Vlaski, Slovic Through To Quarters At Pac-10 Championships
April 21, 2005
OJAI, Calif. - Senior Alex Vlaski and sophomore Alex Slovic each won a pair of matches today to reach the singles quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Championships in what was a strong day overall for the Husky men's tennis team. The tournament, which runs through the weekend, will crown conference champions in singles and doubles.
For Vlaski, a two-time All-American currently ranked 10th in the country, this tournament has been both sweet and sour. Vlaski finished as runner-up in both his freshman and sophomore years, and was knocked in the semifinals last year. A Pac-10 singles crown would be that much more validation to his already outstanding career, and he played like he was on a mission today with two easy wins. Oregon's Arron Spencer was Vlaski's unfortunate first round foe, and Vlaski routed Spencer, 6-0, 6-1. UCLA's 88th-ranked Alberto Francis stood in the way in the second round, but Vlaski continued to roll with a 6-2, 6-2 win. Tomorrow, Stanford's James Wan will try to keep Vlaski from a fourth-straight semifinal appearance. With his two wins today, Vlaski's career record at the Ojai now stands at 13-3, and his 107 career singles wins is just one short of tying the all-time Washington record.
One year ago, Slovic's first Pac-10 tourney run was abruptly ended by a first round upset. Things got off to a much different start this year, as the 37th-ranked sophomore rolled over Oregon's Thomas Bieri, 6-1, 6-1 in the first round. Much like Vlaski, following a victory over a Duck, Slovic faced a ranked Bruin opponent in round two. 65th-ranked Kris Kwinta was unable to stop Slovic from notching his ninth-straight win and reaching his first Pac-10 quarterfinal with a 7-5, 6-3 decision. Slovic's competition will take a steep jump in his next match, as he will take on second-ranked and defending Pac-10 champion Sam Warburg of Stanford.
In other action, senior Christoph Palmanshofer and sophomore Daniel Chu both suffered first round defeats in three-setters. Palmanshofer, ranked 61st, was upset by Arizona State's Chris Biro, 6-4, in the third set. Biro then went on to upset USC's 12th-ranked Jamil Al-Agba in the second round. Chu had the toughest first round match of all Huskies, drawing ninth-ranked Conor Niland of Cal. Down one set, Chu grabbed the second set from Niland, 6-3, but the Golden Bear rallied in the third for a 6-1 win.
Several Huskies also found success on the first day of the Pac-10 Invitational singles draw. Senior Peter Scharler headlines the group, as he scored a pair of wins to advance to the quarterfinals. Scharler pulled out a pair of tight sets over Oregon's Vlad Pino in round one, before ousting Arizona's Bruno Alcala, 6-3, 6-3, in the second round. Cal's Tyler Browne will be Scharler's quarterfinal opponent on Friday. Sophomore Chris Floyd and freshman Andy Kuharszky each picked up first round wins in the Invitational bracket but were eliminated in the second round, running out of steam against opponents who each received first round byes. Kuharszky took the first set from Cal's Dean Wallace, 7-5, but lost the second, 6-4. Playing his sixth set of the day, Kuharszky fell 6-1. It was the same story for Floyd, who scored a 6-2 first set win over UCLA's Mathieu Dehaine before Dehaine outlasted Floyd in three.
Quarterfinal singles matches and the first two rounds of doubles play are scheduled for Friday, with the 15th-ranked tandem of Slovic and Chu being one of the favorites. Vlaski and Palmanshofer will also compete in the main draw. The tournament continues through Sunday, April 24.
Washington Men's Tennis
Singles First Round
Invitational First Round