Husky Tennis Anyone? Dawgs Open 2012 On Friday
Jan. 11, 2012
FRIDAY, JAN. 13 NORDSTROM TENNIS CENTER
THIS WEEK: First serve for the 2012 Husky men's tennis season is at hand, as Washington takes on Seattle U. this Friday, January 13, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in the season opener. The match begins at 4 p.m. and admission is free for all spectators. The Huskies start the year ranked 26th in the national polls after an 18-9 campaign in 2011 that saw them reach the NCAA tournament for the 17th year in a row and advance to the second round. Head Coach Matt Anger, now in his 18th season, has five letterwinners to replace from last year but UW has some talented freshmen that are ready to embrace the challenge. Leading the lineup will be junior Kyle McMorrow, who has climbed to No. 15 in the national singles poll after a strong fall season. McMorrow was an All-Pac-10 First Team selection last season. Also back from last year's lineup is junior Marton Bots, who had the best dual record after McMorrow last year, and sophomore Max Manthou who came on late in the year and started both NCAA matches.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Junior Kyle McMorrow has made a big jump in the singles rankings at the start of his junior season. He began the fall ranked 22nd, which was a career-high at the time. But after several strong wins in the fall season he rose to No. 15 in the newest rankings out on Jan. 3. That makes McMorrow the sixth Husky ever to crack the top-15 and the first since the 2005 season, when both Alex Vlaski and Alex Slovic were in that group. As a team, the Dawgs will begin 2012 ranked 26th nationally after ending the 2011 season ranked 25th. Freshman Emmett Egger was ranked 10th in the ITA newcomer rankings in the fall, and he and McMorrow were preseason 29th in doubles but are currently unranked at the start of dual play.
SCOUTING SEATTLE: This will be the season opener for the Redhawks as well. Seattle U. was 5-17 last year and finished second in the National Independent Tournament. Senior Mark Shkrebtan is a Redmond, Wash. native and played No. 1 singles for the Redhawks last season. Six of the ten players listed on Seattle's roster are Washingtonians. The Huskies and Redhawks last met in 2010, when UW swept Seattle, 7-0, with Kyle McMorrow defeating Shkrebtan, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 1 singles. Skyler Tateishi and Matt Stith also had singles wins in straight sets. Washington is 39-3 all-time against Seattle U.
FALL SEASON RECAP: Eight Huskies saw action this past fall, with first year Dawgs Emmett Egger and Jeff Hawke jumping right into things and redshirt freshman Nicholas Kamisar getting his first college matches, and wins, as well. Junior Kyle McMorrow represented UW in the main draw of the two major national tournaments, making the round of 32 at both the ITA All-American Championships and the ITA National Indoor Championships, posting three wins over players now ranked in the top-25 in the process. Egger was 8-2 in the fall and closed with his first tournament title, as he won the PNW Intercollegiates singles title at Oregon, beating Oregon's No. 1 singles player in the final. Washington hosted the ITA Northwest Regional tourney, with McMorrow and Egger each making the quarterfinals in singles and in doubles together. Sophomore Max Manthou played well in the fall, going 5-2 overall including his first ranked win, over 64th-ranked Denis Lin of Stanford. Marton Bots, Kamisar, and Matt Stith all made the Regional round of 32 and Manthou made the round of 16. In singles, UW was a combined 33-18 in the fall.
UP NEXT: Washington remains at home next week and will face its first ranked opponents of the season, as 57th-ranked Idaho comes in on Friday, Jan. 20, at 5 p.m., and then 75th-ranked Pacific visits on Sunday, Jan. 22, for a 12 noon dual.
HEAD COACH Matt Anger: The turning point in modern Washington tennis came with the hiring of Matt Anger, now entering into his 18th season as head coach. Since his arrival, the Huskies have been a model of consistency, and consistently excellent at that. The winningest coach in Washington history, Anger's teams have never once missed the NCAA Championships and have been a fixture in the Top-25 with five runs to the NCAA Round of 16 since 2000. Under Anger's watch, Washington has posted a winning record in all of his 16 seasons, and won its first ever Pac-10 title in 2005 as Anger was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Furthermore, several of Anger's players have seen tremendous individual success, with seven of the top eight winningest players in UW history competing during his tenure. Five different singles players have earned All-American honors under Anger, 10 different players earned year-end Top-50 rankings, and Alex Vlaski captured the 2003 ITA All-American Championships, the first national title for a Husky since 1924. In addition, Anger has guided three different players to the NCAA Singles Semifinals. Anger played collegiate tennis at USC from 1982-84 and was a three-time All-American, while leading the team to a top-five finish three consecutive years. In 1983, he was a Pac-10 singles finalist and helped lead the Trojans to a third-place NCAA finish. The next season, Anger won the Pac-10 doubles championship and helped USC win the conference team title. At the conclusion of his junior season, Anger entered the pro ranks and played on the pro tour for eight years (1984-91). He earned his highest ATP singles ranking of No. 23 in the world in 1986. Starting with the Australian Open in 1985 through Wimbledon in 1987, no American won more Grand Slam singles matches. In that span, Anger reached the round of 16 at both the U.S. Open and Wimbledon in 1986.