wins over current Top-50 players Casey Watt of Notre Dame (27th) and James Meredith of Boise State (41st). Also ranked for the third-straight period is the junior pair of Alex Rosinski and Tobi Obenaus. The two are 14-4 for the season and ranked 69th.
LAST TIME OUT: Washington men's tennis equaled its best start in program history through fifteen matches, as the Dawgs defeated Eastern Washington 7-0 on March 12 to improve to 14-1 on the year. The match started outdoors at the Bill Quillian Stadium, but the teams got only about halfway through doubles play before a hailstorm hit and sent everyone headed for the shelter of the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Once play resumed, UW completed a doubles point sweep. The third spot went to an early tiebreak at 5-5, and junior Skyler Tateishi and sophomore Matt Stith came out ahead, 7-2 in the breaker, over Anderson and Simikic. Kyle McMorrow blasted through his singles match, 6-1, 6-0 at the No. 2 spot over Mussolini to put the Dawgs up 2-0. Stith came off next with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Flavio Malagutti at sixth singles. It's the second dual win in as many matches on the year for Stith. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Tobi Obenaus followed with straight set wins, and junior Brad Bator got into the win column at fourth singles. That left Tateishi on court at fifth singles in his second dual match of the season. He pulled out the first set against Henninger in a tiebreak, 7-4, then finished off the Husky sweep with a 6-3 second set win.
SCOUTING UC SANTA BARBARA: The Gauchos are off to a 3-1 start in Big West Conference play with wins over UC Davis, Pacific, and UC Riverside. Their conference loss came to UC Irvine. UCSB certainly can't be overlooked, evidenced by a narrow defeat to then-No. 1-ranked USC, when the Trojans escaped with a 4-3 win over the Gauchos. Josh Finkelstein led the way with a straight-set win over USC veteran Jason McNaughton at No. 4 singles. Junior Alex Konigsfeldt was the co-Big West Player of the Year in 2008-09 and fellow junior Philip Therp was Big West Player of the Year in 2007-08 and made the NCAA Singles tourney. Eighth-year head coach Marty Davis is a three-time Big West Coach of the Year. UW leads the all-time series, 13-6.
UP NEXT: The biggest home weekend of the season is just a few days away, as Washington kicks off Pac-10 play with duals against 10th-ranked UCLA and defending NCAA Champion and 3rd-ranked USC. The battle with the Bruins is slated for 1:30 p.m. this Friday, March 26, while the Trojans will be in town on Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. match. Both matches will be outdoors at the Bill Quillian Courts.