Huskies Down Penn State 4-2 In NCAA First Round
May 13, 2006
RICHMOND, Va. - No. 21 Washington men's tennis posted back-to-back three-set wins at the fifth and sixth singles spots to break a 2-2 tie and defeat No. 45 Penn State, 4-2, in the first round of the NCAA Championships at Thalhimer Tennis Center in Richmond, Va., Saturday.
The Huskies (19-5) bounced back from losing the doubles point to get their four points on the singles courts, led by junior Klaus Jank's match clinching third-set tiebreak win at No. 6. Sophomore Andy Kuharszky notched the other three-set win at No. 5 singles to initially break the tie. Junior Alex Slovic and senior Pierre Metenier also turned in wins at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.
"It was a heck of a match," UW head coach Matt Anger said. "Both teams were really fighting hard. At times I thought that we were up on them and about to finish the match and then their team fought back. It seemed like maybe they (Penn State) had us on the ropes. I have to hand it to our guys at the end who finished it off."
UW, making its 12th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, advances to the second round and will face host and 12th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth (26-4), Sunday, May 14, at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. VCU took care of Richmond, 4-0, in the other first round match to advance. Tomorrow's winner will move on to the 16-team finals at Stanford, beginning May 20.
The Huskies found themselves down 1-0 early after falling on both the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles courts. UW's No. 1 tandem of Slovic and junior Daniel Chu was defeated by Penn State's Mark Barry and Adam Slagter (8-6), while the No. 2 team of Jank and Kuharszky suffered defeat to Ryan Berger and Bradley Hunter (8-6).
UW regained its momentum when singles play began, bolstered by Metenier's 6-3, 6-0 victory over PSU's Malcolm Scattliffe at No. 2, followed by 44th-ranked Slovic's 6-3, 6-4 win against 76th-ranked Barry at No. 1. The Nittany Lions' only singles win then came on court four, with Adam Stagler defeating Chu in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.
Needing to win two of the three remaining singles matches for the team victory was exactly what the Huskies did. Both Kuharszky and Jank won their first sets, lost their second, and came to win their third sets. Kuharszky's 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 victory over Brenden Lynch kept UW in the match, while Jank's 6-2, 6-7, 7-6(7) thriller sent UW into the second round.
"The best play of the day was from Alex Slovic and Pierre Metenier," Anger said. "They were very solid in their matches and really looked good. Based on that we're really looking forward to tomorrow's match with VCU."
2006 NCAA Men's Tennis First Round
No. 21 Washington 4, No. 45 Penn State 2