No. 23 Dawgs Take Final Road Trip To Bay Area
April 8, 2010
Friday, April 9, 1:30 p.m., Palo Alto, Calif.
#22 Washington at #7 Stanford
Saturday, April 10, 1 p.m., Berkeley, Calif.
#22 Washington at #15 California
THIS WEEK: The Husky men's tennis team will head out on the road for the final time during the regular season this weekend, and based on the rankings, it will be their most challenging trip yet. 23rd-ranked Washington (16-3, 1-2 Pac-10) has gone 6-1 in away matches this year and will need to draw from that experience to upend seventh-ranked Stanford and 15th-ranked California in the Bay Area. Friday, April 9, the UW will be in Palo Alto for a 1:30 p.m. dual with the Cardinal. The following day the Huskies meet the Golden Bears in Berkeley at 1 p.m.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Despite a win over 34th-ranked Arizona in their only outing last week, Washington dropped one place in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, released April 6, sitting at No. 22. The Huskies have been ranked has high as 18th this year, which is 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. 65, having been ranked as high as No. 51 this season. Nedunchezhiyan owns wins over current Top-50 players Casey Watt of Notre Dame (29th) and James Meredith of Boise State (48th). Also ranked for the fourth-straight period is the junior pair of Alex Rosinski and Tobi Obenaus. The two are 15-7 for the season and ranked 65th.
SCOUTING STANFORD: The Cardinal are the second-highest-ranked Pac-10 squad behind No. 3 USC, and are currently 13-5 on the year and 2-1 in Pac-10 play. Two of Stanford's losses have come to the Trojans, but the Cardinal are riding high after a road win at No. 9 UCLA, 4-3, last weekend. Stanford also had big road wins at No. 11 Illinois, 4-3, and at No. 28 Michigan, 5-2. Both the Huskies and Cardinal had 6-1 wins over Boise State, and Arizona. Leading Stanford is fifth-ranked sophomore Bradley Klahn, who won both the Pac-10 singles and doubles titles as a freshman last year and was the ITA National Freshman of the Year. Junior Alex Clayton holds the No. 2 spot, and is ranked 45th. Sophomore Ryan Thacher also ranks 93rd. Klahn and Thacher meanwhile are the No. 1 ranked doubles team in the country and won the National Indoor Championships in the fall. Clayton and senior Richard Wire are also ranked 31st in doubles. Last season Stanford posted a 6-1 win in Seattle, though UW played without Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan. Derek Drabble and Martin Kildahl did defeate Klahn and Thacher, 8-4, at No. 1 doubles.
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: The Bears are 10-6 overall this year and 1-2 in Pac-10 play, even with the Huskies. Both teams earned 6-1 wins over Arizona, but lost to the L.A. schools. One of Cal's biggest wins was a 4-3 upset of Stanford in Palo Alto in the non-conference meeting. The Bears will host Oregon on Friday before the Huskies arrive. Junior Pedro Zerbini has climbed to 16th in the national rankings. No. 2 singles player Chris Konigsfeldt, just a freshman, is ranked 71st. Konigsfeldt and UW frosh Kyle McMorrow played in Berkeley in the fall, with the Bear earning a three-set win. Junior Jonathan Dahan is also ranked 116th, while sophomore Nick Andrews leads the team with 23 singles wins and is 12-3 in dual play. The Bears also feature two top-30 doubles teams, with Andrews and Konigsfeldt ranking 23rd, and Dahan and Zerbini coming in at 26. Last year, Washington pulled out a 4-3 win over Cal in Seattle. Martin Kildahl clinched win with a 7-6, 7-5 victory over Andrews.
LAST TIME OUT: The 21st-ranked Husky men's tennis team played one of its best matches of the season last Friday, rolling to a 6-1 road win at 34th-ranked Arizona. The Huskies took the doubles point and the top five singles matches to pick up their first Pac-10 win of the year. Junior Martin Kildahl clinched the win with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Jason Zafiros at the fourth singles spot. That followed impressive wins from UW's top two singles players. 65th-ranked Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan handled 90th-ranked Andres Arango, 6-4, 4-0 at No. 1 singles with Arango retiring in the second set. Freshman Kyle McMorrow posted a big win over Jay Goldman at the second spot, 6-2, 6-3. Washington closed out the match with two more solid wins. Junior Tobi Obenaus earned his team-leading 21st win, 7-5, 7-5 over Geoff Embry at fifth singles. Lastly, after splitting a pair of 7-5 sets, senior Derek Drabble pulled out an upset of 115th-ranked Andres Carrasco with a 10-6 win in the super-tiebreak.
DAWG BITES: Senior Derek Drabble has placed his name on the UW career top-10 list for the first time, moving up to ninth-place in career doubles wins with 67 career wins; only seven Huskies have 70 doubles wins ... at 15-1, Washington set a new benchmark for the best start in school history through sixteen matches ... Washington's season-high ranking was 18th on March 9; that was UW's highest ranking since 2007 when they were ranked as high as 15th ... the Huskies have already clinched a winning season for the sixteenth-straight year, coinciding with the beginning of Coach Anger's tenure ... freshman Kyle McMorrow had an eight-match win streak from Feb. 12 through Mar. 23 and won 16 of 17 sets in the run ... Nedunchezhiyan has gone 6-4 against ranked players at No. 1 singles with his best win coming over then-No. 28 Casey Watt of Notre Dame; against unranked opponents he is 13-1 this year ... Nedunchezhiyan and McMorrow have won 12 of their past 15 doubles matches and have been ranked as high as 50th in the rankings ... Tobi Obenaus leads the team with 21 overall singles wins this season, including two wins over ranked players, and has already surpassed the 16 wins from his first two years combined.
UP NEXT: The Huskies wrap the regular season at home with their second meeting of the season against the Oregon Ducks. Washington will look for a result similar to its 5-2 win in Eugene when the teams meet again on Saturday, Apr. 17, at 2 p.m. at the Bill Quillian Courts. Senior Derek Drabble will be honored during the match.
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.
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.