Early Season Tests Await Huskies At Home
Jan. 18, 2012
FRIDAY, JAN. 20 NORDSTROM TENNIS CENTER
SUNDAY, JAN. 22 NORDSTROM TENNIS CENTER
THIS WEEK: The men's tennis season heats up despite the weather, as the 26th-ranked Huskies will face their first ranked opponents of the year this weekend. On Friday, Washington hosts 57th-ranked Idaho at the Nordstrom Tennis Center at 5 p.m., following the women's tennis match against Sacramento State. The Huskies (1-0) will then face 75th-ranked Pacific on Sunday at 12 noon. Last week, Washington opened its season with a sweep of Seattle U, with four freshmen getting their first dual match action in the process. 15th-ranked junior Kyle McMorrow is expected to debut this weekend after sitting out the opener.
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 IDAHO: The Vandals enjoyed a good fall season, highlighted by senior Andrew Dobbs and junior Marius Cirstea winning the ITA Mountain Region doubles title, and becoming the first Vandals to play in the ITA National Indoor Championships in New York. The two are now ranked 23rd nationally. Friday's match will be the season opener for Idaho. The Vandals begin the year ranked 57th after ending last year ranked 55th following a 19-8 season that ended in the WAC semifinals. Cirstea is Idaho's returning No. 1 singles player and was an All-WAC First Team selection last year. The Huskies have won 55 of the 56 matches played between the two schools, though they have not played since 2007, a Husky sweep in Seattle.
SCOUTING PACIFIC: Pacific starts the 2012 season in the last spot in the rankings--No. 75--after ending last spring ranked 74th nationally. Last year the Tigers missed the NCAA tournament by one match, losing in the finals of the Big West Championships to UC Irvine, ending with a 13-11 record overall. Pacific will have to replace last year's No. 1 player, Artem Gramma, and No. 3, Fernando Ristow, who graduated. Senior Tomasz Krzyszkowski is the top returner after playing No. 2 singles at the end of 2011. The Tigers have six freshman on the roster, including five international newcomers. Last season the Huskies posted a 7-0 win over Pacific in the second match of the year to improve to 10-0 all-time against the Tigers.
LAST TIME OUT: Washington opened its 2012 dual season at home against Seattle U. last Friday and cruised to a 7-0 victory. Four Huskies saw their first ever dual match action, with true freshmen Emmett Egger and Viktor Farkas getting wins in singles and doubles and redshirt frosh Nicholas Kamisar winning in singles, while true freshman Jeff Hawke got his first start and win in doubles play. Egger started his first match right at No. 1 singles, and showed no signs of nerves as he knocked off Mark Shkrebtan, 6-1, 6-1. The Dawgs did not drop a set in singles or doubles.
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: The competition level takes another big jump up next week as UW travels to Durham, North Carolina for the ITA National Team Indoor Qualiying weekend, hosted by Duke. In the first match on January 28, the Dawgs will play 30th-ranked Louisville. Depending on the outcome they will then play 10th-ranked Duke or 48th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth. The team that comes away with a 2-0 mark next weekend will advance to the ITA National Team Indoor final site, which this year is Charlottesville, Virginia, in mid-February.
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.