Third-Ranked Trojans Use Depth to Defeat Dawgs, 4-3
April 9, 2004
SEATTLE, Wash. - Washington's men's tennis team came up achingly short in yet another attempt at upsetting a top-ten team today, falling 4-3 to the third-ranked USC Trojans at the Bill Quillian Stadium. The 18th-ranked Huskies (13-7, 3-2 Pac-10) could not match the singles depth of the Trojans (17-2, 4-0), who captured the third through sixth singles matches to overtake the Dawgs. Washington is now 0-5 against top-ten teams this season, losing three of those matches by a 4-3 score.
Things started out well for Washington as they took the top two doubles matches to win the doubles point. Freshman Alex Slovic and senior Nick Weiss won 8-4 at No. 2 doubles to even doubles play at 1-1 after USC took the No. 3 matchup. Slovic and Weiss are a perfect 8-0 on the season. The remaining match at No. 1 doubles pitted two ranked teams against each other. UW's No. 43 tandem of junior Alex Vlaski and freshman Daniel Chu owned a 7-4 lead over USC's 12th-ranked team of Hoskins and Langre, but the Trojans came back to force a tiebreak. Vlaski and Chu then won the first three points of the tiebreak and made it stand up for a 7-4 win, clinching the doubles point. Washington has won seven of its last eight doubles points.
While the majority of the home crowd at one end of the courts cheering on the efforts of Vlaski and Slovic at first and second doubles, USC was taking control of the lower four matches at the opposite end. Within only a few minutes of each other, the Trojans prevailed at third, fourth, and fifth singles to go from a 1-0 deficit to a 3-1 lead. Daniel Chu lost to 83rd-ranked Jamil Al-Agba 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3 singles, junior Peter Scharler lost for only the third time in dual play, 6-1, 6-3 to 95th-ranked Ruben Torres at No. 5 singles, and freshman Chris Floyd fell to another ranked Trojan, No. 94 Drew Hoskins, 6-3, 6-2.
Still the upset remained in sight as Vlaski and Slovic both looked to close out their matches, and junior Christoph Palmanshofer was on the verge of forcing a third set at No. 4 doubles. Slovic, currently ranked 42nd, notched his team-leading 24th win of the year over No. 73 Johan Berg, 7-5, 6-2, to pull UW to within 3-2. Attention shifted to fourth singles where Palmanshofer had lost the first set 6-2, but led 5-2 in the second. Serving for the match at 5-3, USC's Daniel Langre broke serve and held his own to get back on serve. From that point Langre again broke Palmanshofer and served out the set, winning the final five games of the match to clinch the win for USC.
Despite USC clinching the victory, All-American Alex Vlaski remained focused in his top singles match. The ninth-ranked Vlaski put away 23rd-ranked Adriano Biasella 6-2, 6-4 to earn his 14th ranked win on the year. Seven times now this year Vlaski has defeated a top-25 foe.
Tomorrow the Huskies battle the other top-five team from L.A., the fourth-ranked UCLA Bruins. Saturday's match time is 1:30 p.m. at the Bill Quillian Stadium.
Washington Men's Tennis vs. USC