Huskies Fall To Fifth-Ranked Trojans, 6-1

March 27, 2010

SEATTLE - The Husky men's tennis team showed it could compete with one of the top teams in the country, but was unable to break through against defending NCAA Champion USC, falling 6-1 at the Bill Quillian Stadium. Featuring five players ranked in singles, the depth of the fifth-ranked Trojans (16-2, 2-0 Pac-10) was just too much for the 21st-ranked Huskies (15-3, 0-2) Pac-10.

Junior Tobi Obenaus battled his way to an upset win over 84th-ranked Peter Lucassen in the final match of the day. After dropping the first set, 5-7, Obenaus rallied back and saved a pair of match points as Lucassen served up 6-5 in the second set. The Waidhofen, Austria native earned the break to force a tiebreak, which he took seven points to two. That led to yet another tiebreak, this one for the match. Obenaus opened up an early lead, and a frustrated Lucassen committed consecutive code violations, and was disqualified with Obenaus leading 6-1 in the super-tiebreak.

'I felt we were close on a number of courts. Today we just got down quickly again,' said head coach Matt Anger. 'In our losses this year that's kind of been the case. Any time we've been in the match we've obviously done all right, but in each loss the team has kind of jumped out there quickly on us, and we haven't been able to stem the tide.'

The top two singles matches pitted Huskies Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Kyle McMorrow against two of the top-ranked players in college tennis, and both were close throughout and played at a very high level. Nedunchezhiyan, ranked 54th, went up against No. 1-ranked Steve Johnson of USC, the current National Indoor Champ. Johnson prevailed by one break of serve in each set, winning 6-4, 6-4. At second singles, McMorrow faced another former No. 1, Robert Farah, currently ranked 11th. McMorrow took the second set to a tiebreak, but Farah won out, 6-4, 7-6 (5).

At third singles, senior Derek Drabble fell just short against 72nd-ranked Jaak Poldma, 6-3, 6-4. Junior Martin Kildahl had a 6-3, 6-1 setback at fourth singles against 89th-ranked Daniel Nguyen. Then at the sixth spot, USC's Jason McNaughton held off junior Alex Rosinski, 6-3, 6-4.

'We're fighting hard but I think we fought ourselves a little bit too, and it certainly wasn't what we were hoping for this weekend,' Anger said. 'I think we can play better but both days the other guys played better than we did, so we can talk about a lot of things but in the end we've got to make more shots than the other guys. There were a lot of opportunities, but they were better at taking advantage of them.

Doubles went USC's way starting with a win at the No. 3 match, where 49th-ranked Lucassen and Poldma beat 69th-ranked Obenaus and Rosinski, 8-2. The point was clinched at No. 2, where Nguyen and JT Sundling topped Drabble and Kildahl, 8-4. In the top match, Nedunchezhiyan and McMorrow held a 6-4 lead over the 14th-ranked tandem of Farah and Johnson, but the Trojan duo broke to get back on serve, then broke once more in the last game to win, 8-6.

The Huskies will search for their first Pac-10 win next week down in Tucson, where they will face the 32nd-ranked Arizona Wildcats on Friday, April 2, at 12:30 p.m.

Washington Men's Tennis
March 27, 2010 - Seattle, Wash.
Bill Quillian Stadium

No. 5 USC 6, No. 21 Washington 1

1) (14) Farah/Johnson (USC) def. Nedunchezhiyan/McMorrow (UW), 8-6
2) Nguyen/Sundling (USC) def. Drabble/Kildahl (UW), 8-4
3) (49) Lucassen/Poldma (USC) def. (69) Obenaus/Rosinski (UW), 8-2
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1

1) (1) Steve Johnson (USC) def. (54) Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (UW), 6-4, 6-4
2) (11) Robert Farah (USC) def. Kyle McMorrow (UW), 6-3, 7-6 (5)
3) (72) Jaak Poldma (USC) def. Derek Drabble (UW), 6-3, 6-4
4) (89) Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. Martin Kildahl (UW), 6-3, 6-1
5) Tobi Obenaus (UW) def. (84) Peter Lucassen (USC), 5-7, 7-6 (2), (6-1, DQ)
6) Jason McNaughton (USC) def. Alex Rosinski (UW), 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: 4, 3, 2, 1, 6, 5

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