Vlaski Meets Upset In NCAA Singles First Round
May 25, 2005
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS -The prolific career of senior Alex Vlaski came to a premature end, as the Husky All-American suffered a tough three-set defeat in the first round of the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship in College Station, Texas, Wednesday. Vlaski fell to Florida's Greg Ouellette, 7-5, 0-6, 6-2, while the other Husky competing, sophomore Alex Slovic, dropped his opening match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2 to fourth-seeded Catalin Gard from Ole Miss.
Vlaski, ranked sixth and seeded eighth, led 5-1 in the first set but dropped the opener, 7-5. He stormed back with a 6-0 win in the second set and looked to build upon his momentum in the third until he suffered from cramping that hampered his play.
"It's disappointing because Alex had as much of a chance at winning this tournament as anyone," UW head coach Matt Anger said.
Vlaski advanced as far as the semifinals of the NCAA singles tournament in 2003 and made it to through to the second round in 2002 and 2004.
Vlaski ended his career as the all-time winningest Husky in singles play with 111 career victories. Washington's only player to earn All-America honors in multiple seasons, Vlaski was a three-time All-Pac-10 first-team honoree and his career high singles ranking of No. 2 in 2004 remains a school record. Vlaski led his team to the NCAA Sweet 16 in three of four seasons and the program's first Pac-10 title in 2005. He became the first Husky to win a national title since 1924 when he captured the 2003 ITA All-American singles crown.
"We certainly wish that his career would never come to an end," Anger said. "It is a sad day for me and for everyone in the program because he's put so much into his school and tennis. So much of what we've accomplished as a team is because of Alex. He's someone that will never be replaced."
Slovic, ranked 44th, battled the luck of the draw, facing the No. 4 seeded player in Gard. Slovic still ended the season with a stellar singles record of 21-7 despite being hampered by injury in his sophomore campaign.
"Gard is another one of those players capable of winning this tournament," Anger said. "He was able to wear Slovic down in the second set and that is what he does best. But the best of Alex Slovic is in the future. Battling injury this year, he doesn't have the mileage and conditioning built into him. When he has that going, he's going to be a top collegiate player."
Slovic will remain in College Station to compete with sophomore Daniel Chu in the NCAA Doubles Championship. Slovic and Chu, ranked 18th, will face the 29th-ranked tandem of Luiz Carvalho and Jose-Carlos Pinto of Mississippi State in the first round Thursday. The start time will not be before 11 a.m. PT.
2005 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship