No. 24 Huskies Host Ducks In Regular Season Finale
April 14, 2010
Saturday, Apr. 17, 2 p.m., Quillian Stadium
Oregon at #24 Washington
THIS WEEK: Senior Day is at hand for the Husky men's tennis team, as 24th-ranked Washington closes out the regular season hosting Oregon this Saturday, April 17, at 2 p.m. at the Bill Quillian Stadium. The Huskies (16-5, 1-4 Pac-10) are in a solid position to earn their sixteenth consecutive NCAA tourney bid, but a win over the Ducks to close the season is a critical step towards that goal. During Saturday's match, the Huskies will honor their lone senior, Derek Drabble, who has been a four-year starter and helped the Huskies to the NCAA tourney ever year of his career.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Washington remains in the Top-25 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll for the eleventh rankings period in a row, coming in at No. 24 this week. The Huskies have been ranked has high as 18th this year, which is the highest that the men have been since the 2007 season. In the most recent singles rankings which came out April 13, junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan comes in at No. 73, having been ranked as high as No. 51 this season. Nedunchezhiyan owns wins over current Top-50 players Casey Watt of Notre Dame (44th) and James Meredith of Boise State (42nd).
SCOUTING OREGON: The Ducks have struggled lately with losses in seven of their past eight matches, and are currently 12-10 on the year but 0-5 in Pac-10 play. Oregon was swept at both California and Stanford last weekend. Seniors Alex Cornelissen and Marcos Verdasco have led the Ducks for most of the past few seasons, and Cornelissen has been ranked in singles for much of the year despite recently dropping from the polls. Back on Feb. 26, the Huskies posted a 5-2 win over the Ducks in Eugene. Oregon eked out the doubles point, 2-1, with a tiebreaker win at No. 3 doubles, but Washington came back with five wins in singles play. Cornelissen, however, upset Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan at No. 1 singles in a third set super-tiebreak. Kyle McMorrow, Derek Drabble, and Tobi Obenaus all had straight set wins, and Martin Kildahl and Alex Rosinski won in three. The Huskies have won twelve in a row against the Ducks.
LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies are looking to bounce back after two hard-fought defeats in the Bay Area last weekend against Top-20 competition. On Friday, Washington fell 6-1 at seventh-ranked Stanford though four of the singles matches were very even. Martin Kildahl earned the win for UW with a third-set super-tiebreak win over Denis Lin, but Tobi Obenaus took a loss in the same fashion at No. 5. Kyle McMorrow nearly forced a third set against 93rd-ranked Ryan Thacher but came up short 6-2, 7-6 (4). Derek Drabble also had a tight 6-4, 6-4 setback to top-50 singles player Alex Clayton at No. 3. One day later, the Huskies had a lengthy fight on their hands with 15th-ranked Cal. The Bears pulled out the doubles point, 2-1, with a final 8-6 win at No. 3, but Washington stayed even in singles. McMorrow earned a big win over 71st-ranked Chris Konigsfeldt, 6-3, 7-6 (4) at second singles, the highest-ranked player he's beaten this year. The Huskies lost three first sets in tiebreaks, but Martin Kildahl made it a perfect 2-0 weekend with a comeback 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 upset of 116th-ranked Jonathan Dahan. But Cal earned wins in three more nailbiters. 16th-ranked Pedro Zerbini battled back from a set down, and a break down in the third set to top Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 at No. 1 singles. After dropping the first set in a tiebreak, Obenaus had a 5-3 second set lead over Bozhidar Katsarov, but the Bear took the final four games for the win. Finally, Alex Rosinski fougth back from 5-1 down in the third set to force a final tiebreak, but Cal's Riki McLachlan came through, 7-2.
DAWG BITES: Senior Derek Drabble has placed his name on the UW career top-10 list for the first time, moving up to eighth-place in career doubles wins with 68 career wins; only seven Huskies have 70 doubles wins ... junior Martin Kildahl has upped his play of late, winning his last three Pac-10 matches over Jason Zafiros of Arizona, Denis Lin of Stanford and 116th-ranked Jonathan Dahan of Cal ... 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 6-6 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 ... 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: Next week the Huskies head for the Pac-10 Championships, held every year in Ojai, California. The tourney runs from April 22-25 and will crown the conference's singles and doubles champions.